宮津姉妹都市ネルソン市表敬訪問 Official Visit to Miyazu Sister City Nelson, New Zealand

goodbye今年の11月の6日から13日の一週間に渡り、宮津市から市民と市役職員から構成される7名体制の訪問団が宮津姉妹都市のネルソン市(ニュージランド)に派遣されました。姉妹都市提携40周年記念に合わせて、再調印式などの式典が行われ、関係者にとって両市の友情と絆を再確認する良い機会になりました。

For one week this November from the 6th to the 13th, a group of seven people including both Miyazu citizens and city hall employees visited Miyazu’s sister city, Nelson (New Zealand).  In accordance with it being the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Miyazu-Nelson Sister City Agreement, a resigning of the agreement among other ceremonies was held and the visit served as a valuable opportunity to reconfirm the significance of the friendship and bond that the two cities share.

geyser-2

6日の夕方に関西国際空港から日本を発ち、ニュージランドに向かって旅立ちました。最初オークランド空港に着きました。飛行時間はおよそ10時間程度でした。オークランドに到着すると、次バスでロトルアという町まで移動しました。JTB(添乗員)による観光案内のおかげで、間欠泉、鍾乳洞・土蛍などの自然現象を満喫し、ニュージランドの風土や食文化に身を馴染ませることができました。バスで移動中、窓の外はずっとどこまで見渡しても牧草地と鮮やかな緑色の広大な土地が広がり、印象的でした。ご飯も、美味しいステーキをいただき、現地のワインや地元のビールを飲み、楽しめました。

geyserWe left Japan for New Zealand from KIX Airport on the evening of November 6th. We first arrived in Auckland Airport from which we took a bus to Rotorua.  The flight from kIX Airport to Auckland Airport was approximately 10 hours.  After arriving in Rotorua, we were guided through a miraculous limestone cave where we got to see glow worms.  We also visited a giant geyser and got to experience and get used to the New Zealand climate and cuisine.  While riding on the bus from Auckland to Rotorua, all that could be seen was pastures and beautiful green vast landscape.  The color of the pastures and landscape was so vivid and brilliant that it was very impressing.  We also got to have some New Zealand beefsteak and try the local beer and wine which was all delicious.

nelson-1ロトルアで数日間過ごし、9日の朝からロトルアを離れ、ウエリントン経由で姉妹都市のネルソン市へ向かいました。お昼過ぎぐらいに当市の空港に着くとようこそ!と美しい書道の字で書かれた看板をもって姉妹都市協会のメンバーからできた歓迎団が出迎えに来てくれていました。出迎えに来てくれていた方々は皆とても暖かく迎えてくれて、早速美味しい昼食をご馳走になってから、ボルだ―バンク(天橋立と同じ砂嘴で、似たような地形ですが、松の木が生えていなくて足元も石ころでした。全長13キロもあり、天橋立の4倍ぐらいの長さでした。)を観光しました。ボルだ―バンクの伸びる海に面した街並みは椰子の木がいっぱい生えていて熱帯的な保養地のようなイメージでとても綺麗で、癒される景色でした。ボルだ―バンクに灯台がたっていて、登るつもりでしたが、雨が急に降り出し、早めに向こうの岸に戻りました。夕方は日本人協会主催の「舞妓はレデイ」という邦画の上映会があり、上映会前の交流時間も楽しく過ごせました。現地の日本人在住者もネルソンやタズマン地方の市長や日本大使も出席され、映画が上映される前に日本大使の英語による挨拶文が読み上げられ、両市にとって有意義でゆったりとした一時でした。

nelson-2After spending a few days in Rotorua, we left on the morning of the 9th and headed to Nelson via Wellington.  We arrived a little after noon and a welcome party holding a welcome sign written in beautiful calligraphy lettering was waiting at the airport to greet us.  Everyone who came to meet us at the airport was so warm and friendly and kind.  After being treated to a delicious lunch, we were shown Nelson’s famous Boulder Bank (A land form similar to Amanohashidate in Miyazu but with no pine trees and covered in rocks.  It is also 13 kilometers long; about 4 times the size of Amanohashidate).  Both the Boulder Bank and the ocean surrounding it was very beautiful and calming. The area had a lot of palm trees and seemed tropical.  There was a lighthouse on the Boulder Bank that we were going to climb if it wasn’t for the rain.  In the evening, a movie night was held by the Japanese Association in Nelson featuring the Japanese film “Maiko is a lady”.  Before the movie started, there was time to chat and mingle with the Japanese residents of Nelson as well as the Mayors of Nelson and the Tazman Area and the Japanese Ambassador who were all in attendance.  The Japanese Ambassador also read an English greeting welcoming the visiting party from Miyazu before the movie started.  It was a very nice relaxing time.

翌日は宮津ガーデン(安達会長が以前の市長と一緒に植えた樹と名前の記された記念碑も発見し、記念撮影しました)、大聖堂、ワイナリー、陶芸品作りの場を案内してもらい、夜は市長との夕食会が行われました。

nelson-3The next day, the group spent the majority of the day sightseeing visiting Miyazu Garden, (We found and took photos in front of the tree that NZ Association President, Mr. Adachi planted with the former mayor of Miyazu and the memorial plaque), the Nelson Cathedral, the winery, and enjoyed a pottery experience at a nearby village.  In the evening, an official dinner with the Mayor Reese of Nelson City was held.

11日の朝に再調印式が行われ、姉妹都市合意書がネルソン市のリース市長と宮津市の上田副市長によって署名され、両市の絆と深いつながりも再認識でき、とても有意義な時間でした。90代のネルソンの姉妹都市協会の創設者にも出席していただき、副市長などの宮津市の代表も挨拶ができて、光栄でした。買い物を楽しんでから、11日の夜に祝祭合唱団を率いて宮津と京都と大阪で公演をお世話になった指揮者のカールさんのお宅でサヨナラパーテイーが開かれ、お喋りや立ち飲みや音楽を楽しみ、祝祭合唱団の皆さんとまた再会できて、愉快な時間を過ごせました。一緒に過ごしたのはわずかの3日間程度で、文化も言葉も人種も違うのに、とても仲良くなり、何も違和感なく、ただお互いの存在と両市の友情に感謝する微笑ましくて、皆にとってとても幸せな時間でした。祝祭合唱団の出席メンバーに「ふるさと」など数曲を合唱していただいて、宮津で歌ってくれたことを思い出し、懐かしく思った人もたくさんいました。最後に姉妹都市協会元会長のメアリーさんのお宅でお茶とクッキーをご馳走になってから、空港まで送っていただき、最後の見送りまで、とても暖かく良くしていただきました。訪問団の日程や予定を全部立てて、宿泊先の手配と訪問中のネルソン市の見どころの案内をお世話になった現役会長のリンダルさん、いろんな観光に付き合い、いろいろとお世話になったメアリーさんとご主人、あきこさん、カールさんなどの数多くの方々の優しさと心配りに本当に感謝です。大変お世話になりました。何から何までありがとうございました。

maori-1The resigning of the Sister City Agreement was done on the morning of the 11th.  Both Mayor Reese of Nelson and Deputy Mayor Ueda of Miyazu resigned the agreement and the two cities reconfirmed their friendship and bond to one another.  It was a very significant event for the two cities.  The founder of the Sister City Association also attended the event and the members including the Deputy Mayor were very honored to get to meet such an important person who had contributed so much to the friendship between the two cities.  After shopping in the afternoon, we were invited to an evening farewell party at Carl’s house.  Carl is the conductor who organized and executed the performances in Kyoto, Osaka, and Miyazu earlier this year.  Everyone enjoyed chatting and drinking being reunited with members of the chorus group who visited Miyazu earlier this year and had a very nice time.  Even in only a few short days, and despite the language and cultural barriers, everyone was able to become close and enjoy each other’s company and newfound friendship.  The members of the chorus group who attended the farewell party sang several songs for us including “furusato” beautifully.  Those who had heard the concerts they gave while visiting Miyazu and Kyoto, felt nostalgic and were happy to be able to hear their beautiful singing again. The next morning before leaving, we were invited to have tea and cookies at the former Sister City Association Chairman, Mary’s house.  Afterwards we were taken to the airport and received a warm farewell from the citizens of Nelson who had taken care of us while we were there.  We are so grateful to so many people who helped arrange our visit including Lyndal who is Chairman of teh Sister City Association and planned our stay, found us hotels, and showed us all around Nelson during our stay; Mary and her husband, Akiko, Carl, and many others who accompanied us on our sightseeing and welcomed us so to their city so warmly.  We are very grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness.maori-3

12日のお昼ぐらいからネルソン市を発ち、ウエリントン市に移動しました。悪天候と時間の都合(飛行機が少し遅れました)のため、当初の予定が変更になり、ニュージランド特有の飛べない鳥などの歴史を語る野生動物保護地区やマオリ族の様々な建築物(食料貯蔵庫など)が展示されているテ・パパ国立博物館を訪問し、ホビットやロッド・オブ・ザ・リングズの制作に関わった映画制作会社の説明動画を観て、ケーブルカーに乗り高いところに設置されている展望台からウエリントン市内を見渡すことができました。雨が降っていたのもあり、霧が綺麗にかかっていて、面白かったです。

maori-2We left Nelson on the afternoon of the 12th and traveled to Wellington.  Due to the bad weather (rain) and a flight delay, we had to change our original sightseeing plans.  We visited Zealandia Sanctuary which tells the history of the native animals of New Zealand, and the Te Papa Museum with many displays of Maori architecture and culture.  We also watched a video explaining how films such as “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” were created and rode a cable car to a look-out point where we could overlook the city.  It was raining when we rode the cable car to the look-out point so the entire town was covered in a misty fog.

sheep-213日の朝からは、宮津への帰路に着き、当日の夜22時ぐらいに宮津に無事に帰還させていただきました。思い出に残る素晴らしい経験をたくさんさせていただいて、訪問団のメンバー全員にとって外国の文化と触れ合い、飛行機で10時間もかかるところに住んでいながらも姉妹都市提携で結ばれているネルソン市の住民とも交流し、とても素敵で新しい発見のたくさんある時間だったのではないかと思います。

We began our journey back to Miyazu on the morning of the 13th and finally arrived back in Miyazu at around 10 pm the same day (Japan time).  We had many memorable experiences and were able to interact with a new culture and the people of our sister city and feel connected to them even though there is a ten hour distance between us by plane.  We had a very special experience with many new cultural discoveries.

日本が母国ではないアメリカ出身の私にとっては、新しい発見がたくさんあって、初めてアメリカ以外の英語圏の国に旅行することができて、面白い文化比較ができたと思います。私にとって一番興味深かったのは、マオリ族の文化が国の文化として前面に出され、尊重されていて、マオリ語が英語と手話とともに公用語になっているのを見ることでした。アメリカは自由と平等を掲げ、いろんな人種から成り立っていていろんな国の人が共存する多民族国家ですが、その割には差別問題が根深いです。アメリカにもマオリ族と同じような宗教観・世界観(日本の神道やアニミズムに似た)を持った先住民はいましたが、土地の争いでどんどん砂漠の方へ追いやられ、感染症や疫病の犠牲になったりヨーロッパ移民との衝突で命を落としたりと人口が減り、今は混血の人がほとんどで生粋の先住民の血が流れる人はほとんど残っていません。それに、その文化も言葉もほぼ失われています。話を聞いていると、ニュージランドにもそういう土地を奪って追いやって、どんどん混血になっていってその文化が失われていく歴史は共通していますが、アメリカと違って今ちゃんと反省して悔い改め、その民族文化の歴史的な価値かつ文化的な価値を認め、国の文化として尊重し世界に向かって発信しているのはとても素敵なことだと思いました。添乗員の話によるとニュージランドは治安がよく差別問題もあまりなくいろんな人種が平和に共存できているから留学する人がとても多いと聞きましたが、これもいいなあと感心しました。manuka-tree

Since Japan is not my native country, this trip was a very good chance for me to travel to another English speaking country besides the US for the first time and compare the culture with my own.  For me, one of the most interesting things about New Zealand was how much the native Maori culture is valued and is treated with respect as the native culture of the land.  I was surprised that the Maori language was one of the national languages along with English and sign language.   In the United States, we value freedom and equality and strive to achieve it but in reality we still have a very big problem with racism that we have yet to overcome.  There were also native people inhabiting the American continent before the European settlers came over who had a very similar belief/value system to the Maori people which was also similar to the Japanese Shinto religion and animism outlook on life.  However, in the competition for land, these native peoples were driven from the land and the majority of them died either from disease or in battle.  There are very few pure Native Americans left in the United States and large parts of the culture and language of these native tribes has been lost.  According to the explanation I heard from the JTB agent, New Zealand has a similar history of driving the native tribes off their land and also has only a small population of pure-blood Maori people.  However, they now acknowledge this historical mistake and work to preserve the Maori culture and share it with the world as an important part of New Zealand culture.  I thought this was very honorable.  The JTB agent also discussed that because New Zealand has a very low crime rate and little racial discrimination it is a popular country for study abroad.

sheep-1もう一つ面白かったのは、ロトルアで晩御飯を食べるお店を探しているときに店は全部しまっていて、なかなか見つからなかったことです。次の日に添乗員にその話をすると、ニュージランドの人はプライベートを仕事より大事にする傾向があり、店をやっている人でも5時、6時ぐらいに閉めて帰宅するのは普通だと話していました。日本人から見ては、「稼ぐ気ないか!?」や「やる気ないなあ」という少し違和感を覚える驚いた感じの反応になり、不思議に思うだろうけれど、これもいいなぁと思いました。家族を大事にしようと店を早く閉めても、食べていけて、潰れないのであれば、それはそれでとても充実した素敵な生き方なのではないかと個人的に思うし、そういう豊かな(財政的にではなく)人生に憧れてしまいます。

One other interesting thing was that all of the restaurants closed very early especially in the more rural town that we visited.  We discovered this when we went to eat dinner one night and had a very difficult time finding a restaurant that was still opened.  The next day when we asked the JTB agent about this he explained that the people of New Zealand in general tend to value their private life above their work and so they will close their businesses around 5 or 6 pm so that they can spend the evenings with their families.  He said that this was quite typical.  Some Japanese people may be surprised by this and think that the restaurant owners are lazy or unmotivated but I thought that it sounded like a good way to live a fulfilled life in a non-monetary sense.

訪問したところの中で一番良くて、印象に深く焼き付いているのはもう断トツでロトルアの鍾乳洞と土蛍でした。洞窟はとても興奮しましたし、真っ暗な中で船に乗り洞窟の天井に天の川みたいに広がる土蛍の放つ青い光は星空に似ていて、私が今まで見てきたものの中でずば抜けて幻想的で、感激しました。すごい!としか言いようがないような現象でした。

Lastly, out of all the places that we had a chance to visit the place the was most memorable for me was the limestone cave and glow worms in Rotorua.  It was so exciting to be in a cave and the glow worms on the ceiling of the cave looked just like a starry night sky.  It was so breathtakingly gorgeous and an amazing experience.

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This entry was posted in Culture and Traditions - 外国の文化・習慣, International Exchange 国際交流, Miyazu - 宮津市. Bookmark the permalink.

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