RAKSA GOES OVERSEAS: A TRIP TO THE EMPIRE OF IDEAS
On my interview before I selected to participate in the 2008 JAL Scholarship, the interviewer (I) asked me about how do I see Japan. I still remembered how it went, I answered: I see Japan as an empire of ideas, an empire where you could learn many things from its culture, tradition, lifestyle, arts, and technology. Japan amazes me to no end.
My answers during the interview just pop out of my mind, I have never thought about it. On that day I got very exited and hoped to get the chance to visit Japan and would be granted a trip of a life time. Luckily I was chosen. Now I will gladly elaborate a couple of things that I have experienced during my seventeen days stay in Japan.
This essay is my impression and what I learnt during this year JAL Scholarship Program. I would like to express my view about Japan as an empire of ideas where as I discovered the true meaning of ideas.
Our manifestation on ideas will affect the life of the next generations in many years to come. I began to realize the true meaning of ideas from the first lecture session in the program about intercultural communication. I am sure that ideas must be understood by many people. This session showed how important for us to listen to other people thoughts and try to understand their message even though we do dot have the same mindset and language. Therefore we could build a mutual understanding to tackle many problems in the world.
A good example about intercultural communication has been shown by Hiroshi Iijima on the environmental conservation with Asaza Project. Iijima with his nonprofit organizations have successfully overcome and manage the environmental damage in Kasumigaura Lake in which he also asked the community to take part in it. I remembered what he said about the new wisdom of life in which he believes that children and nature are our treasure. His endless efforts to protect the environment was amazing and what I like the most from his project is that there are so many people who are also involved to support this tremendous effort. I was really thrilled and happy to meet one of the most interesting person in the planet. I think Iijima has reawakened the true meaning of idea and regain the new vision of life.
Furthermore, I was really impressed to meet many talented scholars whom I was able to make friends and share some ideas about many issues. The most interesting ideas emerged from my Taiwanese buddy, he told me about the fastest and the best way to learn ones culture is by paying a visit to the museum and the supermarket. In that way you could see what this nation had in the past and things they like to do today. And that was exactly what I did and asked my host family during my home stay in Chigasaki to take me to the museum. I would guarantee that it was a great idea and gave me a good knowledge about Japan.
I see Japan as an empire of ideas where as it is the best place to learn and observe many things that enlighten your mind. I had a good trip in Japan and able to learn a little thing about the world. I am beginning to consider the relations amongst the people are constituted by ideas from the past that have shaped and constructed the way we live today. As the generation of this century we have the right to choose a different path from our predecessors and take the position they left behind to set up another good example for the next generations. That is why this year program along with its theme is a good way to brainstorm and prepare us to face challenges in the years to come for the sake of the next generations. I would say that this is the true meaning of ideas.
I think 800 words are not quite enough to write down all of my experience during the program. I would love to write about sushi, rakugo, and the onsen but I guess I will save it for later. Japan has reminded me about the importance of knowing the place where you live much better and honor what have been inherited for us. In a nutshell, this program is awesome and provides me and the other scholars with the idea of building a common understanding between people. I look forward hearing the experiences from next year JAL scholars, I am sure they will have many things to say and enjoy the program as much as I enjoyed it.