The International University of Japan’s Open Day and International Festival was held on May 12th, and served to highlight the best of what the school has to offer in diversity and culture. With students hailing from 60 different countries, the school truly lives up to being known as Where the World Gathers, and this was on its finest display.
Students were hard at work on the morning of the event, preparing a range of delicious foods that hail from their home countries – and you could feel their enthusiasm, excitement and camaraderies as they cooked. There were teams getting their entries ready for the International Onigiri Competition, as well as various other eats being prepared from all corners of the globe for sale in the many festival booths. Everything from Indonesian Rendang, Chicken Adobo from the Philippines, Laotian chicken salad and sticky rice, and Vietnamese banh troi were on offer, meaning you could take a trip around the world through food without even having to leave the IUJ campus.
The crowds rolled in, and the atmosphere was electric. People were mingling, sampling food, and enjoying the perfect weather – but the best was yet to come. The gym was turned into a performance hall, with cultural displays taking place from all around the world. The event opened with a taiko drumming performance and speeches by IUJ President Hiroyuki Itami and City Mayor Shigeo Hayashi, and continued on with musical performances, aikido, yoga and self defense demonstrations, traditional dance routines and more. Awards were also presented to the teams who participated in the Onigiri Competition.
The finale to cap off the day was performed by Kizuna, the IUJ Jungle band. Students from all over the world joined together on the stage, singing, dancing and waving their home country’s flags – and you could see how moved both the audience and the participants were. It was the perfect way to finish by encompassing all that the day symbolized – friendship, the sharing of cultures and traditions, and the harmony found on the campus and in the classrooms of IUJ.
If you weren’t able to attend the event in person on the day, the cultural performances were live streamed on the IUJ Youtube channel, which you can access at the link here.
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