It’s been a little over a week since I returned from Hiroshima, Japan for the INU Student Seminar on Global Citizenship and Peace and I still cannot believe how great an experience it was! I am so grateful to the both Flinders University and Hiroshima University for the opportunity that I was given to go and I will never forget such an amazing country!
Whilst in Hiroshima we were able to attend several cultural events, including the Peace Memorial Ceremony, which is held every year on the 6th of August to commemorate the dropping of the atomic bomb. Many people, including young school children use this event as a way to promote world peace and ensure that such a tragedy never happens again. Seeing their commitment to peace and aspirations for a better world made me feel very hopeful and encouraged about the future of our planet.
As well as attending the Memorial Ceremony, we were lucky enough to visit the beautiful island of Miyajima, the museum dedicated to the atomic bomb and the lantern ceremony that is held every year on the river. As you stand on the riverside, placing your lantern onto the river you can look up and can see the ‘A-bomb Dome,’ one of the buildings that is still left standing after the detonation of the atomic bomb. It was a stark reminder not only of the horrific tragedy that took place here only seventy years ago but also of the resilience of the people of Japan and also the world to rebuild after such a horrible event.
One of the best parts of the seminar was taking part in debate on a United Nations Resolution regarding Gender, Peace and Security. All the students were divided into nine country groups and had to argue an amendment to the resolution depending on what their country’s aims and aspirations would be. The students from the master’s program also joined in, which made the experience even more entertaining!
Out of all of the incredible events that I was able to attend and the information that I learnt, by far the best part of the seminar was meeting so many people from so many different parts of the globe. I was able to make friends with so many fantastic people and I am sure that I will never forget my experience in Hiroshima. I hope one day to return to Japan to explore even more of what is a beautiful and amazing country!