Report of Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2016

More than 700 people participated from 50 different nations on the theme;
“Let’s share cultures and strengthen bond among nations”

   On September 22, Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2016 was held at Yotsuya Kumin Hall in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The theme of this festival was “Let’s share cultures and strengthen bond among nations.” The festival was organized by domestic groups that promote international exchange activities and the executive committee (Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2016 Executive Committee) that was voluntarily run by international people living in Japan. This festival started last year and the purpose of this is to promote multicultural symbiotic society.
14 embassies supported the event; the venue was filled with more than 700 participants. 250 of those participants were international people from 50 countries. This event became very international.

   There were different projects at this event; Small World Square, Family Corner and Multicultural Exchange Stage. At the Small World Square; 19 groups such as embassies, NPO, and volunteer groups held exhibition and introduced their daily activities and did selling of goods made from their own country.

   At the Family Corner, there were many international games and street performance show. Not only children but also parents enjoyed together with their children.

   Multicultural Exchange Stage was held in the Hall as a main program. Participants enjoyed varieties of programs such as greetings from Mr. Mizuno Tatsuo, a chairman of this festival, congratulatory speeches from representatives of cooperative organizations and ambassadors. Various performances such as traditional musics and dances, multicultural talk show, world quiz; that people introduced culture and history of their countries, reports of overseas support activities and stamp rally that participants could learn greetings from various countries.

   On multicultural talk show, Mr. Mughal, a journalist, as a coordinator; asked questions about what is interesting and wonderful points of Japanese culture to 3 international people. The talk show got really lively exchanging opinions about what we need to realize multicultural society in the future.

   The Aisatsu Stamp Rally which we did during the break time highlighted the event because people could easily get along with other international people through this program and everyone enjoyed stamp rally like they were doing some other recreational activities. On the stage, 11 groups of performers (Japan, Sudan, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Canada, Brazil, and so on) represented their countries and showed us their traditional dances and singing performances.

   Moreover, a young man who joined afforestation projects in Indonesia for the protection of the environment reported his experience there. And there were also awards ceremony for three international model couples. We closed the festival with touching atmosphere by singing “we are the world” as a finale song with all participants throughout the hall lively singing together.

   We would like to introduce some comments from participants regarding the festival.

The festival was more sophisticated and better than last year. (Male/ Japan)

I came to see my exchange students performed their traditional dance. I was very proud of them and was so touched by having seen them danced and have done their best. Thank you for inviting us to joining this wonderful international exchange event. (Female/ Taiwan)

Regardless of differences of cultures, nationalities, everyone enjoyed this festival. I would like to keep in touch with people whom I met through this festival. (Female/ Philippines)

I joined this festival as a representative of Ireland. From now on, more and more international people will come to Japan due to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic. I think that today’s festival became one of the starting points for understanding more about cultures with one another and promoting interactions. (Male/Ireland)

For international people, this festival gave us a good opportunity to deepen friendships between international and Japanese people. It’s such a joy that we can share our cultures with each other in this way like through this festival. (Male/Benin)

It was really touching to see many people from different countries getting along with one another by greeting at the lobby. I hope we can realize this kind of world in the near future. (Female/Phillipines)

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