Special Lecture on “Food Diversity” held by LINK CIC, Rikkyo’s College of Intercultural Communication
Dec 23, 2019
On June 26, 2019, the College of Intercultural Communication’s student group, LINK CIC, hosted a special lecture titled “Intercultural Communication × Food Diversity.” Second-year student Yusuke Suzuki, a representative member of LINK CIC, provided the following report summarizing the lecture:
The lecture was divided into two sessions. During the first session, Mr. Shugo presented a speech on the topic of food diversity. The second session was a panel discussion that consisted of the following five members:
- Akihiro Shugo from Japan (CEO of Food Diversity Inc.)
- Nurul Syafeqah Binti Hisham from Malaysia (representative from Food Diversity Inc.)
- Steffaine Adriana Alida Vreeburg from the Netherlands (third-year exchange student and member of LINK CIC)
- Chiu Wan Ding from Indonesia (second-year student)
- Yusuke Suzuki from Japan (LINK CIC Project Representative)
Mr. Shugo’s lecture on food diversity
The part of Mr. Shugo’s speech that stood out to me the most was his emphasis on the importance of experiencing what it is like to be a cultural outsider, and the importance of helping people who are currently in that position. It is crucial to remember that ideas that seem like common sense to us as Japanese people are not necessarily viewed as common sense abroad, and vice versa. When Japanese people fail to take these cultural differences into consideration, we end up treating people from other cultures as outsiders and isolating them. It is often only after we have experienced first-hand what is like to be treated as a cultural outsider that we truly begin to grasp the importance of considering foreign viewpoints. That point in particular really struck a chord with me.
The panel discussion
The current Japanese schooling system is lacking and must be reformed to educate students more about the notion of diversity. It might take a considerable amount of time to change the Japanese education system, but if we manage to change it little by little, I believe that the number of Japanese people who understand the concept of diversity will increase, fostering a society that respects cultures that are different from our own.
I would like to end this report by thanking all of the people who worked together to organize this lecture. We would be very pleased if we have managed to get the participants interested in diversity.
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