SAG 1月23日活動 災害避難所における多言語対応
Today is the day of 23rd of January which is also called Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, therefore Q San leader started today’s activity by introducing the history of it. Today’s topic is about what we should do in case of emergency happening? Actually, as is known to everyone, Japanese people could always show the order and calmness when confronting with serious disasters, which is partly connected with the well-trained experience since a little age. Now that they have already accumulated rich experience on how to deal with troubles when being confronted with sudden disaster, do they have to be told again at YMCA institution? Obviously, it has some other reasons. At the beginning, Q San leader asked the kids a question: whom could you probably see if you were in the shelter? “It’s the handicapped”, answered by kids actively, “also the elder people”, supplemented by another kid. “And probably you could also see the pets” … they seemed to be the perfect answers, however.
Q San leader just Smile slightly but not satisfied with their answers. After several minutes, he supplied “you still missed an important type of people!” At that time, kids looked at each other with a surprised and puzzled expression shown on their faces, afterwards, they were told they forgot the foreigner. “Just suppose one day when you visit a foreign country and confront with a sudden disaster, what could you do if you have no idea of that country’s language?” he tried to give a hint to the kids, “well alright, maybe you are too young to understand it. Anyway, let’s do some experiments!” Suggested by Q San leader. Kids were separated into two groups which were led by K leader and Maruko leader separately and were asked to complete several questions of some tests. Firstly, I, as the only foreigner at here, was asked to read a piece of news which is about emergency broadcast in Chinese. After hearing my voice, kids showed a more puzzled expression. It was obvious that they could hardly select the right answer. Next, they were presented with a series of pictures which were written in foreign languages. Seldom could they understand what was written on. “Alright, now I thought you may experience the trouble of not knowing a country’s language”, said by Q San. In the same way, a foreigner living in Japan may have the same feeling especially when they grasp nothing about Japanese language!
As a foreigner, when encountering difficulties in a foreign country, it is very fortunate to get the understanding and help of others. I consider it is a extremely precious characteristic of Japanese people. At that moment, I also wish that I cloud also pass this love to more people in need, not just foreigners living in a foreign country.