Chit-chat at Kansai International Center

Eighty-four people, representing more than thirty?countries, ?gathered at Kansai International Center to chat about their homelands. Those participating in the cross-cultural event included forty-one?members from ica and Kansai International Center, as well as forty-three Japanese?community members.



  • Azerbaijan
  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Moldova
  • Lithuania


  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Guinea
  • Kenya
  • Sudan
  • Burundi
  • Madagascar
  • Lesotho


  • Indonesia
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • China
  • Japan
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • Mongolia


  • Vanuatu

Middle East

  • Syria

Central and South America

  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Colombia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
What impressed you most about today’s chat? (from foreign participants)
  • I was impressed that some of the interlocutors had knowledge about my homeland. They were very much interested in my country and its culture, cuisine and history.( Armenia)
  • ?It is very interesting to speak with Japanese people, and know more about Japan and its traditional culture (events, ceremonies) .(Algeria)
  • ?I liked it very much. I learned Japanese words and Kanji. They are very kind and lovely people.( Columbia)
  • ?-the communication skills of the volunteers and their cordial behavior.( Bangladesh)
  • ?I had the opportunity to talk with Japanese people using Japanese. I learnt some useful words.( Sri Lanka)
  • Today I liked getting in contact with people. In occasions like this one we can easily get to know new people and discover a lot : just travelling with the mind.(Italy)
  • …There is much that [people] do not know about my country. So the participants seemed interested to learn about Guyana.(Guyana)
What impressed you most about today’s chat??(from Japanese participants)
  • Someone showed me how to braid without a mirror or comb. I was surprised how skillfully it was done.
  • Moldova is a world leader in wine production.
  • It was interesting to find out about countries that I hadn’t known like?Burundi, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was also interesting that people in these countries use?multiple languages; this is different than Japan.
  • It was impressive to see everyone sharing their own countries.
  • In Bangladesh a woman’s societal status is higher than that of women in Japan.
  • I had a chance to meet a diplomat that I had met before and I’m looking forward to the next time.


2015 Summer Obon Festival in Izumisano

Japanese?language?students from ica, dressed in yukata, participated in the traditional Bon Odori (Bon Dance).


The Izumisano Obon Festival ?was?held on August 29. Despite the rainy weather many local residents of Izumisano, Japanese language?learners of ica and their friends were able to attend.?Attendees had a chance to?meet new people?for the first time and make new friends as they gathered around the vendor stalls and danced to?the traditional folk song of Izumisano,?Sano Kudoki.

Naguham, a native of Syria, sold her handicrafts at the?ica booth. “I am?so?happy to sell these handicrafts that I made. I appreciate everyone’s help with this.”, Nagamu said. When not selling her handicrafts she took many?pictures that she had planned to send to her?mother?who lives in Syria.

Emilio, an Italian?exchange student at Sano High School who had recently?arrived to Japan commented.?”It was a nice festival. It’s impressive that various?things are?very orderly. For?example, the event schedule,?the parking staff, and the way people ?generally move about. ?Although, the weather wasn’t so good, I really enjoyed the festival because I got to meet lots of people and dance. But, since?I’ve been walking around in these traditional Japanese sandals, I have sore feet.”

Luke, an?American who had briefly visited Japan three years prior, remarked in fluent Japanese. ?”The festival food was impressive. In particular, the egg crackers and croquette were delicious. I was taught how to dance Bon Odori. I was also able to learn?how to do the dance while wearing a real?yukata. It was a great chance to really?experience?the festival rather than simply be a spectator.