Over the past few months, there has been an increase in terrorist threats on home soil in the UK. This has really brought home the distance we now live, as we see our home country suffer this way.
It has been a real privilege to watch the strength of the UK during these challenging times, where people have come together and declared love and not hate. Hate will not win, and I think the UK can be proud of the strength shown during these sad times.
I wanted to share my experience of living in Manchester with my students, after all, I am here in Japan to spread knowledge of my home and culture. Traditionally, Japan is a safe country with few acts of terrorism in their history. Consequently, the perception of the UK is that it is a dangerous place to live with lots of terrorists living there. I wanted to show my students that this is not true.
So I delivered a lesson on the spirit of Manchester and shared stories of the community, kindness, and strength of this great city. In the lesson my students made cards to send back to colleagues in the UK, to show that they now know of Manchester’s greatness. It has to be one of my proudest teacher moments, as they created beautiful cards with kind heartfelt messages. They even worked outside of class on a peace crane mobile. It was pretty special and left me more than a little teary eyed.
So, UK, know that all over the world people are watching and talking, not about how the UK should be feared and is a dangerous place, but about the strength and kindness shown during difficult times. Keep those communities growing.