Saturday, April 29, 2006

Aiko, kushin

There were some debates about the definition of "Aikokushin(patriotism)" in Japanese textbooks a while ago.

Seems like it's hard to define it because of historical backgrounds, political issues and such that are involved~.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to let kids define their own "Aikokushin"??
It could also be interesting to hear the opinions of student people, but I wanna see what comes out of little kids' heads~!

There was this assembly of the whole school and teachers every week, when I was in the elementary school in NY. It's something like the morning assembly in Japanese schools, I guess?

A big American flag was on the gym stage and it started like this: we all stood up putting our right hand on our heart and recited this sentence, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Bla bla bla . . . " and then

('-' ). . .

Huh?? Mmm?? I can't remember what was done after that?!

I have this feeling that every time we sat for like half an hour and saw or heard this or that . . . Wonder what it was. Was it something like school's news or events? (' - ' )

Hmm. Or perhaps it's natural that I don't remember anything since I was a little kid. (-_-;)
What I remember very well, is that I was sitting on the blue gym mat thinking "This is dull, when will this be over~?" or "My legs are asleep~, Aww I need to go to the rest room"! (lol)

Nevertheless, I clearly remember that we recited that sentence together, putting our hand over our heart and looking up at the American flag lit up by the light.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and..."

Uh-oh, I don't remember the last half of it(lol)

The feeling implanted in childhood: it remains forever in your heart. Even if it may not remain, the memory lasts a lifetime!

When I was a child I had the habit of pledging allegiance to America('s flag) in a group, and I've never done that kind of thing to Japan. But that doesn't mean that I feel so much for America, or that, for example, I wouldn't go pro-American if Japan and America should go to war and conflict with each other . . . that said, I think I've considered myself as an American early.

Oops, I'm Japanese! Gotta learn more about Japan! - it wasn't until much, much later that I became aware of those sorts of things!

I watched the news and thought how I would define "Aikokushin," but it's pretty hard to get it straight.

I do wanna know kindergarteners' and elementary students' definitions!

(NOTE by Nuuk)
"Aikokushin" means "patriotism" as one word; if separated like "Aiko" and "kushin," "Aiko" can be a Japanese female name and "kushin" means "struggle."