# 23_A Taste-Tea New Year (3rd Anniversary Celebration and Rosh Hashanah)
On August 30, 2021, our team at Sakura Cha Meet celebrated our organization's 3rd anniversary! We have enjoyed connecting with people around the world through the spirit of chanoyu and enjoying matcha together. It has been a pleasure sharing Japanese culture with friends worldwide and seeing participants engage in discussions about today's world.
To celebrate, we held A Taste-tea New Year with Iris Samra, the founder and director of Orshina Culture Space TLV (orshinatlv.com/en). Together, we discussed what chanoyu meant to different people and celebrated Rosh Hashanah.
Iris Samra is a performance artist who specializes in Butoh, a Japanese theater dance based on Buddist Zen philosophy. Our founder, Akiko Kawai, connected with Iris in 2020 over their shared passion for celebrating the power of the tea ceremony to transform people and the world ..
Iris's journey in creating Orshina began when she ventured to a Japanese tea shop where the owner introduced her to chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. Her artistry in Butoh and spirit moved the shop owner, who demonstrated chanoyu in the shop to her.
Iris says, "Life is like matcha ... Matcha starts as dark green but slowly becomes more light and so beautiful when it's ready. It is similar to the magic of life ... Every moment is magic if we can catch it. We slowly transform in life, like matcha, to become more pure and light. "
Our discussion with our guests continued with participants sharing their own morning traditions and rituals. While some have coffee, others meditate. We learned that simple, everyday actions all contribute to the soul's peace and helps us start our days.
Iris emphasizes the circle of life through aesthetics at tea ceremonies. Cleanliness is very important to her because chanoyu creates a space that allows people to examine the purpose of life and the origin of joy. She includes Buddhism through sharing how Buddha's purpose was to understand why people are suffering, and in return, meditate to move towards less suffering. Iris emphasizes how chanoyu is a form of meditation that people can do together. You can enter into a meditation frequency through the chanoyu process and examine how life has a beauty of unperfect -ness, like nature.
Through our event, we learned the philosophy behind Iris's artistry and her organization. Orshina means phoenix, showing how the soul is something that transforms and is infinite. It is important to always develop and keep a connection with the soul because it is the core of who a person is.
We hope our participants learned much about Israeli and Japanese culture and were able to connect with the spirit of chanoyu. Thank you for sharing your stories and cultures with us these past three years, and we cannot wait to connect more! Join us at our next event and help us spread the spirit of harmony found in chanoyu to foster a better world.