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Global Education

Japanese Club

By Justin Kieran
Published: November 2010

Over the years, the South community has certainly shown that multiculturalism is a growing and important facet of the school.
From the flags in the Student Center, to the foreign exchange students from all corners of the globe, South has made a tremendous effort to diversify.
Yet with all of this focus on learning about other cultures, many students have taken the time to connect to their own roots.
The South community strongly encourages students to pursue their interests, and the many clubs at the school represent the wide range of student pursuits.
The Japanese Language Club, a perfect example of this phenomenon, is a club directed particularly at Japanese students.
The club allows these students, as well as anyone who is interested, to experience Japanese culture, both spoken and written.
Despite having been created just months ago, the club has experienced an enormous amount of growth in the past year.
Ethel Downey, a school librarian and the club’s advisor, noticed this change.
“Last year, the club had only a few students on a regular basis– maybe four or five.  Now we have ten on average, she said. The enthusiasm for the organization is expanding, and fast.
The club has sparked some confused curiosity, however, as some wonder why a Japanese Language Club would form when the ASO (Asian Student Organization) already has such an apparent fan base.
Senior Jae Rhee, one of the club’s organizers, feels that Japanese Language Club offers a different experience, however.
“ASO tries to spread knowledge about all Asian cultures. Some people may want to focus on one, which is why this new club was created, Rhee said.
Indeed, ASO has always emphasized the variety and diversity of Asian cultures. They have raised money with everything from Boba Tea to Raman sales, all of which go towards funding the club’s annual Asian Night. 
“Asian Night is a perfect example of how the ASO works, Rhee said, “We try to give the South community a feel for all Asian traditions.
The Japanese Language Club, on the other hand, has not had much time to connect very much with the rest of the community in its early stages, even with members’ efforts to decorate the school’s hallways.
Both communities have been able to flourish in their own ways, however.
ASO continues to teach us about different cultures, and the Japanese Language Club targets Japanese students specifically.But despite their differences, both clubs plan to work in harmony; the Japanese Language Club is always welcome to be a part of Asian Night.
“I welcome the new club, and I look forward to its advancement, Rhee said.

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