Hello, everyone! My name is Arthur and I have been working as the CIR in Maizuru City Office since 2017. Today, I would like to introduce to you a bit about myself, and the history of the relationship between Maizuru City and Uzbekistan.
I was born and raised in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Since I was a child, I heard stories about the Japanese people who contributed to the infrastructure of Uzbekistan. You’re probably wondering how Maizuru, a city in Japan, can be related to Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia. To be honest, even I did not find out about it until just recently! To understand the story, let’s go back to the years following World War 2.
Happy spring, Tabunka Kyoto readers! It’s me, Gavyn, the CIR for Seika Town.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started picking up in earnest last spring, planning cultural exchange events that follow pandemic protocols has gotten quite difficult. This is especially so for any CIR that likes to showcase their culture through food, like me!
Speaking of, a lot has changed in the world since my last post. Of course, the most pressing issue on everyone’s minds is one that needs no introduction. The coronavirus pandemic has hopped in the driver’s seat of all our lives in the last few months and it looks like it will continue to steer our every movement for the foreseeable future.
Since 1995, the Coordinator for International Relations of Seika Town has published an English newsletter for foreign persons residing in Seika. This newsletter, then named “Seika’s Gaikokujin Gazette” was started with the purpose of keeping foreign residents “up to date with local town events and to provide help with daily living.”
Hello everyone! This is an update from Mary Ho, the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) in Kyotanabe City.
On Thursday August 22, I held the kids event “Let’s Play and Talk with the CIR!” with a group of 16 young participants at Doshisha Yamate North Community Center. We had lots of fun using English to play games and singing various songs. This event is a continuation from a similar one I held last year.
Hello everyone! It’s
me, Gavyn, the CIR from Seika Town.
This past July, I took part in a Chikyukko Lecture event held by our local international exchange and support group Seika Global Net (SGN). The Chikyukko (Japanese for “small world”) Lecture is a series of talks held a few times a year usually focused on multiculturalism and cultural understanding. This time, the event challenged attendants, both local and foreign residents, to consider not the differences between their respective cultures, but the similarities.
Hello everyone! This is an update from your Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) in Kyotanabe City, Mary Ho.
In June, I taught an International Exchange Cooking Class event hosted by the Kyotanabe International Exchange Association. This year we had the pleasure of inviting Ms. Huang, a Kyoto Prefecture Friendship Ambassador, as a Taiwanese guest to teach and cook Taiwanese dishes with me.
Hi everyone! I’m sad to say that my time as a CIR for Kyoto Prefecture is coming to a close. I have made countless wonderful memories and met so many different people here over these two years, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Some things I got up to during my time in Kyoto will stick with me in particular. With the Kyoto Prefectural International Affairs Division and Kyoto Prefectural International Center, I was involved in many different regional level sister-city events and projects. For example, I helped out with the Kyoto Infused with Tea Expo in 2017, attended by the Deputy Lord Provost of Edinburgh, which was a success! I attended various festivals and events specializing in the wonders of Kyoto, such as the Tomorrow’s Kyoto Festival and also worked with Keihanna Science City and getting involved in the fields of sustainability and smart city, something that really piqued my interest. I met, guided and interpreted for foreign officials and organizations from all over the world; helped residents with disaster preparedness, traffic and extreme weather safety; assisted international students and residents in Kyoto… the list goes on!
Through KPIC, I am especially glad to have been able to run a number of intercultural understanding lectures, where I had the opportunity to interact and debate with diverse people from all over the prefecture. Some of the topics we covered include introducing the culture, history, and politics of Scotland; Easter festivities where we also did a traditional European activity of dyeing eggs with natural onion skin dyes; talking about the real Grimms’ Fairytales from Germany and how they relate to Japanese folklore and mythology, whilst making glass silhouette candle holders; and most recently, a lively workshop on intercultural communication and the many socio-anthropological theories and reasons behind these differences, and how we as individuals can help cross cultural boundaries to make for a more open society.
Living in Kyoto City has of course been incredible, but with the CIR role, I was also able to travel further afield, all around the whole of the beautiful prefecture that is Kyoto. I went on school visits where I felt like I was able to directly connect with and learn from the next generation of young people in Japan; helped out on tours; and worked at a kids’ English Camp! It really has been a blessing to see every corner of Kyoto Prefecture and know that it is not just the world-famous city that is so special.
As I prepare to continue my studies in Public Policy in Berlin from August (something I grew interested in through this position), all that remains is to say a huge thank you to all of my wonderful and supportive colleagues, both at the International Affairs Division and at KPIC, and the welcoming and enthusiastic people of Kyoto Prefecture who have made my stint as a CIR something I have learnt so much from, and of course, an absolute and unforgettable dream. ありがとうございます！ I’ll be back!