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FROM HOBSONS BAY TO ANJO

Four Hobsons Bay students and their chaperone returned from two weeks in Anjo, Japan - Hobsons Bay’s sister city. They presented their reports of this experience. Here is part of each report: Maddy Harrison-Shore from Williamstown High reports “The Hobsons Bay Student Exchange was a great experience, to be immersed in a different culture and lifestyle. I learnt so much and gained a greater understanding of the Japanese way of life. My personal experience in Japan includes lots of sightseeing. My host family took me to Nagano, which was a four and half hour drive from Anjo. We stopped at many temples and destinations along the way. In Nagano we stayed at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, which was a very different experience, including sleeping on the floor with s bean filled pillow.” Ashlyn Gomaz from Mount St Joseph Girls’College wrote, “During Japan’s summer holidays there is a famous festival widely celebrated in Japan. The Tanabata festival or the Star Festival is held in Anjo on the 2nd to the 4th of August. Anjo holds one of the biggest Tanabata festivals in Japan, so many people from all over the country come to enjoy the food and performances. There is a tradition of writing wishes on tanzaku and hanging them from branches of bamboo. Of course, every one hopes that their wish cones true.” Maddison Charter from Williamstown High reports, “Sumire had something planned out every day, so I always had something to do. With the weather being extremely hot and humid I was left feeling very tired and was given time to rest. I enjoyed the little things, like playing with the

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sisters , all of us cracking up laughing, trying traditional foods, teaching them some new English words, saying itadakimasu before a meal. I learnt some new games, Japanese words and interestingly I learned that Japanese don’t eat the skin on grapes.” Arrifa Nasarudin from Westbourne Grammar mentioned, “Spending time with Konoha’s family and friends gave me an insight of different values that they hold. I got to meet her two younger cousins and her grandma. It was emphasised to me, the respect that they had for their elders and the love they all shared with each other and to me. Living with Konoha for 10 days showed me more of her personality, that she may have been a bit nervous to show in Australia. I found that Konoha was such a fun person to hang around with, who takes games and leisure activities seriously, which turned out to be very enjoyable. But I believe the most important quality I saw in her was how empathetic she was. Her empathetic nature reflected onto me and I have learnt since to be more empathetic towards others. In this sense, through international familial relationships, I believe I have become a much more culturally and emotionally aware person.” Chaperone, Sue Downey noted, “Japan was nothing like I expected. The traffic is manageable and people move about in an orderly fashion showing respect for others. The trains are clean and silent! A pin could drop and you would seriously hear it! There’s no pushing and shoving – those boarding wait patiently. People are friendly, helpful and interested. The Japanese didn’t laugh at me when I attempted to pronounce the few greetings I knew in Japanese. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and accommodate our needs.”

Issue 132

Profile for Around Altona Community Newspaper

Around Altona 132  

Community Newspaper Issue 132, Oct 2019

Around Altona 132  

Community Newspaper Issue 132, Oct 2019

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