“I would like to be an international person using my English skills in future.”
This is what I wrote when graduating from junior high school. I was 15.
– I had not been quite sure who I was.
My interests have been English, meeting foreign people, and knowing the other cultures for a long time. I am not sure since when it happened. – But maybe that is back when I started to touch English already. I know for sure is that it was not long before I started to learn English. My English grades have been much better than my Japanese ones most of the time. I am not quite good at Japanese, even though I am Japanese, living in Japan since I was born, being surrounded by only Japanese people.
Soon after I got a bit of knowledge of English and met foreign people, I started to be kind of obsessed over western culture. I still like the culture in western countries, but the way I liked was a bit different. They seemed fascinating to me being an Asian girl. How people look like, how they behave, and the ideas of western people made me think that theirs is better than mine. You know, how western cultures are portrayed in Japanese medias didn’t help. Now that I think about it, I was kind of in an identity crisis. Maybe I was even trying to be what I was not. – the issue was that I didn’t understand the depth of my own culture, aka Japanese culture at all.
I have been curious of other foreign cultures, and have learned them a lot. That had been what being a “international person” to me. I mean, learning foreign cultures is a huge part for sure, which is what I have been doing mainly. – but to understand the cultural differences, to know your own culture, clarify where that culture came from are necessary. And then after that it is up to you if you like it or not. We can easily fall into the trap as they say, “The grass is always greener than the other side.” People at least once, should go back to your own culture, what the customs you are doing today mean before rushing into the other foreign culture. There is often a story behind. I stopped judging something only from a superficial side. There is a comedian who is from the US, being open about how Japanese society should change something. However, it is too obvious for me to see his ignorance of our historical background. Each behavior we are doing has a meaning that our ancestors have preserved from the past. Pointing out the faults in foreign countries can be nice to do, but if you do it in a wrong way, you just seem to end up being ignorant. That is what I have to remind myself.
Now, to me, “an international person” means that being a person who has a better understanding for culture differences. That even means admitting or accepting faults. Those who can still respect them. While showing Japan on Periscope, looking for the things that are beautiful, I started to realize who I was, and where I came from. I know where I am going.
If I was able to talk to myself 15 years old, i would correct the sentences into ;
“I would like to be an international person knowing own culture, being able to use my English skills.”
PS. I am confused between the words “Internationalism” and “Globalism”.. Let me know if you have any ideas! 🙂