ONE HEART, ONE SPIRIT, TO INSPIRE
Hello, my name is Mala Manurung and enrolled as teacher trainee in University of Fukui since September 2015. Welcome to the happy land of Fukui!By the time you read this writing, I probably be in Indonesia since my program has finished in March 2017. I think I don’t have to state where I am from as it is clear from the title. In this writing, I will share how I enjoy the life in Fukui by also not losing the excitement of being Indonesian.
Eventhough Fukui is well known as the happiest prefecture in Japan, but not many Indonesians know and willing to study in Fukui. It can be seen that number of Indonesian students always below 10 students every semester (Bunkyo campus). It would be different if we see the number of Indonesian students in Kansai area or Tokyo. Looking at the population, I am thinking of how to enjoy being Indonesian altogether with Japanese and other International students. I thought it will be impossible at the beginning, but at the end I am really amazed to find it is possible as long as we have the passion to do that. Of course, I didn’t do it by myself but also with other passionate Indonesian students.
First of all, we tried to seek any opportunity to introduce Indonesian culture in any occasions. The things that I will share here is all the events held in University of Fukui. Just for your information, beside in the University, there are also many opportunities in the International Festival held by Fukui International Association, you can read it in the FIA Pocket send digitally by Torao sensei, or by joining any activities that can start making connections.
The first event that we tried to do was about presentation about Indonesia held in Global Hub for International Students. It was a good event of introducing some countries and Indonesia was the first country to be introduced.
The event took about an hour where we gave presentation of Indonesia,simple traditional games of Indonesia, delicious snack of Indonesia , `very sweet` tea of Indonesia and sing famous Indonesian song that has been translated and sung by Japanese man Hiroaki Kato. It was long preparation at the beginning because we need to divide the roles among 5 students and thinking about how to make it fun for the audience. However, we glad that the audiences enjoyed that!
The second event was the Fukui Daigaku Festival for three days in May. It is an annual event that students can participate in terms of clubs, food stand, etc. This time Indonesian students participated in selling Indonesian food. It was wonderful experience in following all the rules and see the difference of how an event organized in Japan and Indonesia. I learn about the the value of being independent and leave everything tidy. It is an unwritten rule here in Japan. One example, In Indonesia, when you rent the tent, you will have everything set for you with the tables. In this festival, you need to set your own tent and guess what, no tables provided! It was the first time experience in setting up the tent. Luckily, the tent was easy to set and we also got help from other people.
The other example, on the last day, the committee asked us to clean the paving block that spilled from the oil we used. In Indonesia, we never have to do it, especially to paving block. So the next day after the festival finished,we have to brush the paving block to ensure no more oil in that place. What a different norm that I had here!
The third event was the Indonesian Independence Day Celebration. This is actually not the event of University, but special event of Indonesian. This is also the first time held in Fukui. Independence Day celebration always celebrated by having flag-raising ceremony and followed by the traditional games. The good thing is we got fund from the Indonesian Embassy to held this ceremony by inviting Japanese and other International people in Fukui. I think I was really glad that we could show parts of the Indonesian culture to other nationalities. I was moved especially when the Indonesian anthem sung together.
Lastly,think to enjoy being Indonesian by introducing Indonesian culture with other nationalities. That time, we can learn to be open-minded. Enjoy the life in happy land of Fukui, then!