January 03, 2017

 Pangaea Newsletter for January

Happy New Year! This is Nomunomu. I’m sure everyone is having a lovely New Year’s Day.
As I currently edit this newsletter, I have left Dublin for the Christmas holidays and am going to Berlin in Germany, Paris in France and then to Budapest in Hungary.
I had been in Berlin for two days when I heard the shocking news. On 19 December at a Christmas market in the west area of Berlin, a truck ran into the market killing several people. First of all, my prayers are with them at this time.

Berlin that night was full of confusion. If I’m honest now, having never been so close to a terrorist attack before, I spent the night scared and full of doubt. Why would someone kill people who were just having a good time at the Christmas markets? Also, what could I do about terrorism? I decided with certainty that night that I couldn’t be indifferent.

On the other hand though, I had so many messages from worried friends that day, and I felt the agony that friends from all over the world were also feeling. Now I feel extremely humbled by that connection at the time.
Although the opening section has become long, we have in this month’s newsletter a New Year message from Yumi, the Chairperson, and a report from Qoo about the webcam activities between Kyoto University and South Korea. I believe that through these connections which go beyond countries will little by little make the world a better place.

1. New Year Message from Chairperson Yumi
2. Kyoto University and South Korea Webcam Activities - Qoo -

1. New Year Message from Chairperson Yumi

Happy New Year for 2017! Let’s work hard this coming year as well to make the activities more well known.

At Pangaea this year, we’ve seen the activities increase easier than before by undergoing some drastic changes. For those of you who are thinking about where you live and think, “If only Pangaea held activities in my town!” then please get in touch with the headquarters. Furthermore, this summer we held the fourth annual cultural exchange summer school: KISSY (Kyoto Intercultural Summer School for Youths). It has become the kind of program that children that took part have told us they would like to take part again. Those who take care of the children as well have seen the wonderful documentary about KISSY 2016, as directed by Natsuko Takahashi, and get to hear how excited the children were to meet new friends.

For 2017, we will be opening the “Pangaea Summit” at Tennozu Isle on 20 January. In the currently chaotic state of world affairs, the discussions focus on multi-racial and multi-ethnic societies and how we can solve the problems in this, and we believe that Pangaea activities, KISSY and other such things will play an important role in informing people around the world and the children too as well as making this perspective more widely known.

Through the activities, the children can learn about diversity and how to empathize with others, and take this with them back to where they live and in school afterwards, and within this can face issues such as bullying. It seems that for those children who have grown up without thinking about such things, they develop a ‘isn’t it pointless’ type of selfishness. At any rate, I believe that together with the support from everyone, diversity will become an important part as a basic principle for Pangaea, and this is vital for society today.

At the end of last year, we held a takoyaki* party at the Kyoto Headquarters. We had interns and volunteers, children and their guardians, in total there were 20 people at the party - we fried 500 pieces of takoyaki!
Please take care not to catch a cold as the chilly weather continues on.

*Takoyaki - fried dough balls with octopus inside.

2. Kyoto University and South Korea Webcam Activities - Qoo -
Hello. After contributing last time, I’ve decided to write again. This is Lee, called Qoo, an intern at the Pangaea Kyoto Headquarters.

This month we took part in webcam activities at Kyoto Univ. Village with the MIZY Center in South Korea. As the webcam activities were not the usual activities and we were running to a tight schedule, we were worried that it might be tiring for the children. The children had fun though and were in high spirits because the takoyaki party had been planned to take place once we finished this month’s activities.

This is the second time I’ve taken part in the webcam activities with South Korea. When I took part in the webcam activities in May this year, since they didn’t know each other very well, the children were shy during the activities and didn’t seem to be very outgoing. However for this month, thanks to KISSY, everyone already knew each other and were good friends, and so were incredibly supportive while introducing themselves and answering the questions. It seemed like the children were really enjoying themselves. I’m looking forward to the webcam activities with Kenya and Cambodia too.

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