Six youngsters recently represented Hawai‘i and the United States at the 2015 Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention in Fukuoka, Japan. The students were selected from 40 applicants from schools on O‘ahu. A total of 232 children representing 45 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region were invited to participate this year. The delegation was led by JASH volunteer Kevin Matsuda.
In preparation for the convention, the students participated in a series of workshops on Japanese culture, etiquette, foods and language. The U.S. delegation performed two Hawaiian chants and one hula at the convention, which was held July 9-22. Members of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, which facilitates the program, were given a sneak peek at the delegates’ performance at a June 12 reception at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The goal of the convention, which was held for the first time in 1989 to celebrate Fukuoka City’s 100th anniversary, is to foster “global citizens” who are able to think of the world beyond national boundaries and global understanding through homestays and cultural exchange.