Of course. I took the camera out of my backpack last week, and of course something cool happened today.
A group of students from China came to our school. I watched our first years (seventh graders) have an assembly with them. The Chinese students played recorders and sang a traditional song. Our school band played and the students sang the alma mater.
It was kind of like being on an international flight. The vice principal or whoever had the microphone would speak in Japanese, and then a woman would translate it into Chinese. The languages are completely different, even though they share some of the same characters (kanji and katakana). The schools exchanged gifts. After the assemblies, the students got to play sports and just hang out together. Isn`t that awesome?
It was one of those moments when I remembered how lucky I am to have this whole experience. I can`t believe that I live in the Japanese Alps and get to talk to Japanese people every day. Today, I got to see two different cultures come together and just learn from each other.
I guess we always get an international experience in the States, but I wish that we had something like this, too. Having a whole group of students from another country come and teach the natives about their culture seems a lot more productive than just tossing a few Spanish-speaking students into an an American classroom. Many Americans don`t know anything about their neighbors to the south, even if there are several Mexican students in their classes. There are so many different immigrants to the States but very little helpful cultural exchange. At least, it seems that way to me.
Japan really needs to have programs like this though; they are so much more isolated than people in the U.S. are.
I`m just glad I got to witness this.