Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2018 Activity Report

  On September 24th, 2018 (Mon/Holiday), the Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2018 was held at Yotsuya Kumin Hall, Shinjuku. This time the theme of the festival was “Let’s share cultures and strengthen bonds among nations”. This was the 4th time we have held the festival. 7 organizations supported the event as sponsors and 17 embassies supported the event as well in various ways. The venue was bustling with more than 600 participants in attendance. 260 of the participants were people originating from around 50 different countries. Thus, the event had a very international feel to it.

  The contents of the festival were centered around the motto “To create a Multicultural Co-existence Society”. The participants got a chance to imagine a multicultural society and consider how we can realize such a society during the festival. A variety of international programs were held centering on this motto to realize the dream of a multicultural society.

  During the opening ceremony, Amb. Tatsuo Mizuno, chairman of the Multicultural Exchange Festival (Former Ambassador of Japan to Nepal) strongly mentioned about turning the progressive situation of the problem of the Korean Peninsula by U.S-North Korea summit talk in his greeting “all programs will be performed, keenly wishing for world peace and mutual understanding.”

  Next Mr. Koji Matsuda, the vice chairman of the festival (President of YSP-Japan) encouraged participants saying, “I hope that each of you is inspired through today’s performances to starts projects or interactive activities for the achievement of a multicultural society and the success of the Tokyo Olympics.” After that Mr. M. Abas Ridwan, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia gave us a congratulatory speech. After Mr. Ridwan mentioned about the appreciation of supporting tree planting in Indonesia to the executive committee, he encouraged to the participants in his speech “please think about visiting other parts of the world to fully appreciate how diverse this planet truly is.”

  The festival consisted of two parts. First was the “Multicultural Stage”. There were six performances (Peru, Canada, Korea, Japan, Philippines and Africa.) As representatives of their country or continent, they showed us traditional dances and songs. Ten people from different countries asked participants true or false questions about their country during the World Quiz. The winner got a wonderful gift.

  During the “Multicultural Talk” session, special guests His Excellency Mr. Manlio Cadelo, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of San Marino and Mr. Humayun Mughal appeared on the stage and talked about the wonderful points of Japan. They shared with us about the Japanese Love that they experience through their daily life.

  The “Multicultural Youth Speech” was also fabulous. Two youth (a university student and a desk clerk) gave suggestions on how we can make a great multicultural co-existence society in Japan through introducing their activities.

  The “Introduction of a Good Family” portion inspired many people. International Families are symbols of peace because they unite two into one beyond cultures, races, and religions. Two international couples which the Executive Committee chose stood on the stage and gave wonderful performances. One couple; The mother and child of the Thai- Japan family danced a traditional Thai dance. One more family; a child of Korea-Japan family introduced their family. Through them, the participants were reminded of the importance of the family.

  At the end of the festival, the result of a program which everyone joined via smartphone was revealed. This time, the participants shared their answer to the question “What do you want to see in a multicultural society” when they felt something at the festival. A variety of ideas came out, but what showed up the most was the word “Family”.

  Finally, all the participants sang an original song which was written for the Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO “Because of love”. It was an impressive finale and a beautiful sight to see the performers and some participants grasping hands and singing together. It was in that moment that we could see the dream of One Global Family be realized.

  Second was “Small World Square” in which 16 groups such as embassies, NPOs, and volunteer groups held exhibitions and introduced their daily activities as well as selling goods made from their own country. At the Family Corner, there were many international games. Children enjoyed making Halloween crafts. At the “Small Stage”, the participants enjoyed a traditional Thai dance by the children of Japanese-Thai families, a guitar performance by the father and child of a Japanese – Filipino family.

  The Aisatsu Stamp Rally was one of the highlights of the event because people could easily get to know other people from around the world through this program. Everyone enjoyed the stamp rally collecting flags by greeting different people in their native language. Regardless of age, everyone enjoyed the exchange program.

  People from 50 different countries exchanged a smile and a warm heart. They could feel that the person in front of me is an “irreplaceable person” beyond nationalities, races and cultures with a mind of respect and love.

  We believe that it is possible to make a world of One Global Family if we provide the opportunities that allow for various peoples to make good friendships and bond heart to heart, person to person.

  The Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO will be continued next year.

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