The city of Tokyo is now announcing “The Internationalization!!”for the Olympic Games 2020. Actually how many Japanese have internationalized? And, have you ever thought about how many foreigners are living in Tokyo?
If you are living in Koto-ward, you will see many foreign residents especially Chinese. In fact, if you look at the results of the census of 2010, Shinjuku-ward,Koto-ward,Toshima-ward, these wards are the places that most foreigners live in the Tokyo District. In addition, Koto has an overwhelming large number of Chinese residents.Also Indians as well because of the Indian international school in Koto.
In April, we recruited Koto parenting executive committee members.Some foreign moms also participated. Therefore, the executive (committee) members opened the study session, which invited foreign moms who live in Koto as guest speakers in July.
In August, we conducted a survey of opinions at 5 child care support centers in Koto( also known as MIZUBE) about parenting ,to the foreign families who are currently raising children .
At a study session, we welcomed two Chinese working moms. Both ladies who are proficient in Japanese shared their parenting experiences in Japan and even though they are often confused by some everyday situations ,they were impressive.
For example, One mom was told to bring a bag to put cups at the nursery school. She had no idea for what, what size or type of materials she should choose. (There are certain things that a typical Japanese would understand but are difficult to imagine for foreigners)
There are differences in culture of daily living such as how to put out garbage. In China, they have no habit of folding cardboard boxes before discarding, sorting out garbage by materials and dumping on certain days of the week.
In addition, when they experienced a nursery teacher consulting about child’s issues with the Japanese dad,her question was, “why did they consult him who barely show up to pick up the child rather than me who goes and meet the teacher every day?” She wondered if they would do that to Japanese moms.
We probably have doubts that foreigners would understand Japanese culture completely. In fact, at my kid’s nursery, there is an implicit rule that we share PTA duties.Some foreign moms might wish to avoid it perhaps hoping to avoid having a subtle communication with Japanese moms.On the other hand , about the questionnaire, we received 48 replies out of 100. As expected, mostly Chinese, then Indian. The nursery problems and language barrier were found from the results of this questionnaire.
Looking at the child’s age and circumstances, mostly small children that do not go to kindergarten or nursery school.
What we can see from the questionnaire is that they gave birth in Japan, are not able to enter the nursery, fewer opportunities to meet and communicate with Japanese people.
Nursery school problems:Not being able to proceed without clearing out nursery waiting lists or understanding if there are any other solutions. For further results of the survey, please look at the PDF documents.
Well, based on these, we thought of something what we can do as Mom rings, it would be parenting and cultural exchange for foreigners and Japanese. Mom rings has organized ” Autumn children festival” in Tiara Koto since 2012. So, we will approach this from parenting side to promote and enhance mutual understanding of foreign cultures. Tips about parenting in Japan for foreign parents and information dissemination about the foreign parents who live in Koto Ward.
“The parenting for foreign parents ” will be a main theme for the next “Autumn children festival 2017”!!
There are not enough occasions to get to know each other , have cultural exchanges, considering the number of foreign residents in this community as can be seen from the questionnaire. That’s why we will make actions and work on changing the current situation.
Thank you for your help and support.
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