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November 29, 2012

Local Voices from Around the Globe: Respect is among the top things loved about Japan


Besides school events, I’ve been on a Rotary club trip to Awaji Island, which is a little island off of Kobe. We went to a National Art Museum, a traditional Japanese doll puppet show, went to a nice hotel that one of the Rotarians owns and a really nice Japanese restaurant. Before we entered the restaurant one of the Rotarians told me that this was going to be a very traditional meal. We were going for lunch, but were told dinner is usually the equivalent to 400 U.S. dollars, and lunches were equivalent to about 200 U.S. dollars. I was astounded to say the least. I was truly lucky and continue to be.

So I have contemplated the reason I love Japan so much. What is so different about Japan? Why do I love it so much more than the U.S.? When people asked me what surprised me the most I always replied how it was mostly one race and it surprised me but I figured out that, that wasn’t why I liked Japan. I have finally realized it’s the level of respect that everyone holds. Everyone is so very respectful. I didn’t realize before coming here how disrespectful a lot of people are. 

Here, if you run into someone, you apologize; you don’t just walk away. If there is an older person you get up and offer your seat to them, and if they don’t take it you don’t sit back down. Of course there are those people who won’t move, but for the most part they would. The respect that most people show is incredible. I wish everyone could experience this. I have truly fallen in LOVE with Japan and have started to think about what I could study that would bring me back. 

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