Fumiho Tanaka Journal 1

My first impression of the College of William and Mary was that it was much bigger than I expected. In the U.S, I have visited several universities such as New York University and Columbia University, but the College of William and Mary is way bigger than any of them. Also, I was surprised by how much nature that the college has. There is a bunch of trees, a huge turf, and I have seen many wild squirrels climbing up the trees within the campus. Moreover, I like the Colonial Williamsburg which is right next to the college because it is calm and peaceful. I like how people enjoy eating good food and chilling at the bench. The view of the Colonial Williamsburg makes me forget the busyness of the city as I came from Tokyo.

From the lecture, I thought that it is important to learn the culture of the place you are currently in, no matter where you come from. Culture tends not to be thought as a serious topic to study, but it is important because it makes us understand how people live there. Now that we live in a diverse world, we need to understand each culture to live together peacefully. Although the word “culture” sounds very simple, it is complicated. There are 4 kinds of culture of high-culture, mass culture, popular culture and way of life.

However, I wonder if I will be able to talk about culture of my hometown when I’m asked by other people. The reason is that I don’t think I belong to any places as I haven’t lived in one place longer than 6 years. My father works at a trading company and my family and I have moved every time he gets transferred. I could explain how people live in the places that I have lived, but I wouldn’t be able to passionately present how attractive they are since I cannot think of any places as “local”. Each place has its history that has made present situation. For example, since Williamsburg was founded in 1699, it has experienced many things such as American Revolution and civil war. Williamsburg, once considered to be “un-American”, now is a place that is loved by millions of people.

The lecture of culture and locality made me think about my identity. So, through the Keio University/College of William & Mary Cross-Cultural Collaboration Program, I would like to consider how I should live with my experience in several countries. Also, I want to understand more about Williamsburg and tell how beautiful it is to my family and friends in Japan. I will not have a chance like this in the future. So, I am looking forward to improving myself by seeing new view and learn a lot of things here.

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