KAI Gambalog!, the blog site where our multi-national students write about Tokyo’s current situation and their student life in their mother languages was on Study Travel Magazine Online's "Your World" page as an interview in "View from the desk of" section! It'll be there for a week from today (June 1, 2011).
The interview is as follows.
“After the Japan earthquake on March 11, our students went through the most difficult time, not only because of what was actually happening here in Japan but quite severely because of the big gap between the reality and the news reported by foreign media.
Students have been going through a great deal of struggle, frustration, and stress trying to explain to their parents, family and friends back home how the news they hear may not reflect the truth but could sometimes be an exaggeration or even a manipulation of it.
Just after the earthquake, one of our students was contacted by the press from her country for an interview. She told them how everything was alright in Tokyo. The press told her story quite correctly in the newspaper article, but with a big headline that read, “Gas Leak in Tokyo”. Yes, she did tell them we could smell gas in one of the small streets right after the earthquake, but that wasn’t at all the point of her story. They had picked this one tiny detail and made it into a headline.
You can imagine how deeply shocked and hurt she was to see this. While the foreign media released rather shocking news on Japan, Tokyo has always been in a peaceful state. Being pressured by the flood of information, many students gave up studying with us and went back home or never got to come to Tokyo. Witnessing many such sad cases we felt a strong need to do something about it. We thought it’d be best if the students themselves told their thoughts, experiences, and everyday life here in Tokyo in their mother tongue to the people back home. We liked the idea of blogging because it is easy for the students to update and for readers, it is easy to access. It also allows the students and readers to communicate freely by posting comments.
This is how we started this project. So far it’s been three successful weeks of blogging. It is our hope that through this blog, students’ voices will reach their family and friends, and to those who are interested in coming to Tokyo to study Japanese, or simply to those who love Japan!”
The project called “Gambalog” is a new word created from the Japanese word “Gambaro”, meaning “Let's give our best” and “blog”.
See here for more details; www.kaij.jp/gambalog