What International Really Means

“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! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “What International Really Means

  1. I found this on the web. “Internationalism is the principle of cooperation among nations, for the promotion of their common good, sometimes as contrasted with nationalism, or devotion to the interests of a particular nation.
    Globalism is the attitude or policy of placing the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations.

    J Lutz

    The picture introducing your blog is beautiful. You are a very thoughtful and reflective in your writing Saki . Thank you for sharing.
    Namaste Johnny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there John! 🙂 Thank you for your support and comment!
      Wow I see, Very interesting. I actually have looked them up on the Internet and how they described was a bit different on each article or definition. But what I noticed was that internationalism is more about benefiting from each nation. – some implied it in a negative way. On the other hand, globalization refers to creating one global economy itself, in whichever case the collaboration needs to be inclusive…

      Thank you I am so glad you liked my picture. It is me wearing ‘Yukata’ 🙂

      Have a great day! – Saki

      Like

  2. I went trough something similar. I moved to the US from Colombia as a kid and I was forced to think internationaly. I became a total outsider and have had a lot of trouble fitting in, so I see myself more of a world citizen than Colombian or American.

    I’ve become less critical and are now more open to the good things american culture offers and excepting that I can do little about the bad at the moment, so why stress out.

    I still don’t fit where I live but I have stated to find more people who are like you and me, who see things on a global scale, which are the type of people I would like to meet more.

    We are lucky to have the internet and to be able to connect with others and learn so much about foreign cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there, Hola, Santiago. I am learning a bit of Spanish hehe. Como estas? I hope you are doing well.
    It is nice to know your story. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to fit in a completely different country having a different culture. I have had the chance to see people from overseas coming to Japan face some cultural issues as well.
    However, it is good to know you are now thinking in that way, which I really like it. if we start to learn or understand the cultural differences, I bet the world would become a better place to live in. I hope that more and more people would think the way you do.

    Thank you so much for your comment. Have an amazing day! – Saki

    Like

    1. はじめまして。元気です。元気ですか。
      Estoy aprendiendo Japanese.

      Yeah, things get better when people are open to learning about different cultures.

      I saw your last periscope. I know you are taking a break but It’s cool to find that you are sharing your culture and at the same time learning about others.

      You can email me if you are interested in practicing your spanish. 😀 Are you part of italki.com?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. はじめまして!元気ですよ。Me alegro, hablas japonese? I saw you on my scope, but I missed it on live. I am sorry! Thanks for tuning in.
        I hope you keep watching them! I hope to see you on there. 🙂 I am not on itaki, but if you have Twitter, feel free to add me. 🙂

        Like

  4. I was born in Fort Lauderdale in 1951. At that time the city had about 35,000 people with surrounding countryside . There is now a megapolis of millions from Miami to North of West Palm Beach . And, before 1900 only Seminole Indians and a trading post on the New River existed. So there have been big changes. Diversity is the watchword in South Florida, especially where I work at the Post Office . We have a large influx of people from all over the world. I think I am richer for this wonderful mixture of culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey John! 🙂 Wow, that must have been big changes for sure, and it is cool that you actually got to experience that! You are lucky. Hehe. I am not familiar with multicultural society. I would love to visit one day.

      Like

  5. This is a really wonderful article – thanks so much for posting. It’s great to learn about your perspective on life, and by the way I especially love the picture of your kimono. I love your definition: “a person who has a better understanding for culture differences. That even means admitting or accepting faults. Those who can still respect them.” You have a really lovely writing style and I look forward to reading more from your blog in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Naomi, thank you for visiting my blog, and for your kind words as well! It is my pleasure to share a bit of my life with you. I have read books a lot so far, which for sure influences my writing style. I am glad you think so, your words made me smile 🙂 I hope to speak to you soon, and again it is nice to meet you!

      Liked by 1 person

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