Starting this academic year, the Tutors for International Student Assembly (TISA) and the International Center at OIC have held a cultural exchange event called “DISCOVER” at Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC) in the Self-Access Learning Lounge (SALL). This event allows international students and Japanese students to share different aspects about their home countries in English. For the fall semester, the DISCOVER event in December focused on Christmas and New Year traditions and customs and was held on 2 separate days “DISCOVER Australia and Sweden” and “DISCOVER Korea and Japan”. There was a total of 34 Japanese and international students that participated.
First, international students from Australia and Sweden presented about Christmas and New Year traditions in their countries. Australia, being in a different hemisphere, makes their seasons opposite from that of Japan’s, giving them a summer-like Christmas! When it comes to New Years, the highlight is the countdown in Sydney along with a large display of fireworks! Following this, a Japanese student who studied abroad in Australia shared her experiences and introduced the special characteristics of Australia compared to Japan! Following that, Sweden international students described how their Christmas is covered in snow. Students introduced the customs behind Advent, Christmas Eve, and more. During the Q&A, the ice hotel in Lapland was brought up, as well as, if you want to have a magical Christmas, the Arctic Circle seems to be the place to go!
Next, international students from Korea and Japanese students from Japan explained and compared the end of the year season in their countries. First-up, Korean students described their Christmas customs and also the Lunar New Year. They explained in detail some of the traditional foods that are eaten and the important rites that are to be done during the New Year season. We learned about the difference in meaning when it comes to the number of bows, and how one extra or one less can mean something completely different! Then the Japanese students presented about the events held and food Japanese people enjoy around Christmas, and the deep traditions during New Year. There were many international students who had not yet experienced these things, so a lot of interesting and detailed topics were brought up during the Q&A.
We learned that, no matter what country or region you live in, everyone shares the most important factor of the holiday seasons, which is spending time with family and friends. We hope that you all had a great holiday season and are ready for the new year ahead of us!
2016 spring “Discover Thailand and Indonesia” Article