Hello! I’m Yohei, from Japan, 24 years old, and came here this month on a Working Holiday Visa. I had already graduated from a university, and I thought I’d like to go to Australia when I was student. My graduate study was “The things multiculturalism brought to Australian immigration labor market.” As a result of this study, I found out that in Australia you are able to get a better job opportunity based on your abilities, not your race or national origin. Australia can be called an ideal multicultural state. If I had a chance someday, I would talk about this study a bit more.
So, this is where I begin. What I would like to present are the reasons why most Japanese are quiet, my opinions about it, presenting cultural differences between Japan and Australia.
As you know, Japan is a mono-culture island and people have a strong tendency to form a group. Actually, most Japanese feel a sense of peace of mind when they’re being the same as everyone, with a lot of peer pressure. I’ll show you one example: in a Japanese junior high school, a teacher showed a picture to the students. The picture was “Sudanese Girl and Vulture,” which is famous photograph of a frail famine-stricken dying baby girl because of starvation in the foreground with a vulture eyeing her from nearby. The teacher asked the students if they approve of disapprove of the picture to be taken in such a picture by this dangerous situation. While most students denied, only one girl acknowledged this action freely. She said, “It is possible that the photo appealed to many people because it showed the problem and I’m certain that the photographer helped the girl after the photo had been taken.” She came to be ignored by everyone from the following day. What I mean is that in Japan, there is a tendency to bite the opinion back, so people give their opinions less and less. It may have sounded a bit harsh, but I don’t have any malicious intention towards the country. What I would disagree with is the tendency of suppressing nature that Japan developed.
On the other hand, in Australia, all people live and work together, regardless of their ethnicity, language and place of birth, respecting each other. That’s just different compared with Japan. I feel really free at my school CCEB. It’s general practice that students listen to the teacher’s talk in silence during class in Japan. However, students have no input in this study method. CCEB makes it possible for us to contribute in English and share any other knowledge during conversations. It’s something I’m not accustomed to being Japanese, but I believe this is a really effective study method. And multiculturalism, which is the foundation of the climate, promotes this type of study.
After school, I frequently go to the Lagoon and play beach volleyball with the people there. We can enjoy the activity freely as much as we like, accepting willingly anyone who wants join us regardless of the differences in language, nationality, or gender. For Japanese people, the important thing that to enjoy Australia for us that to abandon our stereotype, and notice that it’s natural to be different and the individuality can be accepted from everyone.
Finally, in my article, I’d like to especially try to focus on the whether or not the Japanese are shy?
NO! We aren’t shy. I want to insist that it’s just the culture which is not free.
However, I have no intention to carry on with the culture of my own country from now on. I really treasure the proverb: “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” with the feeling that I enjoy myself sincerely.
Yohei, Intermediate Class