I’m not much of a churchgoer, but I’ve attended and volunteered at events at both the Denver Buddhist Temple, and the Simpson Methodist Church, which are both focal points of the local Japanese and Japanese American communities. A couple of weeks ago, I was part of the Mile High JACL‘s Fall Festival team, and spent a long day cooking (and cleaning) at Simpson Methodist Church.
Both churches hold lots of cultural events, and like any church or temple probably throughout the world, both have fully-equipped kitchens. As we prepped for the food orders to come in, I realized that even though I’m not part of either church’s community, I’m Japanese in my cultural DNA. When I was told to wash 15 cups of rice in one of the banks of rice cookers against one wall in the back room behind the kitchen, I knew what to do without anyone explaining.