Calendar of MISHOP Events


English Lounge


 Date: 2012/1/10 (Tue)  13:30-15:30
 Place: MISHOP


English Lounge
every Tuesday pm.1:30 ~ pm.3:30


Welcoming some 17 students and accompanying staff members from the University of the Free State, South Africa, to MISHOP as special guests, we enjoyed a special program of the English Lounge.
South Africa has been known historically as the country vexed by racial discrimination; however, these students, who represent the leaders of its next generation, paid a visit to MISHOP as a part of their activities to learn
how to confront this problem. The visitors and MISHOP members divided into several groups for exchanges on introductions to Japanese culture or talks on the current situation of South Africa. The students seemed keenly interested in learning about how the MISHOP members are promoting multicultural understanding via MISHOP’s international exchange activities.

◇Participant's Comments
I had a chance to talk with two female students, one a 20-year-old white and the other a 19-year-old black, respectively majoring in occupational therapy and accounting. I asked them about their impressions of Japan and they told me that they had found Japanese to be generally quiet. I taught them the Japanese names of a few fish and they earnestly jotted them down. Their story about how they have so little snow despite South Africa being so close to South Pole really impressed me. Thanks these small group discussions, we were able to talk to each other about our respective countries and culture in a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere for a very meaningful and enjoyable experience. (Japanese male)

The meeting was a very meaningful time with everyone asking questions and exchanging opinions. Two things impressed me during the session. One was that, due perhaps to their country being multiracial, when asking questions, the students seemed to consider the feelings of others carefully so as not to cause any offence. The other was that what we thought they knew for granted was actually quite new to them and it was our pleasure to see them show genuine delight in learning about new things.
I felt that this is something important for us in the lounge to remember when meeting people from overseas.
(Japanese: Female)

First of all, the guests and the MISHOP members actively engaged in interesting discussions about history, culture, the ways of life of our countries, and also the fields of studies in their post-graduate schools. It was a great surprise for us to learn that they were keenly interested in Japan and that they all have firm personal views on issues like racial discrimination, human rights, and environmental protection.
Our group included an introduction to origami, making cranes and boats together. I felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in this enjoyable time of sharing with the South African students, to see their pure delight and pleasure.(Japanese: Female)

It was my great pleasure to have a discussion session with the South African students. My straight forward question as to whether or not what I hear in news reports were true, namely about the widespread corruption and bribery between government officials and private enterprisers, and about the widening gap between the rich and the poor, was frankly answered as true. Even so, through their reply, I could perceive their strong passion that the youth like themselves would transform their country. The three intelligent coeds implied in their talk that racial integration, freedom, and democracy are steadily being rooted in their country, which was very encouraging.(Japanese: Male)

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