Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University

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Participant Report: Indian Culture Night, “a wonderful experience”

Sanskruti Joshi
Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering

It was my first time participating in an ICC event and I’m truly glad I did!

ICC had organized the Indian Culture Night event (April 27, 2021) in collaboration with the India Japan Youth Forum (IJYF) Global Youth. IJYF is a non-profit organization and it aims to establish bilateral relations between India and Japan through exchange of opinions between youth of both the countries. Both ICC and Global Youth are working towards connecting and encouraging students from different cultural backgrounds to come together and have fruitful discussions covering a wide range of topics. 

The Indian Culture Night event was held to acquaint the students of Waseda University with the cultural similarities between India and Japan, the spread of Buddhism, misconceptions about India and the popularity of anime in India. ICC received an overwhelming number of registrations for the Indian Culture Night event. In all, 46 students from Waseda University and 20 students from IJYF Global Youth participated in this event. Since I’m the chairperson of the International Forum of IJYF and a student at Waseda University, I had the opportunity to present the cultural similarities between India and Japan and the spread of Buddhism. In my presentation, I addressed the similarities between dance forms, festivals, greeting style, martial arts, deities and the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The participants were fascinated by the striking resemblance between the Indian and Japanese culture. Following my presentation, my friend from IJYF discussed the misconceptions about India and conducted a quiz about the popular anime for the participants. All the participants truly enjoyed answering the questions and we were glad to see all the happy faces. 

Soon after the presentation, participants from Waseda University and IJYF were directed to breakout rooms and the participants had an opportunity to interact with each other. We made sure every breakout room had some Indian students so that the participants from other countries could easily ask questions and learn about different aspects of India from the perspective of Indians. A Japanese girl from my group was very curious to know about the variety of Indian cuisines, places to visit in India and how Indians communicate with each other as there are so many different languages from state to state. I was delighted to see her enthusiasm and how interested she was to learn more and more about India. I happily answered all her questions and in return I learned more about Japanese people and cuisine. In the end, all the participants joined the main session and we clicked group pictures. Seeing all the participants smiling brightly made me realize that the event was a great success! 

Participating and presenting in the Indian Culture Night event was indeed a wonderful experience for me. I’m looking forward to participating in more such amazing events in the future. I would also like to encourage other students to join such events conducted by ICC as I’m sure you too would love the experience! 

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