Encouraging cross-cultural exchange and understanding is a priority for Ritsumeikan University. With this in mind, April 2018 saw the establishment of Beyond Borders Plazas (BBP: campus spaces dedicated to the purpose of international exchange and language learning) on each campus.
Less than two months after the official opening, the end of May / beginning of June saw a student-led Cross-Cultural Week draw a diverse range of students from across Kinugasa Campus to take part in a number of lively and stimulating events based in and around the new BBP.
In making a type of traditional Japanese sweet together (ohagi) and designing and sharing recipe selections for Muslim-friendly food; in taking an active, dancing part in an introductory presentation about Indonesian culture; and in rising to the challenge of understanding and teaching the intricacies of terms and phrases from the local Kansai-Japanese dialect, perspectives were shared, connections were made, and lasting friendships formed.
Before moving on to a photographic tour of the events, however, below is a brief introduction to some of the ideas underpinning ‘Beyond Borders Plazas':