It has been 10 days since we came here, which means we are now in the middle of this program. But still, there are eye-opening lectures and classes that gave me new ideas of differences between Japan and America. So I enjoyed learning them very much. I’d like to write about one of them first.
We had a lecture made by professor Khanh Vo about “Food and Culture” on August 11th. What I think the most interesting thing is that different understanding toward obesity. Then my guess was that the obesity is a symbol of the wealth in America, like in China. However, it was actually opposite. Since people who don’t have much money don’t have an access to “healthy food”, they tend to have more weight. So overweight isn’t considered to be a good thing. It is interesting for me because obesity isn’t a good thing in Japan as well, that means the recognition of obesity are the same, but the consequences are completely different. Japanese are paying too much attention to be thin and women seem to care about the shapes of their bodies all the time, but it is not always applied to Americans.
And, a huge incident happened in Virginia. On Friday night, the white nationalists held rally in the University of Virginia. And on Saturday, a 20-year-old man allegedly drove his car into a group of people who gathered to protest the rally. One woman was killed and about 20 others were injured. When I heard this horrible occurrence, I was in shocked. We have been learning American culture and its backgrounds since we came here. Then I realized that the racial issues are connected literally everything. I strongly believe that respecting and accepting diversities is so important in the U.S. Meanwhile, this was happened. Therefore, I wanted to see what the vigil is like. I was so grateful to be able to be there, seeing some friends of Ari’s and Ravynn’s and having conversations with them.
There have been lots of things to think about, but to be honest, I don’t know how to express my feeling even in Japanese because we’re not familiar with these topics. I also feel like they are too sensitive to talk in my non-native language. But I’m pretty sure that this is the thing that would never be experienced in Japan. So now, my thoughts and also this journal is completely incomprehensible, but I believe that I’ll be able to handle these feelings much better in a little bit. I’ll keep thinking and I’ll see what I can do.