Meet Kaede From Japan, a First Semester Participant in Up with People!
Degree: Literature and International Relations
Interests & Passions: Education, International Exchange
What’s something you’re passionate about?
Education and traveling. For me, it’s interesting how many things you can find in the world to connect to. Many times, the differences and types of barriers help me grow into myself, or help me make a decision, or even feel comfortable. Seeing the world is very important and it’s a great way of growing up. I’ve always been interested since I was very young. I was intrigued by the people who try to help with different crises in the world which triggered my dream to
also help people in the world. When I was in university, I went to San Francisco to study abroad and it was an amazing experience for me. On the other hand, it made me realize some of the problems Japan is facing. A lot people don’t feel true happiness or confidence and often take their own life. I wanted the people at home to feel the same happiness I saw while I was abroad.
Afterwards, I went back to Japan to get a job in human resources to support the people who wanted to be happy and confident. It’s now my background.
What is something you love about your home?
All the cherry blossoms. When I was a child, there were so many cherry blossom trees around my home and my school. They are just everywhere. Being around them always makes me feel calm and comfortable. It really connects to me spiritually. On top of that, my mom’s name translates to “cherry blossom.” As I said before, I studied abroad in San Francisco. Since it was my first time going abroad, I was so nervous and worried about many things. Once I saw the cherry blossoms around San Francisco though, I felt so much more comfortable and it settled the homesickness.
What’s something unique about your country?
I love my country, culture and my hometown, Kyoto. Many people from overseas come to see our temples and shrines. I’m very proud of my hometown’s beauty and the people’s beautiful thinking. There are so many special things about it and the traditions we do. We have great history and wonderful culture. For New Years we celebrate the new one coming as much as the ones to come. The whole family gets together and we eat a lot of traditional food, as well as visiting the shrine to pray for a good year. It’s one of my favorite customs since it brings the family together and that brings a lot of happiness.
What has been your favorite thing about the beginning of your journey?
I love to dance, so I’d say I’m most excited for learning all the dances and being a part of the performance. Since I’ve been here, it’s been difficult speaking in another language all day. There have been many times where I misunderstand a lot of what is said. Because of that, it’s hard to express who I am. But when I’m dancing, it’s easier to feel like myself again and it’s exciting to share that part of me. I love being able to connect with all the people here and work together to put this show on with so many great people. Just the idea of that makes me so happy.
“Sharing our cultures and traditions,
Welcoming all nations.
The key’s in the ignition,
A World Celebration.”
A World Celebration © Up with People
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Topics: "On The Road"
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.