Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2019 Activity Report

  On November 4th, 2019 (Mon/Holiday), the Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO 2019 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 5th time that we have held the festival. 7 organizations supported the event as sponsors and Shinjuku City and 18 embassies supported the event as well in various ways. The venue was bustling with more than 500 participants from 40 different countries in attendance. Thus, the event had a very international feel to it.

  The contents of the festival were centered around the motto “Peace begins with us”. The participants got a chance to know the issues that obstacle to create the multicultural co-existence society and consider the ideas how we can realize such a society during the festival. Variety of international programs were held centering on this motto to realize the dream of a multicultural co-existence society.

  First, opening song “Love is Forever” (Original song of the festival) was sang by Four Arrows and they delivered the wonderful message through this song.

  During the opening ceremony, Amb. Tatsuo Mizuno, chairman of the Multicultural Exchange Festival (Former Ambassador of Japan to Nepal) mentioned that meaning of the new era “Reiwa” in his greeting and he gave the message to the participants from different countries “I hope that you could understand that the systems of emperor or imperial era is important not only as a formal ceremony but also as a basis of our national identity and the symbol of the national unity.”

  Next Mr. Shunsuke Uotani, Secretary General of UPF-Japan encouraged participants saying, “Today’s festival can be the best opportunity of the international exchange. I believe you can have a precious experience that you’ve never experienced before.”

  The festival consisted of two parts. First was the “Multicultural Stage”. There were several international performances (Canada, Korea, Indonesia and Africa.) As representatives of their country or continent, they showed us traditional dances and songs. 4 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, 3 special guests; His Excellency Mr. Manlio Cadelo, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of San Marino, Mr. Takeshi Naruse, Owners Project Adviser of the Ritsumeikan University and Mr. Humayun Mughal appeared on the stage. First, H.E Mr. Cadelo gave a wonderful speech about “Beautiful Japanese culture; viewpoints of the emperor system and imperial era”. After the speech, they had a panel discussion and talked about the wonderful points of Japanese culture. All participants had time to start considering how to make a good society with the people from different countries.

  The program “Friendship between Japan and Korea” was inspiring to many people. Nowadays, the relationship between Japan and Korean is worse and worse day by day, but the executive committee thought that it is necessary to promote Japan- Korea friendship from a private level, so the special program was held. During the “Japan- Korean friendship Speech”, one college student who is the child from Japanese father and Korean mother gave a fabulous speech about the family and the volunteer experience for helping Korean elders in Korea (organized by Korean Red Cross), and saying “Through the activity, I understood that if we; Japanese people face to Korean people and shake hands each other such as brothers and sisters, everything will change nicely and quickly.” Audiences were so inspired.

  After the speech, Korean traditional music group and Japanese violinist collaborated, and they played some Japanese and Korean songs in hope of friendship Japan and Korea.

  The “Multicultural Youth Speech” was also fabulous. Two youth who did international marriage gave suggestions on how we can make a great multicultural co-existence society in Japan through introducing their activities.

  Next, the original song of the Multicultural Exchange Festival “Because of Love” was performed by 3 Filipino singers. After that, everyone had time to share the “One Global Family Declaration” to connect the thought and ideas which everyone got this day to the future. First, MC read the declaration and every participant agreed with big hands. After that, H.E Mr. Cadelo, the chairman of the festival and some guests came up to the stage and signed on the declaration board as the representative of all participants.

  Finally, everyone sung “We are the world” as finale. 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. The booth of disaster prevention was also put, and some staffs introduced how to prepare the disaster nicely using some goods. At the Family Corner, there were some international games. Children enjoyed the games. At the “Mini Stage”, the participants enjoyed a traditional Thai dance, a guitar performance by Filipino singer and 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 by greeting different people in their native language. Regardless of age, everyone enjoyed the exchange program.

  People from 40 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. Appreciating to all pf the supporters and participants. The Multicultural Exchange Festival in TOKYO will be continued next year.

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