Before big breaks, ie. winter and summer break, Yokohama International School organizes assemblies, but since I am in the senior year, we are allowed to give a 10-minute parade that represents our grade. Some of the options were: 70’s theme, Matsuri Festival, Casino, etc… Since most of our grade comes from a Japanese background, the Matsuri Festival option was chosen. However, none of the students who come from a different background could relate to that, thus there was some frustration. I was part of that frustration. Therefore I stepped up to be the leader of the ‘Tourists’ group. From this position, I was able to influence others and initiate change for how the parade would continue.
Before I stepped up, the parade would be solely focused on the people with Japanese backgrounds and the foreigners would be labeled as tourists and would just stand on the outside and take pictures of the parade. After I stepped up, we came to a conclusion that the tourists would be the narrator, and we would explain what the Matsuri festival was and what is meant from OUR perspective, this was we were more included. In addition, the entire grade will end the parade with a typical dance at that festival, including others.