Izumisano Cross-cultural Association (ica), a privately run volunteer NGO, is a fun place to gather and meet people from all over the world. At ica we learn various skills and discuss various topics in a casual setting.
Foreign residents living in the area and trainees from Kansai International Center walk along the mountain stream of Inunaki Mountain.
The Inunaki Mountain Hike, hosted by ica, was fun, memorable experience, impressing many trainees from Kansai International Center. Participants with various backgrounds including Japanese were divided into several groups making for a fun experience. Participants enjoyed bento boxes for lunch. The tour was in Japanese, but group members interpreted and helped with explanations. At the end of the hike was a Kamishibai, a picture-story show that helped elucidate the impressiveness of this historic place. Thanks to the ica members, the Inunaki Mountain Hike was fun and memorable. (Dauda / Mali)
Thursday, October 25, 2018, Kansai International Center
68 people from 27 countries and regions gathered to converse and share their stories at the Kansai International Center Hall. Around 27 Japanese language students from Kansai International Center and Japanese participants were divided into small groups. Groups took to the numerous tables and exchanged in Japanese and English, often making gestures.
What were the foreign participants’ impressions?
● I’m happy to be able practice Japanese. (Spain)
● ica members are very friendly and warm. (Vanuatu)
What were the Japanese participants’ impressions?
● During the conversation, I? wanted to cheer them on as?they tried to do?their best to remember Japanese by writing in?their notebooks.
● Everyone spoke with?such pride of their work that their?eyes sparkled.
Participants’ Countries of Origin Europe + NIS
United Kingdom, Georgia, Spain
Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan
Mali, Sudan, Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Tanzania Ethiopia, Benin, Namibia
Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Mongolia, Malaysia, Laos Vietnam, Philippines
Cultural Exchange for Children
Sunday, September 9, Sano Public Hall Multipurpose Room
Mothers of World Fun (Cross-Cultural Exchange Group for Child-rearing Families) planned the event. There were 24 families, making a total of 72 participants. Foreign guests introduced their?home countries and then everyone?had a lot of fun playing the Fruit Basket Game.
The fun I want to express
It was our first time, a three member family, to participate in this event organized by World Fun.
Increasingly, I think?this is an era in which people?with international?awareness is needed. In this light, I registered with ica in the spring. But,?the thing is, while in the past I could speak English, now I can’t ?my children can’t either. I was worried?ica wouldn’t accept such a family and I had butterflies in my stomach from the day of preparation to the day of the event.
However,?we were?warmly welcomed by everyone at World Fun. And I could also see that we all just wanted each other to enjoy this?international cultural exchange.?In the end, my anxiety and nervousness turned?into fun.
At the event, a lot of children and people from various countries got together, had fun learning, and enjoyed playing together. The place got excited for Alan’s interesting talk titled, “Listen up Everyone”. In addition, Alison’s presentation brought to mind Australian nature?and its delicious seafood. ? Tieaiki’s Chinese course, while quite difficult, was unique.
I thought?of foreign countries as being far away, but I learned that even?while being in Japan I could get a taste of foreign cultures and people.?I had wonderful moments and I wanted to express this day of fun to my friends. Thank you all for planning, preparing and tidying up! Let’s meet again. (Yoshiko Honda)
The Japanese language class presentation,?Let’s Talk in Japanese was held on Saturday, June 16. About 50 people attended. There were nine presenters from five different countries. In accordance with their Japanese level, presenters showed the audience their various skills by giving speeches, singing songs, and doing skits.
● When I study Japanese every week with ica, I often don’t see other students, so today I was very pleased to meet students from various countries. It was a good opportunity to talk in Japanese with people from various countries who are also learning at ica. (China)
● I understand the hard work and the thought of facing embarrassment. Having the opportunity to present is a nice change of pace, in addition it’s sure to improve presenters’ Japanese. The children were also very adorable. (Anonymous)
● It was fun to see a rich variety of rakugo, plays, songs, etc. in Japanese. (Anonymous)
● Each presentation was unique and had an important message to give. I was impressed. They were not “stiff speeches” like I thought but actually quite a lot of fun. (R.K.)
● I participated for the first time. It was fun to be able to listen to interesting stories from various countries. (MO)
● It’s been a long time since I joined ica. There were many new faces. There are fond memories, seeing the Japanese faces here. It was fun to see various people gather and present. (Y.I.)
Getting to Know Islamic Culture?was the last of the 2017 fiscal year lecture series. In this lecture Sarah Qureshi Yoshim ,Director of Nagoya Mosque’s External Relations, was invited?to?speak about the state of the Islam and that of Muslim children living in Japan. She helped to raise awareness to the thirty-five foreign and Japanese attendees.?
From Participants’ Questionnaires
● Whether it’s Ramadan or praying, I thought that Islam was very flexible. I did not know that Islam?was a religion that cherishes peace and?values moderate viewpoints. I didn’t?even know that women?were cherished. I also learned that IS and Islam are totally different. I don’t know what’s true or not unless I take a look at all sides of various kinds of news and events.
● I was even scared of Islam, at first , based on its portrayal on the news, but now through international relationships I have?a lot of Islamic friends. African,?Indonesian, and people from other countries are good friends. I thought it was scary to see a one sided view on the news.
● When I heard the authentic?points of view?of Muslim children, as a parent with children, it felt like my heart was being torn. I strongly feel that it is necessary to obtain correct knowledge and information about Islam.
● Although it is easy in Japan to be swayed by the media, I thought?if?opportunities to hear such “true voices” increase, it will lead to?better?multicultural understanding and?create a more harmonious?society. I also want to share what I learned today.
● It is quite embarrassing.?I’m surprised I didn’t know the true?Islam, which is quite different from the Islam I previously knew. It’s unavoidable to question?the unwavering media. It was really nice to be able to get a new understanding?by participating.?My view of the media has changed.