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Dec 21, 2017
Multiple APU student groups come together in a different region every year for the international exchange event known as Culture Wagon Camp. The 2017 event on Saturday, November 25 saw 76 APU students (35 domestic students and 41 international students) from 12 countries and regions visit Himeshima Village in Oita Prefecture. These students held an exchange event with residents of Himeshima Island in the Himeshima Elementary School gymnasium.
In the morning, elementary students from Himeshima Village met with APU students in an event organized by SAS (Student Activity Station), a group made of APU students who oversee community outreach. In addition to an ice-breaking session, the students’ activities included games and true-false quizzes that took them around booths representing six different countries and regions (the United States, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam). It was as if they were taking a trip around the world, experiencing each culture. Additionally, five student groups from APU (APU Eisa Team Ichariba, APUIna, Oceania Student Association, Taekwondo and Music Company) and two non-university organizations (Japanese martial arts group Nitenkai and Kagura dance group Himeshima Kagura) opened booths in the venue and offered trial workshops.
For lunch, the Sri Lankan student group and local participants prepared Sri Lankan curry as well as aosa-jiru, a traditional soup dish from the island, learning about each other’s food culture in the process. Both the curry and aosa-jiru were a hit among the approximately 300 attendees that tried the dishes.
During the afternoon portion of the event, the APU student groups and Nitenkai conducted a stage performance with attendee participation. Together, the audience took part in the likes of the eisa dance from Okinawa and traditional dances from Oceania and Indonesia. There was also a musical in which everyone donned multicolored costumes, a show of Taekwondo, and ancient Japanese swordsmanship courtesy of Nitenkai. This community outreach effort was a great success that created numerous smiles among the children of Himeshima Village and other locals at the event.