Saturday, 21 April 2012

My Field Trip to Nagoya City and Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Australian traditional dance

After having finished exams and independent study, all Young Leader Programme (YLP) students and I felt relief and totally enjoyed with this excellent field trip (July 30 - August 1, 2010) to Nagoya city and Gifu prefecture where we had the opportunity to visit heavy industrial bases such as Toyota factory, beautiful scenery and local culture . Every place that I visited is unique and excellent. This field trip gives me a new thinking of development that has balance between economy, and nature & culture. Not like the first field trip to Kumamoto prefecture in January 2010, I can say that this trip is unique and interactive with the local community. For example, we visited an underground sewage construction site. Furthermore, we learned and joined the Gujo dance with the local residents and also played and danced with the elementary school kids. Hence, I really understand the importance of development of local community and contribution to social development in general.  

I would say that this fieldtrip is a happy-ending interactive fieldtrip in which we made some performances for the local community as it was the last time that YLP students got together cheerfully before coming back to their home countries in September. After our performances, we received a big applause from local people. There were two activities initiated and performed by YLP students, namely singing Sakura song and performing Australian traditional dance. For Sakura song, I have initiated this idea since the beginning of spring 2010 when the Sakura flower started to bloom beautifully. I wanted to sing this song in group in Japanese language for two reasons, expressing our appreciation to Japanese people and strengthening YLP friendship and network after our graduation. So, I was excited that my dream was realized at the Kawai elementary school. Thank to Professor Shimomura for providing opportunity for us to sing this song in group. For Australian dance (by Ms. Debra), it was great and enjoyable as we danced with school kids and local people while there were so many people came to join a local festival there. This occasion will give me most of my memory in Japan.

Last but not least, all of these achievements and excellent arrangements were mainly contributed by Gujo-Hachiman International Friendship Association. Their efforts and hospitality made our fieldtrip a success and most memorable. First, they made arrangement for some YLP students (including me) to conduct country presentations during welcome dinner on the first day. On the second day, there were many interesting cultural activities. Frankly speaking, it was my first time to experience tea ceremony and Gujo dance in Japan. They also provided Goju dance training and certificates for us. So, it was a unique cultural experience for international students. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to them.  

To sum up, I think this field trip is very beneficial for my study in Japan, not only just the enjoyment of travelling around Chubu region. Japan can be a good model of socio-economic development for developing countries, especially for Cambodia. For my country, there is a big difference in term of living standard and public infrastructure between the rural people and the urban residents. In Japan, no such problem exists. Thank to people and Government of Japan for providing me the best opportunity to study at GRIPS in Tokyo and enjoy the two YLP field trips together with other international students.

Preparation for singing Sakura song by YLP Student at Kawai Elementary School

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