Enriching intercultural experience of Japanese students
Yokohama - Salesian High School, Japan, 5 January 2020 -- The principal of Salesio Gakuin (Salesian High School) with one teacher and three students went for an 'Indian Training' - Exposure in the New Delhi area (India, 25-30 December). The full 5-day program was carefully prepared. The Bosconians (or Salesians as we call them in Japan) had a chance to understand a wide variety of social, cultural, economic and religious realities of India.
They met one Indian-based Japanese company representative (Micro India, Inc) in order to understand the cross-cultural communication dynamics of business. On the second day in the morning our Bosconians visited a typical Indian slum area and one learning centre (for out-of-school youth). It was a good chance to interact with Indian children and teach them origami (paper-folding) art.
There was also an opportunity to understand the poor people's life environment through the social workers and understand the difference between traditional Indian and Japanese values (NGO encounter).
The visit to the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi was helpful for understanding possible cultural and educational student exchange between the two countries.
On the third day of the exposure Yokohama students visited one Catholic school (St. Marys) with participation in classes of maths and yoga, and discussion on enviromental issues with St Marys students. In this interaction our students also learnt about the cultural background of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals of the UN). Another eye-opening experience was a visit to an NGO supporting the refugees (Myanmar and Afghanistan) in collaboration with the UN Refugee High Commissioner Secretariat. Group encounter with one of the refugees was a heart-touching experience.
Before leaving India our group was also able to visit the world famous mausoleum, the Taj Mahal with its magnificent buildings. On the last day we were able to experience Old Delhi with its ancient markets, see the 70 metre-high garbage 'mountain' and walk the streets of this old city.
The five days of exposure concluded without any inconvenience. We hope our three students and their teachers will share their experience with our school community at Salesio Gakuin. We dream of more exchange and exposure with other countries in the future.