Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (3) Jennifer Elaine Darmawan (Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(3)ジェニファー エライン ダルマワン(BINUS大学)

 “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it” 

-Frances Wright

This quote highlights the overall experience or topics that we have discussed during the AAEE exchange program between Indonesian and Japanese students. In general, during the program, we discussed a lot about the common issue revolving in both Japanese and Indonesian society that highly relates to inequality issues, such as gender or race inequality problems. 

Throughout this AAEE program, although all the topics are equally interesting, one of the things that have caught my interest is none other than the discussion of racial or ethnic equality. This is one of the many topics that we have discussed during AAEE programs yet it leaves the strongest impression on me, and therefore I would like to discuss more regarding that. Ethnic inequality has been around even before people deemed it as an issue. Throughout history, inequality has been an issue that revolves around the world, whether it is about gender, income, or race/ethnicity that remains unsolved even to this day. Luckily, people had seen this as a major issue and thus decided to act upon it by conducting movements to raise the awareness of this concern, such as the #StopAsianHate or the #BlackLivesMatter movements in an attempt to stop inequality. Thanks to these movements, many people are becoming more aware about the current issue of racial inequality. However, still, the fact remains unchanged that many people did not bother to even ask about the most fundamental question, which is: where does all of this hatred (specifically inequality towards ethnicity) stem from?

I humbly believe that one of the most prominent reasons why racism or xenophobia exists is because there tends to be prejudice against a particular marginal ethnic group that are put at a disadvantage since they are a minority. Assumably, not only are they treated differently from the majority, they also have certain disparity in both socially and economically. For instance, the reputation of a certain person that comes from the same marginal ethnic group might be reduced drastically just because they come from the same marginal ethnic group as the ones that are currently being seen in a negative light. A quintessential example for this is the recent racial discrimination that transpired in America due to the global pandemic taking place, where baseless hatred was projected towards Asians in general. As people started to blame China, which was where the virus had first originated from, the hatred then was projected towards those who had similar features with Chinese people, which was stereotypical to Asians in general (e.g slanted eyes, etc.). Basically, similar to anti-semitism, Asians are now being the ones targeted and subjected to hostility. The hatred subjected towards them has caused the specific minority ethnic group, namely Asians, to feel threatened and insecure, causing emotional damage and risks of getting hurt physically from other people who behave in a discriminatory manner towards them. This had caused them to be shunned and discriminated towards socially. 

Another aspect that might potentially be the catalyst or reason as to why racial inequality exists is due to the mainstream media portrayal of these races in general. They often portray a certain ethnic group in a negative light, causing people to subconsciously create a ‘bias’ towards those ethnicity groups. One time I had accidentally stumbled upon a video that talks about sports in Olympics, especially badminton - women's doubles. One of the videos I watched had images of the players showing up each time their names were mentioned, however when China’s participants had been named, a picture of ‘coronavirus' had appeared instead of the badminton players themselves. Although this might not sound that big of a deal, the media has definitely played a huge role in indirectly shaping how people think, imbuing thoughts to their citizens that might lead to them believing in certain ‘prejudice’ or ‘bias’ that might be harmful to other races. 

In conclusion, I personally believe that although race inequality may stem from many things, the two most prominent causes are: societal prejudice and the media. By understanding where prejudice and inequalities all stem from, the citizens or government can then act or provide solutions that suit the given problem. Not only is racial inequality detrimental to society, in the long run, this might give a huge influence to the future generations who might similarly adopt this ‘racists’ and ‘prejudiced’ mindset/behaviour. Thus, hence why I believe that raising awareness about these kinds of issues is truly important in order to maintain and establish a standard of 'good moral & ethical values' for our future young generations to follow. 


Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (2) Abraham Sachio Richard Budiono (Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(2)アブラハム サチオ リチャード ブディオノ(BINUS大学)

    Profit – a word that most business students will think of before making any decisions. As business students, we really think carefully on every step and choice that we face; we want the choices that we make don’t bring disadvantage for us, but profit. However, the beautiful thing about profit is, in some cases, we cannot see the profit of our decision within our sight. For instance: when businessmen are buying stocks in the stock market, some businessmen don’t know whether the price of the stock will go up or not. If, in this case, the price of the stock increases, then the businessmen gain profit. From all of this story, we can understand that in some cases people cannot see the profit of their decision within their sight.

     I believe this story goes the same with my experience at AAEE Indonesia – Japan Student Exchange. At first glance, I honestly think that participating in a program that mainly talks about reducing inequality may sound unprofitable for me, because the topic sounds more on caring for other people rather than me individually. However, as time went by, I kept on thinking, “What is the purpose of my existence on earth?” And this understanding came to my mind: As a human, mostly we are going to live on earth for an average of 70 – 90 years, and after that, we will die. Some people have their own beliefs about where they will go after they die, but that’s not the topic that I wanted to talk about. Like most people, I believe that we all are mortal beings and we live temporarily on earth. So, I asked myself, if I am going to live temporarily on earth, what should I do? What would make me happy? I mean, we all understand that we can’t bring our wealth and fame to the grave. From this understanding, I really understand now that my purpose being on earth is to be a blessing for others, because this object is able to last after I die. So, what do I mean by being a blessing for other people? Being a blessing for other people means loving other people like yourself. As humans, we have the job to love, care, and help other people like ourselves. I believe that should be one of the ultimate purposes of all human beings. 

     In this AAEE Student Exchange Program, I have learned a lot of knowledge and applications that are able to help me achieve that purpose. Although I may not see it as a profit before entering the program, I am really grateful that I made the decision to pursue this program. This whole experience has been a blessing for my life and as the previous story has mentioned, in hindsight, I see that joining this program is a profit for me. Maybe you as a reader are wondering, what kind of things are being taught at this program that can help me pursue that purpose in life? Well, these are a little list about it: Model UN and English Debate. These 2 things I believe are the most crucial component of AAEE Indonesia – Japan Exchange, as we participants are encouraged to truly use our knowledge and apply it. So, we do not just get a theory about reducing inequality, however, we are also encouraged to use our critical thinking and creativity to offer new ideas on how to reduce inequality. 

     Therefore, from all the experience that I got in this AAEE program, I am really grateful that I made the choice to participate in the program, because it turns out to be very profitable for me and helps me to achieve one of my ultimate purposes as a human being on earth. 

             (This photo is a little experience of me eating tamago in Japan:) 

Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (1) Angelina Mutiara (Sorphomore at Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(1)アンジェリナ・ムティアラ(BINUS大学2年)

     When I found out about the youth exchange, I thought I should try it since it will be summer break. However, I never thought I would be accepted to be one of the Indonesian representatives. It was an honor for me because it was my first international experience. I never thought I got accepted because I was doubting myself in terms of language. I should be honest, English is not my mother language and I don’t speak English frequently either at home or at school. To know that I got accepted, I was screaming happily at home. It was truly an honor and unforgettable memory for me. 
      As I mentioned before, I was only a regular student, studying at a private university. Attending online class, doing assignments after class, and reviewing the materials at night. From those two sentences, my life is boring. I agree with that and am completely aware of that. The reason why I decided to join this exchange program was because I am very interested in the topic itself. At the same time, I see this as an opportunity to extend my network, knowledge, and practice my English skill. Though I can’t help but feel nervous, at the end it went completely fine and it was a blast. 
      First day was nerve wracking for me. I can’t help but stutter all the time I want to talk but everybody was nice. They understand that all of us may not have perfect English skills and language is not a barrier for us. We would always laugh at the end of the day and can’t wait for tomorrow’s event. 
      The whole seven days were challenging and tough. Our knowledge about gender, society, and English vocabulary are being tested. I found myself struggling to understand some words in English and finding the right words to explain my opinion. But it was worth it. I gained new knowledge from everybody else and I added more new English vocabulary to my lists. Talking about gender, I should say it wasn’t something easy to discuss. It is a sensitive topic after all. Despite that, the discussion went well and I should say it went pretty intense. 
      What I remember the most during the discussion was about the unemployment rate. During the pandemic, it was reported that in Indonesia a lot of companies see this as an opportunity to cut off some of the employees, especially women. As a result, the unemployment rate for women increased in the pandemic. This showed that gender inequality is still happening. Whether in Indonesia or other countries, gender inequality is still happening around us. In order to stop this, the solution we offered was a social media campaign and increased gender inequality awareness through education. 
      Social media campaigns can spread news all over the world instead of doing normal campaigns in domestic countries. The chance of getting known world wide is bigger through social media than the old ways such as broadcast through news, newspaper etc. 
      The United Nations estimated about 7.9 billion people live in the world according to the Worldometer in September 2021. About 65.1% of the world population are dominated by the age group of 15 to 64 years old. In conclusion, the world is dominated by the younger generation and millennials. Those two generations are closer to globalization which means they are more aware of the changes and more welcome with technologies. 
      In this case, it means using social media as the platform to spread awareness by making virtual campaigns such as posting twibbon on Instagram, etc. In order to get attention, it is important to use the right hashtags. By doing that, the chance of getting engaged with the audience is more likely to be high. Using hashtags will help us to engage the right audience. Targeting the right audience will help to spread the campaign widely. This is known as the snowball effect. One person shares the same interest with the others, this person will share the campaign with the other and so on. 
      Our target is to spread knowledge and awareness of what is called gender inequality. Sometimes we are not aware that what we are doing to others or treating others is called gender inequality. For example, microaggression. Microaggression is a term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups. 
      A simple example of microaggression happening around us is an Asian-American woman being praised for speaking fluent English. Just because she’s Asian doesn’t mean she can’t speak fluent English. Turns out, English is her first language. Sometimes people are not aware, a small and simple compliment actually ends up as a microaggression. Marginalization is also included or categorized as microaggression. Then what is the solution to stop microaggression, stereotype, and marginalization in order to reduce gender inequality?
      In this exchange program, we went through deep discussion for two days before the final presentation. We argued and collected ideas on how we should present what we had learned and also the solution we offered. At the beginning, we struggled about what kind of presentation we should deliver. However, in this exchange program between Japan and Indonesia, the participants are amazing. They are very creative, enthusiastic, and smart people that we finally came up with extraordinary ideas at the end. 
      For the presentation part, we decided to make a TikTok video for the self introduction and then proceed on role plays. After the role play, the presentation continues to the debate simulation and then the presentation ends with solutions. Two solutions we offered were social media campaigns and increased awareness through education. However, the solution we can do all together at the same time is the social media campaign. We upload a twibbon with our picture and then the caption will be talking about how we should increase awareness about gender inequality. Also, use the correct hashtag so that we are able to reach the targeted audience more clearly. 
      Through this exchange program, I learned a lot. Not just about gender inequality but also making me more aware of diversity. I learned how to approach people with different backgrounds and respect each other more. I am glad to be participating in this exchange program and very happy to join another one in the future.


Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(12) Mahbubur Rahman (2nd-year, University of Dhaka)     バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(12)マハブーブ ラウマン(University of Dhaka 2年)

 A watershed came from that part of a human-being mirror which demonstrates the comparison with others.

I have just written my conclusion in the above one line. The above line is my learning. I wrote it at first. Because I want to avoid the divergence. 

It is obvious that people have different views and patterns of behaviour but when it comes to the matter of responsibility and collaboration, it somewhat crashes. It made me realise that Sense of Responsibility and Sense of Remorse are something which also defines our deep culture. 

Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project(BJEP-2021) was a watershed in my life. I hadn't thought that I would be one of the leaders of BJEP-2021 organising team. For a leader, the challenges, experiences, observations and learnings are always different. If I put them all into words, it will be page after pages. For me, my first concern was to look for the perfect mutual collaboration, which, according to me, requires a sense of responsibility. To simply write about BJEP-2021, this time the program neither everything went well nor did everything go wrong. 

I acknowledge that the communication among all the members worked well, but it doesn't mean that the collaboration worked well too. I really wanted to figure out what one thinks while he or she doesn't feel the sense of responsibility or dodges the part of collaboration. Sir Josiah Stamp once said,"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we can not dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities."

This is what happened, the absence of professionalism. Among many consequences, two of them are: some worked hard and some hardly worked.

To me, This year's Exchange Project helped me to practically realise the importance of introspection, an introspection for better understanding of one's own values and standards. I was keen on exploring why one was behaving in a particular way.

Talking about the goal, we tried to make participants feel and realise what defines a human being through several peer to peer discussions so that they can compare and reflect with their pairs about their own thoughts, feelings and reasons for behaving in a particular way. If we don't compare, we won't be able to find our own thoughts and feelings that matter most. The idea of peer to peer discussions was to become a mirror for each other's peers so that each can see the reflections and each can compare, even though there were times when the scheduled time passed without deepening the discussion. I think we have somehow achieved the goal in this case. Participants were able to think about themselves in a new way. They learned from each other. They realized how different perspectives shape a human being. 

On the other hand, the reality for me compared with the participants was far more broad. There were a number of moments with which I had to show my fullest sense. There were moments at which I had to think of solutions from various angles. For me, It was a test of my perseverance and I didn't want to give up. The realization of having multifaceted perspectives got stronger inside me because of BJEP2021. I added to my previous knowledge of how important it is to have a calm bird's-eye view of a particular situation. But also there were times when I barely got time to think about the situation. At that time, I had to make a decision as soon as it appeared. What was important there is to know all subtle aspects of that situation carefully. I can firmly remember that I was having even two or three meetings and phone calls at the same time such as while talking on the main ZOOM room with the supervisor, Prof. Akinori Seki, a member called me on Messenger from the breakout room of the same ZOOM meeting. On the other hand, at the same time another member dialed my number on another phone to speak. I had to tackle and keep track of all what was happening. Because a little lapse could cause a big fissure in the communication and understanding. The situations like that made me increase my multitasking ability. There were more moments about which i wanted to write but i have to keep in mind the word limits.

But I hereby confess that preparing Day 4 of the programme was obviously one of the unforgettable experiences of my life. It is Naho who should be commended by me and the rest of the members for helping me with all her efforts. It is her from whom I deepened my values of making a comfort zone for others. On the other hand, there was a leader from the Japanese side, who worked with me side by side. It is Ririka whose consistency over everything made me become stronger to tackle a situation. She was a big support for me. She made me realize how collaborative a leader should be. During the programme, I didn't even feel that both of them were freshmen. In addition, it is mandatory to mention the name of Alia Shamim with whom I even worked until 4:30 AM. It is a perfect example of collaboration that I experienced.

And finally I got some space to formally show my deepest gratitude to Professor Akinori Seki who thinks I am his friend. I am mostly grateful to him and grateful to the Asia Association of Education and Exchange(AAEE) for shaping my development which is why i had concluded with the first line.

Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(11) Samia Shamim (Bangladesh University of Professionals)     バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(11)サミア シャミム(Bangladesh University of Professionals大学院生)

The BJEP or Bangladesh Japan exchange Program 2.0 came again this year, 2021. The BJEP 2020 was the first exchange program with Bangladesh, held online due to the pandemic. This year, the BJEP 2021 program was executed online due to the barriers by the pandemic situation worldwide. The program was scheduled for 22nd September 2021, but the preparation started a few months earlier. The announcement for this program was declared in April. In May, the unofficial organising team was formed. Five organizers from Bangladesh were assigned to the organising team along with the Japanese organizers. The theme of this year’s event was in debate among the organizers at the beginning. After many online meetings and discussions, the theme which was determined was “Deep Culture”. The main objective of this program was the interaction of people for a better understanding of one's values and standards, creating a platform for reducing the knowledge gap, breaking stereotypes, developing mutual respect and appreciation, and broadening the idea of "acceptance" for cultural differences.  Sharing the learning gained from this program will be an essential social contribution for the participants and organizers. The whole program was structured like an onion ring in which each layer contributes to the primary purpose. The program was designed for six consecutive days, but it was changed to seven successive days for achieving its goal. The final day was divided into two days that is day 6 and day 7.  Day 6 was designed for the participants and day 7 for the outside world by inviting some chief guests.

Then the team was divided into different groups and were assigned various tasks. The organizers from both counties worked together to plan every step of the main event. The first task was the recruitment process. The organizers shared the circular in different groups and platforms. Then comes the interview part, where the people were asked various questions regarding deep culture and given additional creative questions which could reflect their diverse abilities and skills.

After the interview session, the participants were selected, then comes the preparation of the main program, which was conducted by the three days of the Pre-program. The preprogram was mainly designed for the introduction of the surface culture among the participants of both countries. There were different activities, games, introductory presentations, self-introduction, etc., which acted as an ice break among the participants and helped them open up. They also learned about each country’s surface culture, habits, food, festivals, livelihood etc. After the pre-program, the main program was about to start, and the main tasks of the organizers were to start. The assigned teams were working day and night to make the program smooth and successful.

On 22nd August 2021, the program started. Day 1 was mainly the program’s opening ceremony, which was carried out with some words by the president of AAEE (Asia Association Education and Exchange), the supervisor and guest. The central theme of this day was an introduction to deep culture. The organizers gave a Presentation to introduce the “Deep Culture”. There were some activities and games on Day 1, which made the program’s starting very engaging.

Then the following day, which is Day-2, had the theme social level. The day started with an ice breaker game. The organizers gave a presentation to explain the day’s central theme, goal, and activity. Then there was the first discussion session on society and its untold part, followed by the following discussion sessions on aspects of the society (pros and cons), the present scenario on social issues. It was an intensive discussion day for the participants. At the end of each session, they presented the outcome of the discussions. Day 2 was the first step to reach the deep culture.

Day 3 was based on family. It had different activities which could bring out the values of the participants family. It also had discussion sessions among the participants to share their thoughts, feelings, values that they learned from their family. Day 3 or family plays an essential role in the onion ring to reach the program’s final purpose.

The following Day 4 was based on the individual level. Its main purpose was to learn about the core of deep culture, how an individual perceives the culture from their point of view being a part of the family and society, how an individual has their own set of standards in accepting values. And how this impacts their lifestyle as a part of the culture. The organizers made a video presentation by explaining the day’s activity, which helped the participants get a clear idea of the connection to the main theme. There were discussion sessions and presentations from the participants as well. The individual level or Day 4 was the central core of the onion ring structure, which explains the main outcome of the deep culture.

Day 5 was the preparation day for the participants and as well the organizers. The participants were busy preparing their content for the presentation on the final days. And the organizers were in different meetings to execute the final day flawlessly. Some discussed the invitation process with the chief guests; some were busy making a speech, some were in charge of supervising the participants, and some were busy connecting social media, media, etc. So, it was a very hectic day for the participants as well as for the organizers also.

Then comes the final day for the participants, which is day 6, different participants and organizers from other countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan etc., were invited to the day 6 program. Two from each country, four participants were supposed to give presentations on day 6 and day 7. Still, on day 6, all other participants also shared their valuable presentations on the program’s outcome. Then there was a reelection part where everyone expressed their feelings throughout this journey. Every organizer and participants were very much overwhelmed by seeing the output of the program.

Then the last part of the final day, which is Day 7! The management of this days’ time was crucial as the chief guests will give their precious time for this program and conducted live. The day started with the national anthem of both countries, followed by the chief guest’s speech. Then the participants gave their presentation successfully and got different reviews and compliments from other guests, which was very inspiring for the participants and as well as for the organizers.  The program ended quite successfully, which was a considerable achievement for the organizers. Their four-month hard work paid off successfully. The environment had some mixed feelings. Some were emotional, some were happy, some were feeling satisfactory. But the president of AAEE was satisfied with the outcome and appreciated us, which made all the members very cheerful. It was the perfect ending of the program that could happen.

I, as an organizer, felt very different feelings throughout this whole journey—tension, excitement, nervousness, happiness, panicking emotions. But after the program ended, the last satisfactory overwhelming feeling got overpowered every other emotion. There is a saying that all’s well that ends well, so I can say it worked for this situation. I am grateful to all the other organizers and participants who worked hard to cooperate to execute the program successfully.


Samia Shamim

Student Assistant of AAEE, Bangladesh

Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(10) Subah Basharat Mujtabah (3rd-year, BRAC University)   バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(10)スバ バシャラット(BRAC University 3年)

 Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”- quoted Jane Goodall.”

Thank you to the program because I understood the meaning of deep culture which led me to rediscover that I am taking over the footsteps of my mother values, individuality, and quality in me is culture depth. This helped me to be who I’m today. It created the stepping stone for me to develop as a person and develop as a person to strive for something better on the horizon.

Before knowingly participating in this program associated with and organized by AAEE, I was just a person engaged with academics and some regular curriculum activities. But this program changed my points of view and in addition to that, I got to learn about cultural diversity, individuality, differences in personal individuality due to cultural backgrounds, and so on.

The theme “Deep Culture” remains an extremely controversial and interesting topic. I am a biology background student who never thought of these topics and this let me in broadening my thoughts and views which indeed lead me to think more widely of cultural differences.

This program is an online program that is divided into program sessions and the main program session. During the pre-program, we got to change information about the surface culture of Bangladesh and Japan and after that, in the main session, we went more deeply about the culture.

So when the pre-program was going on, I got to know about Japanese surface cultures like their language, clothes, festivals, and common snacks. We all did the sessions and shared our cultural clothes. Further, we had a food session too which was so fun and interactive and led me to know more delicious food about japan. Yeah!! I'm a foodie!!

And during the main session, we exchanged our day-to-day lifestyles in Bangladesh and Japan from where I got to know that their means of daily transport is train, whereas in Bangladesh is bus and rickshaws, and further shared the road safety system which is lacking in our country where in their country is really safe. Frankly, the more interesting point while exchanging, I got to know that even parents in Japan want their children to do Government jobs as Bangladeshi parents do. Further, the concept of the elders in the case of male-females dominance, having jobs, getting married, education gaps is similar to Bangladeshi elders but in a different way and touted or brought up or making a mindset in a different way

Furthermore, I got to learn how to introduce myself in Japanese during the language and literature arts session day during the main program. Further got to know about their calligraphy background too. So, to add more I learned how to do formal greetings and where to speak formally and not speak or share words or direct opinions. Further learned the greetings between patterns too and how to apologies for my mistake of communication or any sort of mistakes.

This program led me to know the differences in individual values, norms, rituals, cultural practices, and so on.

In attendance there were Japanese participants, while I used the word beautiful or some direct comments or praising to them it was culturally shocking but to us, it is not. Furthermore, they are really observing, careful of choosing words, and communicating in such a way by reading a person. Moreover, I got to know that the education system is way different than ours and further the part-time job in case of the students.

Therefore, what I've learned is that Culture can either make or break us, it is up to us whether we learn from the good aspects of it and stand up against what brings us down. And those small breakout room sessions lead me to share my thoughts and views in an astonishing way where I discover my mistakes in communications and also many more.

Even after signing this program, I was overthinking whether I will be capable of blending with others to express myself properly. When the session started the atmosphere boosted my confidence up in sharing my thoughts and views with the other participants as for making the atmosphere friendly and comfortable.

So, I would highly recommend every student to participate and learn the unknown topics to broaden our thoughts, communication, and our limited pieces of knowledge.

Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(9) Tanvin Islam (2rd-year, University of Dhaka)     バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(9)タンビン イスラム(University of Dhaka 2年)

     The first experience is always memorable but what if when its giving you e a new perspective of living your life that is more elevated than before you learn what kind of human being you are from deeper, what is your value, what you actually want, how you would face your problem strongly then before,.. and so on. I think if the experience something like that it would change your life and that experience would be the precious experience of your lifetime. BJEP 2021was really such kind of experience for me.

      Before this program culture was just a word for me which means the tangible norms we can see like our clothing, foods habit, arts, language etc. But when I joined the program, I learned that culture is not just the things we see but it’s the thing that how we think about a thing, how we face a problem, how we solve it and our idea, values ethics over all our stereo types. 

     Basically, the program was on deep culture and there we have discuss about our society, Family and self. We discussed such kind of questions that we don’t usually think or spoke. But after this program I have learned that how important it is to know about yourself. Because when we think about ourself at that time we could discover what’s our peace what we desire for. Before this program I was thinking that I should have been born in a developed country as my country is a developing country  I have to face so many social problems like superstition , bullying , discrimination, and so on . But when I have talked with Japanese participants, I have discovered that there is also same kind of social issues and  problems in Japan. It’s a matter of just percentage rate. Because our surface culture is different from each other.  However, our deep culture is quite the same. 

     I have also listened to others’ stories, such as their life history, the problem they faced in their life, and how they have overcome it. All the stories have motivated me so much that now I am not afraid of my problems because I know how to overcome it with courage.  Whenever I had been offended I because a over-thinker and tented to think that it was my fault. But thanks to the BJEP program I have realized that my way of thing not always right. I have learned sometimes its better to ignore it, because by ignoring, our offended feelings could decrease. I have also learned that we should not be irritated by our parents’ care because they care for our betterment safety. The true meaning of friendship is trust, believe, compatibility, and respect. The importance of punctuality, respecting others words, and becoming a good listener.

     After this program, I am not the girl like I was before because now I know who I am.  I don’t have fear of communication with others anymore. And this change was possible only through this beautiful program. I would like to thank the professor, organizers and participants for giving me such precious moment and motivate me for changing my fear to strength.


バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(8)  ヴライク宥満(国際教養大学1年)Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(8) Yuma Vlaicu (1st-year, Akita International University)  





















バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(7)佐藤由佳子(お茶の水女子大学1年)Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(7) Yukako Sato (1st-year, Ochanomizu University)  



 今回のプログラムのテーマはDeep Culture。プログラムを始めた当初はDeep Cultureの意味もよく分からないまま始めてしまったのだが、バングラデッシュの参加者と社会問題や両国の文化的側面をディスカッションしつつ、自己の価値観や内面について考察を深めていくに連れ、少しずつDeep Cultureの意味を掴むことができたような気がする。










なぜ、貧困と障害に対しての受け取り方が日本とバングラデッシュでこんなにも異なるのか。そこの現状から見える、Deep Culture とか一体なんなのか。


 Deep Cultureを個人の視点から見る事ができたが、では、Deep Cultureが社会にどのような影響を与えているのか、Deep Culture から生まれる問題点とはなんなのか、どうしたらその問題点を改善する事ができるのか、社会への繋がりまで、バングラデッシュの参加者と今後もっと共有できたらな、と思う。


バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(6)  木村奏(上智大学理工学部3年)Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(5) Soh Kimura (3st-year, Sophia University)  


上智大学理工学部 機能創造理工学科 3年 木村奏

私がAAEEが主催するプログラムに参加するのは今回が2回目である。1回目に参加したプログラムは去年の夏に開催されたVJEP、日本とベトナムの間での交流プログラムであった。コロナウイルスの拡大によりオンラインで開催された余儀なくされたVJEPは、ネット上での国際交流をしたことがなかった私にとって、未知の体験の連続だった。日本人同士でさえうまく意思疎通ができないオンライン上での会話を、違う母語を持つ人同士で行うのはやはり難しく毎日毎日が試行錯誤の連続であった。BJEPはその経験を踏まえた上での参加だったため、そこまで苦労せずにやりきることができるだろうと高をくくっていたが、実際はVJEPよりも遙かに難しいプログラムであったように今振り返りながら思う。前回と大きく違うのは、「Deep Culture」という比較的抽象的なアカデミックな要素の強いテーマであったこと、そして企画の段階からこのプログラム作りに関わらせてもらったということ。ここで改めてプログラムを企画の段階から振り返りながら、学んだことをまとめたい。






このようなことをプログラムを作成していた時点で経験していたため、バングラデシュの参加者の価値観や視点を理解するのはとても難しいだろうとの思いを抱いた状態でのプログラムに参加を迎えることとなった。プログラムの前には、相手国のSurface Culture(Deep Cultureに対する概念。いわゆる文化はこちらを指す)を学ぶためのプリプログラムが行われた。そこでも日本とバングラデシュとの文化的な差を感じさせられただけのこともあり、バングラデシュの参加者の価値観を理解するのは難しいだろうという思いはかなり強いものになっていた。しかし、実際にプログラムに参加し感じたのは、むしろ逆のことであった。確かに、バングラデシュ参加者と私の間には価値観の違い、考え方の違いが存在し、それは時には私を混乱させもしたが、それは日本人の参加者と私の間でも同様であった。同じ日本人であっても、やはり受け入れられないことは受け入れられないし、考えが衝突するときは衝突する。そこにバングラデシュや日本といったことは全くなかったのである。






バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(5)  小倉千和(国際基督教大学1年)Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(5) Chiyori Ogura (1st-year, International Christian University)  



 このプログラムの特筆すべき点として、テーマがDeep Cultureであったことが挙げられるだろう。SDGsをテーマにディスカッションやプレゼンテーションを行うような社会課題解決型の国際交流プログラムは、昨今頻繁に開催され、私も以前参加したことがあった。しかしこのプログラムはDeep Cultureというテーマに基づいて対話を行い、他者と比較し自己を内省するという活動が主であった。自己を知ることを目的としたプログラムは確かに国内でも行われているが、それらの多くは就職活動を見据えたものであり、国をまたいで行われることは非常に珍しいのではないか。個々の内面に焦点を当てたプログラムであったからこそ、私は異なる文化的背景・価値観をもつ他者とどのように関係を構築していくか、ということについて再考することができた。プログラムに参加する前は、バングラデシュの参加者を「バングラデシュ人」というように一括りにして捉えていた節があった。だがプログラムが進み、個人の生い立ちやアイデンティに関する一歩踏み込んだ質問をお互いにするにつれて、参加者は各々異なるバックグラウンドや価値観を持っていることが判明し、国籍や宗教に基づいて彼らを一括りにすることはできないのだと実感した。至極当然のことかもしれないが、自分の中の無意識の思い込みに初めて気づかされたのだった。このことが国の代表としてではなく一個人として相手国の学生を捉え、交友を深めることにつながった。またこれを達成するためには、言語や服装、習慣といったの表層的な文化の相違を理解することだけでは不十分である。異なる文化的背景を持つ他者を一個人として捉え相手と関係を構築するためには、目に見えない文化的差異を理解することが欠かせないと私は考える。それは対話を通じて明るみになる意見や価値観の相違について、一体何がこの相違を生み出すのか、またその発言や思考の背景にある前提は何であるかのかを考察することである。プログラムを通して、相手の話を注意深く聞き、そしてその人がどのような人であるかを忍耐強く観察することの重要性を強く実感した。




Reflection on the BJEP 2021 (Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project)(4) Alia Shamin (3rd-year, Bangladesh University of Professionals)     バングラデシュー日本国際交流プロジェクト(2021年8月開催)報告書(4)アリア シャミン(Bangladesh University of Professionals 3年)

 Bangladesh-Japan Exchange Project 2021 was an exceptional journey. 

This year’s program set a great example of how much an “exchange program” can impact a person’s life. Most of us have done exchange programs, then why do I say BJEP 2021 was exceptional?

What happens in a usual exchange program? People from different countries meet, exchange cultures, build friendships, learn from each other. And in this pandemic, people can’t even meet, which makes it more difficult to host a successful exchange program. I won’t lie, even I had doubts whether an online exchange program is going to work or not. But to my surprise, AAEE has always proved me wrong. And after engaging in 3 exchange programs back to back hosted by AAEE I can surely say that, yes it works! 

Yet I would say, this year’s BJEP was most exceptional compared to my other experiences. Because of the theme itself! “Deep Culture”

In usual exchange programs, the culture we exchange it’s mostly surface culture. Surface culture shows us how different and diversified are we, how people have different lifestyles, different beliefs, and so on. This is great I would say because exchange programs are meant to break the myopic view where people consider their own culture to be more right or superior? It’s to broaden our mind that we can co-exist having cultures that are very different.

But there’s a loophole. We always brush off just knowing the surface culture and knowing how “different” we are. But what we don’t try to understand is “why” are we different. Just knowing we are different makes us accept the diversity but to “understand” each other which is very important to build friendship, we need to look into the deep culture.

So this year, in BJEP the participants, as well as the organizers, tried to understand the deep culture, what lies beyond this cultural diversity?

Although deep culture is very subjective and tricky to address, the program was well organized. BJEP 2021 started off with a 3-day pre-program where the participants and the organizers had an ice breaker and discussed the surface culture which was essential instead of going straight into the deep culture. It was done to make the environment friendlier so that the participants and organizers interact without any hesitation and feel free to express themselves. In the main 7 day program, the participants dived deeper into understanding each other’s culture. 

What unsaid values do we follow in our society? How has our family and society had an influence in shaping our perception and standards? As an individual what is our own perspectives on these? How our experiences had influenced us to follow or reject certain values?

These were the questions we asked each other. And I realized, even being a part of the nation I never had the chance to really understand my own culture. These questions were thought-provoking. Because even with our daily life these questions are never asked, thus never answered. And through the conversations I had and the ones I listened to, Something struck me. I personally experienced something that I’ve never contemplated or thought about.


We are the same!

I realized that although our social structure, traditions, habits, even some beliefs are really different when we try to engage in deep conversation put our point of view, we have a lot of similarities. 

And even the differences we have, knowing the origin of it, knowing “why did he or she think like that? what’s their perspective?” helped me to understand them better. It made me feel more connected to the other culture.

Hence I would say, this year’s BJEP really opened up my mind, it made me think about my own culture, values, as well as understanding and respecting cultural and ideology differences more. 

Thus instead of getting bombarded with cultural shocks or overwhelmed by cultural differences, BJEP helped us to realize what’s underneath these differences. This is what I dare to say the world needs, to acknowledge diversity, to respect other’s views, and to understand and be more kind to each other. AAEE has done an excellent job creating a platform for the youth to get the opportunity to discuss such unaddressed topics and inspire them to build cross-cultural friendships, promote cultural co-existence, reduce conflicts, and hopefully in long run make this world a better place.