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The “Living Together in a Global Community” Study Group at the Kiin Festival


Café Timor

Café Timor

At the Kiin Festival this year, which is the fifth year since the “Living Together in a Global Community” Study Group was established, volunteers who had been to East Timor on a study tour operated a café where visitors could drink East Timorese coffee. In the past, we have held study groups on East Timor, given study tour reports, screened documentaries, and organized inter-university events, but Café Timor was the first time we have reached out with coffee as an East Timorese specialty.

We hoped that our café booth would let customers enjoy a cup of coffee while also piquing their interest in East Timor as the bean source. Other ideas we used to interest customers in East Timor included decorating the café interior with brightly colored Tais, the traditional cloth of East Timor, and having music by East Timorese musicians playing in the background. Thanks perhaps to these efforts, the café did very well, serving more than twice as much coffee as we had expected over the two days of the festival. The open, airy space we were given on the window side of Cafeteria Marche also helped to attract a wide range of customers.

Café Timor volunteers

While apparently a first for most customers, East Timorese coffee was received positively with comments such as “delicious” and “refreshing and easy to drink.” We were thrilled that some people even ordered a second cup, or bought drip coffee packs or coffee beans. Many people also showed an interest in the panels that we made as well as photographs from the study tour, giving us the opportunity to talk about fair trade and East Timor. Our idea of using the familiar medium of coffee to communicate a variety of information about East Timor worked particularly well, and we hope that Café Timor customers will continue to associate delicious coffee with East Timor.

The warm support we received from the GCC and everyone was hugely appreciated, and we would also like to thank all our Café Timor customers.

(The volunteer team, Café Timor)

Visitor photographing a poster

Studio Fukuiro Poster Exhibition

Studio Fukuiro organized a poster exhibition based on the talk given by Maki Nitto, head of Girls Life Labo, at the inter-university event Learning about International Volunteers*, which was held on February 12–13, 2015. We chose the name Studio Fukuiro after the earrings made from Aizu Momen cotton which Girls Life Labo sells to support Fukushima’s reconstruction.

Men also looked at the posters

The five Studio Fukuiro members each created a poster based on a theme from Ms. Nitto’s speech—disaster and gender, the Japanese mindset, information and disaster, disaster and young women, and communicating “kawaii” appeal—that they wanted more people to know about. The posters were displayed in Cafeteria Marche, which was used as a rest stop for Kiin Festival visitors, with not only women but also many men taking a closer look. We hope that the exhibition made more people think about disaster-affected areas where scars still remain, as well as the major earthquakes predicted to occur in the near future.

(Saki Takashima, 2nd year student,
Global Studies for Inter-Cultural Cooperation, Faculty of Letters and Education)

※For details see: Inter-university event: Learning About International Volunteers

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