管理者 のすべての投稿

国際交流員(CIR)マシューのブログ(H29.3月発行 りんぐりんぐ58号掲載)

聖パトリックの祝日 3月17日 

On March 17th many people throughout the world will be celebrating a
holiday called St. Patrick’s Day. Although western holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day have gained growing popularity in Japan, St. Patrick’s Day remains relatively unknown.

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. The story goes that hundreds of years ago Saint Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and stolen to Ireland. After escaping and becoming a bishop, he returned to Ireland to convert the people to Catholicism, and whose memory is celebrated March 17th as an important holiday.

This leaves the question of how an Irish Saint’s festival became a holiday celebrated around the world regardless of one’s religion. Around the second half of the 1800s, Ireland was struck with a huge famine that killed hundreds of thousands and caused hundreds of thousands of Irish to flee the country to places like the USA, Canada, Australia, etc. When Irish immigrants arrived, they continued to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. As time progressed the celebrations become larger and more well-known, so that soon the holiday became more a celebration of Irish culture and heritage and less about religion.

 さて、アメリカ人はどういう風にセイントパトリックス・デーを祝うでしょう? 多くの人は当日に緑の服を着ます。緑とシャムロックという緑のクローバーは古くからアイルランドと聖パトリックに深い関わりを持ちます。子ども達は(数人の大人も)緑色の服を着て学校へ行きます。それを着忘れてしまう友人を罰として遊びでつねります。ニューヨーク、シカゴ、サバナのような都市では大きいパレードが開催されて、ある都市では川または噴水を緑色に染めるところもあります。
So how do people in the USA celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Most people wear green clothing. Green and the green shamrock are symbols strongly associated with Ireland and St Patrick. Children (and some adults) often dress in green and go to school, and those friends who forget to wear green on March 17th are playfully pinched as a penalty. Cities, such as NYC, Chicago, and Savannah host large parades, and some cities even dye their fountains or entire rivers green. Finally, one other common practice is to eat traditional Irish immigrant food and drink a Guinness, the most popular beer from Ireland, or to consume beer that has been dyed green in honor of the celebration. This March 17th try celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by wearing a bit of green and maybe even enjoying a Guinness after work!


国際交流員(CIR)マシューのブログ(H28.12月発行 りんぐりんぐ57号掲載)



国際交流員(CIR)マシューのブログ(H28.12月発行 りんぐりんぐ57号掲載)

As a CIR I have different types of work in City Hall, but one of my favorite activities is visiting local child care centers. When I visit these centers my main goal is not to teach English, but to enliven interest in learning English, in learning about people from different countries, and hopefully in learning in general.
 My usual schedule for a visit to a child care center in the city begins with a brief meeting with the administrators of the facility. After that, I enter a room filled with anywhere from fifteen to forty young children of an assortment of ages, where I proceed to give a short self-introduction using a few pictures.

 Next follows one of the more interesting parts of the day, the Q&A time. Initially the kids are a bit shy and ask me only one or two basic questions, but as soon as there is a little momentum, the children start asking the most imaginative questions.

 When the Q&A time is over, I begin a simple lesson that I have prepared, after which I teach the children a game or two to help solidify the words and phrases I have taught while also having fun.
 Taking care and working with children is demanding work that uses a lot of energy, but I think having the chance to spend a little time with smiling and energetic children is a very enriching experience. 

国際交流員(CIR)マシューのブログ(H28.8月発行 りんぐりんぐ56号掲載)


In early May a ceremony was held in the Okuki port for the unveiling of two new Torii for the Itsukushima Shrine.

When the terrible tsunami struck eastern Japan in 2011, along with the immeasurable damage that it wreaked on the east seaboard of Japan, it also destroy two of the three gates that had adorned the approach to the Itsukushima Shrine in the port of Okuki. The debris was swept out to sea and the gates considered lost. But miraculously enough the torii gate pieces would be discovered months later, all the way on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

One day, two large pieces of drift wood washed ashore on the beaches of Oregon State. As it was soon discovered, these were the two lintels, called kasagi, from the two torii gates that had been destroyed in the tsunami, and it was able to be determined which gates they belonged to. The Oregon State Government shipped back to Hachinohe, to be displayed and reconfirmed as the correct Kasagi pieces, and then sent down to Tokyo to be restored, and finally returned to their original shrine to take their rightful place atop two new torii gate for the Itsukushima Shrine.

I was fortunate enough help unload the torii gates’ lintels when they were brought to Hachinohe the first time before their restoration, and fortunate enough to witness the ceremony held to officiate their reinstatement. Truly what was more amazing than the brand new gates, the beauty of the ocean in the foreground, and even the flocks of Hachinohe’s own black tailed gulls, who also joined in the ceremony to provide a wonderful chorus in the background, was the sense of community, friendship, and pride. International relations can be complicated on both a national level and personal level for citizens of any country. But when two communities can join together and work towards a common goal with such unity, I am filled with hope for the future of our two nations, and gratitude that these two communities could complete such an admirable task together.