Mystery Files

The Mystery of Knowing the Code

The clues: A napkin with an elaborate logo printed on it, a bamboo sword with lettering on it, a jug. The file label: "Know the Code". The investigation: The kids wonder if Hermione's mystery is about a secret code. If it is, they're ready to crack it! Kyla discovers that the napkin with the logo is from a university faculty club. Hermione was once a member there and she hung out with the club's manager Leanne. Kyla meets Leanne at the club and plays a game of table manners just like Hermione used to play with Leanne. They sit for a fancy meal and Kyla gets points for using good table manners and for spotting when Leanne is doing something impolite. From knowing how to use cutlery correctly, to saying please and thank you, Kyla quickly racks up the points. Her prize? Getting to wash all the dishes! It's the kind of gag Hermione often had in store for Leanne when they played this game. Kyla also finds out that the way you place your cutlery on your plate is kind of like sending a coded message to the waiter about whether you're finished, want more food or are just taking a break. E.B. meets his friend Kei at a dojo. Kei confirms that the lettering on the bamboo sword clue is Japanese. It's a sword used in the martial art Kendo and the lettering is the Japanese character Reigi, which roughly translates to manners. Before meeting the sensei, the master, Kei shows E.B. all the different bows in Japanese culture. Sensei is highly respected so E.B. must do the deepest bow at a 45-degree angle. E.B. gets to try out some Kendo moves and discovers that in Kendo, there are rules to follow like bowing, using the kaia yell when you spar, always being respectful and never bragging. After practice, E.B. and Kei enjoy some Japanese noodles and E.B. finds out that slurping is not considered rude. In Japanese culture, it's a way to tell the chef you're enjoying the food. Kyla discovers that the jug is called a jebena and it comes from Ethiopia. She meets up with her friend Hairmala who invites her to a traditional Ethiopian meal in her home. Kyla finds out that there are rules to follow like removing your shoes when you enter the house, eating with your hands, and participating in a traditional coffee ceremony with coffee made in an Ethiopian jebena.