The visiting students delegation from a Japanese university had much to share with people of ‘God’s Own country’. They were visiting Kerala as part of their course of Global Citizenship, which was organized by OISCA, a body promoting environmental awareness. The seminar was organized by the Edappal Chapter of the environmental organization at Kuttippuram beside the Bharatappuzha.

The Far East delegation was impressed with the closely knit families of Kerala and their love shown towards the members of their families. They also praised the preservation of culture by the natives, especially their costumes, and warned against the invasion of foreign cultures and imitating their lifestyles.

However, they expressed regret over Keralites’ disrespect of time and their failure to hold events as planned.

Another point they noted was that Keralites had very poor concern for clean environment. In Japan, when they would eat sweets, and find no dustbins around, they would rather keep the paper in their pockets until they find a bin.

Keralites, on the other hand, consider everywhere a dustbin. They have bad disposal habits.

Every speaker lamented the environmental pollution of Kerala’s greenery and the drying up of rivers due to digging up of sand for selfish purposes.

After the conclusion of the seminar, the delegation planted few trees and was gifted with packets of pepper from Kerala. A copy of Jaihoon’s novel, ‘The Cool Breeze From Hind’ was also presented to the group.

Finally, they left for other parts of Kerala and attending a meeting with government officials.

August 23 2004