「違い」ではなく 9月30日(金)

Good morning. Today, we have our friends from Indonesia, so I will speak in English first and then translate into Japanese.
As you know, we have about ten Indonesian exchange students visit our school every year.
One of our students made an amazing comment after this exchange program last year. Now, I’d like to share his comment with you all.

Spending time with the students from Indonesia, I noticed many differences between the Indonesian culture and ours. It was really interesting for me to learn about those differences. In communicating with people from different countries, it is often emphasized that there are many differences from culture to culture and we should appreciate those differences. I understood that through my own experience. Interestingly, I found there were more similarities than differences taking part in this program.
For example, one of the exchange students stayed at my house for two days. He and I were the same age, and we had a lot in common. We both liked YouTube. We watched many videos and laughed together like real brothers. We enjoyed playing video games and talking about our favorite actors and actresses. Though he and I were from different countries, I felt that we were interested in the same things and our thoughts were very similar. I realized how important it is to pay attention to not only our differences but also our similarities. We should remember that people around the world have many things in common, even though we live in different countries. I think we should appreciate and respect that.
Recently, we often hear sad news about terrorism or murders caused by racism. People who attack other people don’t like others having different ideas, beliefs, or religions. However, I think we should look for things they have in common, and stop focusing so much on their differences. Even if people have various backgrounds, what they think or believe seems to be essentially the same. I’m sure that we will be able to understand each other better by finding things they all have in common instead of fighting over our differences.

I was really impressed by his comment. I strongly agree with his idea.
Now, you, Indonesian students and Japanese students, have been together for two days. What did you learn so far from each other?
You are lucky to have a chance to communicate and exchange ideas with people of about the same age from different countries. Today is the last day of this exchange program. Please make use of this chance and learn as many things as you can and think about them carefully. Enjoy this program!