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– We went here to represent our country, one of the Japanese students explains.
International students want to break down the stereotypes Norwegians might have, and give an accurate image of their culture. It is also a good opportunity to learn from the Norwegians. They are surprised to find so many similarities:
– We live in such different places, but we do have common characteristics. For instance; we are both really shy people.
Shyness did not prevent sharing
Oda, one of the Norwegian students attending the lecture, plans to live in Japan after she is done with high school. She knows a lot about this culture especially due to the movies she started watching when she was younger. But this lecture is a unique opportunity to learn directly from Japanese students in Norway. Oda does not find it easy to meet Japanese people in Bergen.
Listen to more about Oda’s opinion on this experience:[audio:https://srib.no/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Japanese-students-in-high-school.mp3]
Oda’s favourite activity was origami, the art of making figures from sheets of paper. She also appreciated the taste of rice cakes.
Moreover, Norwegians get to know about the Japanese school system which is quite different from the one they are used to. For example, Japanese pupils wear a uniform and are not allowed to wear make-up. As we can see on the top picture they also accepted the challenge of a language quiz. The lecture ended with a Japanese version of the musical chairs, as you can listen to in the sound bite above.
Their teacher Akiko T. Brudvik was really satisfied by the work the Japanese students did, and she hopes this project will continue. She is tuned to the expectations of her students when it comes to the content.
What is the ESN Bergen’s ambition? To mix cultures.
Momoko Kumura, member of ESN Bergen, says that they already went to an Italian class and that the next lecture will be a French one, on the 29th of April.
Her colleague, Clément Montagne, reminds us that students from the University of Bergen are welcome to join all the activities by ESN, like the language night, to learn the basics of a language.