On Saturday, October 21st, we held a multicultural forum that gave consideration to “Internal Internationalization” at the Shirokane Campus, as a symposium to exchange ideas for the “Internal Internationalization” project, which is promoted by the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work and the Center for Liberal Arts. As students of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, we participated in the planning, preparation, and management of the forum.
These days, as globalization progresses, we encounter many people with international roots in our daily lives. We would like to find out about their lives and use this as an opportunity to think about multiculturalism. With this in mind, we set the theme as “With Us, For Us: the Future that We Create along with the Rest of the World.”
At this forum, we invited four guests with international roots to share their honest thoughts about living in Japan. There is a certain thing that I felt strongly about during the exchange of opinions between the guests and around fifty participants.
That is that many people unwittingly perpetuate stereotypes when dealing with these people. I realized that the things that we thought meant well could make people uncomfortable, if they were based on stereotypes. I felt that it is important to understand others while also being aware of internal values. I also realized that we must not get caught up in nationality and culture, but rather, we must accept each person for who they are, and open lines of communication with them as individuals.
I am pleased that this forum provided an opportunity for each participant to think about how multiculturalism relates to them. I will continue to deepen my understanding, based on the realizations gained through this forum.
Honoka Nakajima(Third year, Department of Social Work)