Fathia Athaya Hanief (INA AFS to Japan — Short Program)
In the beginning, I actually don’t expect much about this 1 month program. I don’t think that I can have much experience to share or even bond that last in this short time. But this journey has blown my mind. It was beyond my expectation.
My journey started in a small town at the north Osaka called Nose. Please don’t read it in english way, it sounds weird. It takes about 30 minutes from central Osaka by car. Since the city itself is so small, I learned that the people was so close to each other. They almost know everyone in the city. My host family owns a small building material shop, so they have many clients and tend to have many connection. They also like to involve in social activity for example community gathering and they asked me to join them. At first, I thought that it will be awkward that I don’t know everyone and they all speaking in language that I don’t understand. Surprisingly, they are warm and very friendly. My host family really helps me in building communication and bonding with other as I did it with them. They are also very respectful of my religion and get curious of it and my culture. They are very supportive and the best in every way.
At school, my friends were really shy. Since they don’t really understand english, they were afraid to interact with foreigner. As I dare myself to get close to them I learned that they actually very nice and funny. They helped me to get through the study and we had fun together.
I learned that communication is not all about language, it also involves gestures, expression, and the most important thing, attitude. With the right attitude, you can lessened the language border and your true feelings can be expressed towards them and create the bond with people. I also learned that relation is very important. It lasts forever and it helps you in some way you may never imagine. My heart starts to grow fonder as I stay there longer.
The next great thing is I got to explore. The places I visited, the views I captured, the vibes I felt, the people I met, it was amazing. I learned Japanese culture and its philosophy and exchanged with mine to get the best understanding. You can never get enough of Japan.
“Aya desu, Indonesia karakimashita.” (My name is Aya, I’m from Indonesia). That’s the magic words. That is the sentence that I always said when I met new people. It occurs to me when I said that, there are at least two kinds of thought that came out to people’s mind. First, for the ones who already know Indonesia, they’ll judge me as Indonesian as in what they already knew. Second, for the ones who don’t know Indonesia, they’ll judge Indonesia through me. I thought it was very scary that I bring this title as Indonesian. As I tremble everytime I said that, I realized this is the best part. I could show people who I really am. I am my culture, my religion, my country. I am Indonesian. I could show Indonesia to the world, bring out the best that I could to present my beloved country. I did it proudly as a give back of what my nation has given me since I was a little.
Regardless countless time I said that to introduce myself, if I had the chance, I’ll do it again. Until next time,
Japan, I’ll see you soon.