Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2017 Activity Report

  On October 9th, 2017 (Mon/Holiday), the Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2017 was held at Meguro-ku Chushokigyo Center. This time the theme of the festival was “Let’s share cultures and strengthen bonds among nations”. This was the 3rd time we have held the festival. 7 organizations supported the event as sponsors and 17 embassies and the Meguro International Friendship Association supported the event as well in various ways. The venue was bustling with more than 600 participants in attendance. 250 of the participants were people originating from 60 different countries. Thus, the event had a very international feel to it.

  The contents of the festival were centered around the motto “One Global Family ~Concept to reality”. A variety of international programs were held centering on this motto to realize the dream of a multicultural society.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Tatsuo Mizuno, chairman of the Multicultural Exchange Festival strongly mentioned about the problem of the Korean Peninsula in his greeting “At this time of crisis, it is of utmost importance to unite our hearts into one. The dances and songs which are performed today will express peace and show that the Japanese heart is uniting into one.”
Next Mr. Koji Matsuda, the vice chairman of the festival encouraged participants “Please expand your heart by interacting with people from different parts of the world. Through that interaction I can predict that some projects or relationships that will lead to the realization of a multicultural society will start from you.” After that the Charge d’ Affair of the Republic of Togo gave us a congratulatory speech as the representative of the ambassadors.

  The festival consisted of two parts. First was the “Small World Square” 19 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 and a street performance.
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 through greeting different people in their native language’s greeting. One of the participant said, “I felt like I was traveling around the world!”

  Second was the “Multicultural Stage”. There were seven performances (Peru, Canada, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and Africa) as representative 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 Ms. Marie Rose Ishiguro 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 in Japan. They have a lot of experiences due to both having a Japanese spouse and having stayed in Japan for a long time.

  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 their children introduced their families. After speeches, the children collaborated with the parents and performed a comedy skit and wonderful songs. Through them, the participants were reminded of the importance of the 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.

  People from 60 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 make good friendships and bond heart to heart, person to person.The Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO will be continued until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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

・I felt that the festival is different from other international events. I would like to be a staff next year (India/Male)
・I was inspired that many people from different countries felt joyful and shared smiles together (U.S.A/Female)
・The Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO is the model to create a multicultural society (Embassy)
・Thank you so much for allowing us to have such a great time. Especially, each song was really beautiful!” (Japan/Female)

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