Inter-Cultural Communication

I am half-Japanese, half-Korean, but as my father was born in Japan and raised in Japa, he cannot speak Korean and he was not able to experience Korean culture, therefore, I cannot speak Korean and I know hardly anything about Korean culture.

But in Grade 9, for the AISA Tennis Tournament, I had flown to Korea for the tournament. Before I got to Korea, I had no plans on what to do and I was only thinking about playing tennis and I did not have Korean culture in my mind. However, as we were in homestays, I was able to gain the perfect opportunity to interact with Korean culture. My homestay was a very kind person and he had shown me around the city and had taught we about Korean culture and had taught me some Korean.

To begin with, for dinner, he had brought me to a famous Korean restaurant. The restaurant was famous for their chicken and I was very excited to eat Korean food. However, the chicken that was served was extremely spicy and I had struggled to finish it as I had never eaten something as spicy in Japan. Although I knew that in Korean culture, spicy food is a specialty, I did not think that the food would be so spicy that I could not finish it.

After dinner, as seen above, we had gone to the public sauna. Unlike, the hot springs in Japan, the saunas in Korea were a mixture of the big baths, hot springs, and saunas. This was my first time in a sauna, as Japan only lets older people into saunas. Also unlike Japan, we borrow clothes and wear it, where in Japan, we would go into saunas naked. As seen above, we had been in the sauna with both boys and girls together for a very long time and I was able to talk to different people and learn more about their culture.

This trip was great, as I was able to learn a lot about Korean culture and as I am half-Korean, it is important that I know something about Korean culture as it is part of my identity. I was able to understand that culture is part of our identity, and instead of sticking to just one culture, it is important to experience/interact with different cultures to become more global. As I am a student from an International School, it is important that I experience as many cultures as I can.

A year after this trip, my homestay had come to Japan and this time, I was his homestay and I had shown him around Yokohama and I was able to introduce to him some Japanese culture to him. As I knew the importance of interacting with different cultures(from the trip the year before), I had tried my best to let him interact with Japanese culture, as he had done the same for me.


Above is a picture of me and my homestay.

Global Understanding

As a CAS activity, I am currently in MUN(Model United Nations). From the various conferences I have attended, I would like to talk about my first KMUN conference in Grade 11, which was held at KIST.

I had joined the MUN, halfway through Grade 10 and as I was still new and did not have too much experience, I did not participate in any conferences that year. However, as I take IB Geography as one of my courses and we talk about issues that are currently going around in the world. As I talk to my classmates about these current issues, I started to wonder if I could in someway use this knowledge in a conference. This is when I had decided to go to the KMUN.

At the conference I attended, I was representing Pakistan, which was a country, I did now know much about. In addition to this, the topic for my community was about the possession of nuclear weapons and the Mars mission.

For KMUN, we work with a partner and make a position paper together and we present the position papers in different assemblies. As my partner had prior knowledge on both Pakistan and the possession of nuclear weapons, he had given me his opinions on the possession of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. Later, in order to be able to perform well at the conference, I had to do some research on my own.

On the day of the conference, there were several people representing different countries and there were delegates who were representing big countries that possess nuclear weapons such as the United States. As the conference progressed, I was able to listen to several perspectives on the possession of nuclear weapons and the Mars mission of over 20 countries. As I had only done research on Pakistan before, the conference, I had a very biased perspective/opinion, as I had believed that Pakistans position is the correct one. However, as I had listened to other peoples position papers, I had started to see the overview of the topic and I was able to gain a global understanding of the issue that several countries are going through right now.

I believe that this first conference had taught me a lot. The biggest outcome of this conference was the fact that I was able to gain a bigger/wider perspective of the world. I had started to understand that it is always important to take into account several views and not be biased in order to gain a global understanding of what is currently going on in the world.

In IB Geography, this has helped me as we write essays on global issues and in my essay I have started to take in several views to show my global understanding and it is working as my scores on these essays have improved, as one of the criteria for the essays was to take into account several perspectives. The KMUN conference has benefited me in several ways and I would still like to participate in other conferences.

Above is a picture which was taken at KIST after all of the conferences ended. KMUN was a great experience for me and I wish to keep on participating in conferences to show my global understanding.

Community Engagement

I’ve spent 3 years in RIJ, Refugees International Japan, where we work with the RIJ headquarters and we help refugees all over the world by raising funds and donating survival goods and money to refugees who are in serious conditions. As a citizen of a country that does not really accept refugees, I believe that it is important that as a school, we care and support the refugees that are struggling. As a community, we had sold Christmas cards which we got from the RIJ headquarters. During several events such as the Food Fair and Parent Teacher Conference and we were able to raise a great amount of money, which was sent to the RIJ Headquarters.

At RIJ, we have watched several videos on refugees and we had been notified with the seriousness this global issue of refugees. After we had watched the videos, I was able to use this knowledge gained from RIJ in MUN, as one of the topics of discussion was about refugees. I was able to engage with issues of global significance, as I was able to mention several facts gained from RIJ and was able to show my engagement to the audience.

For our first event of my senior year, we sold tapioca tea during break. This event needed a lot of prior preparation and as the leader, I had to be in charge and lead the other members. In the end, we were successfully able to sell all of the tapioca and raise a lot of money to donate to the RIJ headquarters, where the money will be used to help refugees all over the world.

As the leader, I have planned not only to do fundraising but also do some research on refugees all over the world. Currently, we have split into groups and we are researching about refugees in different countries and regions. by doing this, we will be able to recognize the ethical and global issue of refugees, which is a serious issue.

As this is my last year in RIJ, I plan to host more events in order for me and RIJ, and the school as a community can be engaged in the issue of refugees.

Wilderness Engagement: Hong Kong

For my grade 11 expeditions(field studies), a small group of 11th graders, including myself, went to Hong Kong to learn how to sail. The first day was learning how the sailing boat works and learning the basics and essentials to sailing. Once, our group learned how to sail a boat, we were on our way to another island.

The journey had been a very tough challenge, as the weather was not on our side. When we were sailing, for most of the time, it had been raining and it was freezing. In addition to that, there was no wind, we were not able to sail. Therefore, we ended up rowing a sailing boat in the rain. Although this experience was not the best, I was able to experience what it feels like to be in the wilderness.

This journey has taught me a lot. Living in the wilderness is not an easy thing and everything does not go according to plan. Therefore, we need to be able to adapt and this will help us in our daily lives. In our daily lives, not everything goes according to plan. In school, several things happen and things don’t go according to plan, therefore, but after this Hong Kong trip, I was able to adapt to complicated situations and work things out.

Being able to adapt was not the only skill I learned in this trip. Through our trip, I was able to talk to people I usually don’t talk to and I was able to be more collaborative. Below is a picture of us at the end of the trip:

As I have stated before, there was no wind and it was raining, so we had to work together to be able to land on the island we were aiming for. Although there were some conflicts and several grumpy people on the journey when rowing, we were able to encourage each other and we believe that our work paid off as we were able to actually sail for the last bit of the trip and successfully make it to the island.

In conclusion, I can say that I was able to engage in the wilderness and gain several skills. I was able to gain/improve, skills such as being able to adapt and collaborative skills, which help in my daily life and I believe that my experience in Hong Kong will help me thrive as a global citizen.

Freedom of Expression

Many people use “Freedom of Expression” as protection when they insult others. However, using this as a shield can create conflicts such as the event which occurred in Paris.

Charlie Hebdo, the satirical cartoon, published many images of what is banned in Islam, the Prophet Muhammad. Later an attack occurred in Paris aiming for the publishers. Many say that the incident was not protected by the “Freedom of Expression”. Looking at the definition of hate speech, I believe that the depiction of Muhammad is considered as a hate speech as it “attacks a group on the basis of attributes of religion”. Since the cartoon crossed the gray line and attacked a religion it is not protected by the “Freedom of Expression”.

Many say that the incident was protected by the amendment, however, it is hard to tell if they were protected, as here is no clear line dividing the “Freedom of Expression” and “Hate Speech”. According to the Guardian, Pope Francis states, “every religion has its dignity.” As Pope states, we can not insult other religions saying that we are protected by the “Freedom of Expression”. Some say that we should get rid of this amendment, but I believe that the solution to this problem is to draw a line in which if an individual’s speech attacks a race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender, they shall be punished.

The Poison of Verona

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(Friar looking at a bottle of poison(this is the bottle he gave to Juliet)

Today, we are with the “Poison of Verona”, the famous Friar Lawrence. Now Friar Lawrence is the BIG man who was behind all the “love” between Romeo and Juliet. He married Romeo and Juliet and made all the plans. Although his plan didn’t work, Friar Lawrence accepted our interview and now all the secrets will be revealed. Today, he will tell us the “truth” behind Romeo and Juliet’s love. His poison was perfect for the plan, but his letter wasn’t as good as his poison.


Q: To start us off, how do you feel about the relationship between the Capulets and the Montagues?

A; Well, they are not in a good relationship. This has started since the beginning of time and I would love it if they stopped, but they just won’t. The Prince is doing his best to stop this nuisance, but as the priest, I really can’t do anything because I don’t have that authority. I was just praying for the two families to be friends, and it finally happened.

Q: Now, do you regret your decision of marrying Romeo and Juliet?

A: Not really. I’m actually quite happy about marrying the two because now, the Capulets and the Montagues are good friends. Capulet and Montague both have a statue of Romeo and Juliet, so I guess this lead to a solution for the Capulets and the Montagues. The Prince is happy with Verona and Verona is so peaceful now.


Q: As a priest, what do you think is the most important part of your job?

A: Now I’m a priest and I feel that getting people married is the best part and I think it is the most important part of my job. That’s why I married the two. Now, I believe that I should have told Capulet and Montague, but I did it in secret. I regret that decision.


Q: As a priest, you shouldn’t be doing things in secret, but how do you feel about this?

A: Yes, I have failed as a priest, but I believe that this marriage had to be kept as a secret because if one of the families found out, they would be out of their minds and this would have worsened their relationship.


Q: What would you do if you saw Romeo or Juliet sleeping with another man or woman?

A: Well, that would never happen because they were overly into each other. But if that did happen, I would be shocked. Not only that, I would just leave them alone.


Q: So, your “plan” didn’t work. How do you feel about that?

A: If Friar John had hurried up and got the letter to Romeo, he the plan would have been perfect. I have fired Friar John and hired Friar Matthew. Friar Matthew does a good job and now I regret having Friar John. I should have hired.


Q: People say that Romeo and Juliet died because of you. How do you feel about that?

A: it is not my fault. As I said before, to be honest, it is Friar John’s fault. I have no responsibility. Both Romeo and Juliet suicided, so I’m not in this. People say that I’m the one responsible because I’m the only living person who knew about this. People can’t blame me for that.


Q: Do you have anything else to tell us?

A: I am thinking of retiring in a few month, so I need someone that can inherit my job. I’m serious. After I retire, I’ll visit Romeo and Juliet’s grave so that I can remember them and have a little bit if apology to them.


Works Cited


“∗∗∗∗∗.” |Reading Log| Romeo and Juliet: Friar Lawrence. N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 May 2016.

Tourism Highlights

Top 3 Arrivals

  1. France
  2. United States
  3. Spain

Top 3 Receipts

  1. United States
  2. Spain
  3. China

Difference between Arrivals and Receipts(Q1 &Q2). When countries have cheaper products, the Receipt rate will go up. If there are a lot of places to go to the Arrival rate will go higher.

In most countries in Africa and in Africa in general, the international arrival and receipt rate increases every year. More people go to Africa now more often.

In 1950, there were little tourists, but by 2010, the rate of tourism boosted up.

Transportation has been improved and enhanced, and more people know where to go due to the internet. Planes got safer since then, which makes the people feel safe and more people feel like going for a tour in another country.

Drama Journal #7

This week’s Key Idea was special. This week, Neil Farrelly came to help make us improve our Drama skills. But Neil came to YIS so that he can teach us what “Physical Drama” is. Physical Drama is performing a play by using physical elements such as touching. Neil came to YIS so that he can help us create an original piece about “What Is Up”. We had two periods to work on this “What Is Up” play and we had to perform it to the 8th graders. He was also there to help us become better at expressing ourselves during a play.

I have a lot to say for this week’s Approach. We did a lot of warm-up activities with Neil. First, Neil taught us how to “breath”. We were just breathing for about 10 minutes. It was good practice. He told us that by taking a deep breath, you can calm down, speak louder, and express yourself better during a performance. After that, Neil told us to say “yes” to our peers when they have an idea, whether it is good or bad. By doing this you don’t kill the creativity of your friends. But our good did a horrible job on that. For 80% of the time, we said “no”. After, we did does warm-ups, we got started with our performance.

The Outcome of this week was drama skills in general. Thanks to Neil, I was able to improve on many of my acting skills. Neil taught me how to breath. This might be a basic skill in drama, but Neil helped me with breathing a lot. I also learned that I have to always say “yes” to my peers ideas. Next time when we have an activity like this, I will say “yes” to no matter how bad the idea. I hope Neil comes to visit us again next year. Performing our skit was very fun because we had a great idea and it worked out well.

My Connection for this topic is on speaking loudly. If you don’t speak loudly during a play, the audience won’t hear you and they won’t get anything from you. People need to hear your voice in the theater. Taking a deep breath consistently is also important. Another connection I can make with theater is physical acting. When I am improvising or acting, I should do more something physical. When you don’t take a breath, it will be hard for you to calm down and speak.

My Room is Relaxing Area

The collage that I made shows who I am and what my room is like. My room is actually not blue, it is white. Also I only have a desk, bed and a tennis racket in my room. On the desk I have my computer, phone, and some writing utensils. I put a blue cloth on my collage because I wanted to show that my room is calm and quiet. The blue color can make people calm down. On my collage, I had an awful amount of electronics. This is because when I am in my room, I am either finishing up my homework or texting people. Also I sleep in my room(that’s why I have a the boy sleeping). I also put a tennis racket in my collage because before I get ready for tennis practice, I always go to my room and change, get my racket, and go. I also put the Häagen-Dazs picture because I sometimes eat in my room. I spend most of my time in the living room with my family, so I had a hard time making this collage. But overall, it was fun looking through magazines and finding what fits my collage. If I could, I would totally do this assignment again.




Introduction to Social History

Question 1: My perspective of Columbus changed a quite a lot. I didn’t know a lot about Columbus that much, so I thought that he was the first european who discovered America, but it seems like that is not the truth.

Question 2: My perspective of the Native Americans did not change at all. Before I read the article/watched the video, I believed that Native Americans are the ones that were in America first. I still believe that the Native Americans are nice and people and they didn’t do anything bad.

Question 3: When reading “History”, we should read many articles about that specific event and see which opinion we want to follow. By reading many articles of an event, you can know which sentences/phrases are bias.

Question 4: My theme for Columbus is darkness/shadow. By this, I mean that Columbus was in the shadows telling lies and all those bad things, but everyone else thinks that he is a good person and everyone follows him. I would focus on all the bad things he did.

Question 5: Our reading’s theme was truth. As I said before, Columbus is kind of like the bad guy. He is the one that killed many Native Americans. But in his own country, he is like a hero, which means that he has two faces. The people in his own country don’t no the truth because he doesn’t tell them the truth.