Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Monday, 12 November 2007
Past and ongoing conflicts affect Asian people’s identity
Keiko Hara grew up in Hiroshima. Her dad saw the world collapse around him on the 6th of August 1945, when the Americans launched their atomic bomb on Japan. “The atrocity of the past is still present here. The historical memory is not easily erased. I belong to the first generation born after World War II, so I have to learn to live with it. The nuclear attack did not only kill thousands of people, it also deeply affected the identity of all Japanese people”, she said.
Keiko thinks that Japanese people need to define themselves anew as well as their position in Asia. They need to analyze their heavy past of war criminal exactions while at the same time their being victims of the Hiroshima catastrophe.
Many Asians experienced, or are still experiencing, conflicts. The recent repressions in Myanmar, violence in Pakistan and denuclearization of North Korea make the newspaper headlines all around the world. Millions of people are deeply affected by these situations. “Many Asians share a similar kind of suffering. In this sense, I am also an Asian because I feel close to them, Keiko said.

Asian people as a ‘whole’
“When I was studying in France, many French were calling me “Chinese”. It made me aware of my Asian face. It seems like Europeans cannot differentiate between different Asian people, and it enhanced my feeling of being an Asian before being a Japanese”, Keiko said.
However, diversity between the countries makes it hard to define a single Asian identity. “The distinctive sense of spirituality among Asians is more important than trying to put everyone in the same group. I do believe we share some common elements: Asians live in the same part of the world, we breathe the same air, and we have similar values. Although these elements are mainly a representation of Asia outside its borders, it can contribute to the feeling of unity among Asian people ”.

Japan’s actions refocused within Asia
International cooperation programs are well-developed in Japan. There are many governmentally-run organizations which young Japanese take part in. A popular association, J.I.C.A (Japan International Cooperation Agency), funded in 1974, attracts many young volunteers. “When I was young, the concept of cooperation was ‘international’. People could hardly think of uniting Asia. Now, I see more and more organizations wanting to have a role in Asia. By working together, they help to create stronger cultural bonds between the Japanese and other Asians”, Keiko said.
Japan is the most developed economy in Asia, and can help other Asian countries. However, Keiko is skeptical: “Too often, I feel Japan exploits poorer Asian countries. A barrier to cooperation is Japan’s ‘sense of superiority’. I think Japanese people must overcome this feeling. They must think critically about the important role young Japanese could play in the construction of a more united Asia”.

How can we meet and understand each other in Asia?
Keiko believes that deeper communication is the key to bringing Asians closer. Religions are one of the main components of Asian cultures. “Being a Catholic sister while Catholiscism is not a major religion in Asia, I encounter challenges when it comes to the expression of my point of view. But I believe that through open dialogue Asians will find some answers to their identity questions and even reach a certain level of truth.”
“I hope I will see in the future an attempt for reconciliation between Asian people and I want to contribute to this development through my theological commitment. I think the reunion of Asian people will benefit the Japanese who are in search of identity. It would also ease their minds and help them feel at peace with themselves”.


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Monday, 12 November 2007 17:52



瑪蓮安東妮雅‧阿瓦提Mariantonia Avati,《九個女人》Forget You Not,聯影/聯贏發行。
第二次大戰後,人們急於在灰燼中重建斷牆殘碉、修復破碎家庭。 待產中的妮娜來到醫院,與同樣身懷六甲的八個女人相遇。她們在產房分享自己親密的故事:生兒子生到怕的第一個女人、巧遇舊情人的第二個女人、目睹父兄喪命而無法生育的第三個女人…




「我 在羅馬醫院曾經有一個讓我難忘的經驗:孕婦們因長時間待在同一房間,很自然地開始分享彼此的故事:如何與丈夫相遇、大談自己對於未來的期待、細數遭受各式 各樣的人生波折等等,時而哀傷時而歡笑,一個個故事再真實不過,卻充滿了戲劇性。這部電影的主題就在那時被觸動了。」


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