Diversity Workshop

What comes to your mind when you hear about Diversity? I had the opportunity to participate in the Crossing Borders workshop on “Diversity” for Japanese youth, and I must say it was an enriching experience. As a member of the Crossing Borders team, this workshop allowed me to interact with people from Japan for the first time, and it was both exciting and eye-opening. Prior to this workshop, my knowledge of Japanese culture was primarily limited to what I had seen in movies, which had always fascinated me.  

 日本語訳(in Japanese):  

「ダイバーシティ」と聞いて何を思い浮かべますか?私は日本人の若者を対象とした”Diversity Workshop(多様性をテーマにしたワークショップ)”に参加する機会がありました。Crossing Bordersの一員として、このワークショップを通して初めて日本人と交流する機会が得られ、それは非常に楽しくまた目を見張るようなものでした。参加する前の私の日本に関する知識といえば主に映画の中で見たことに限定されますがそれはいつも私を魅了していました。 

One aspect of the workshop that I particularly enjoyed was the various activities that were designed to facilitate our interactions and encourage us to express our opinions on what diversity means to us. Among these activities, the one that stood out to me the most was the exercise where we formed a line in the room and positioned ourselves based on whether we agreed or disagreed with a given statement. This activity was promoting discussion and self-reflection. 

 日本語訳(in Japanese): 


What made this activity special was the freedom it gave us to adjust our positions as we heard different opinions from our fellow participants. It encouraged us to actively listen to one another and be open to changing our perspective when we resonated with someone else’s point of view. This dynamic approach created an environment where diversity of thought was not only acknowledged but celebrated. It reminded me that diversity is not just about our backgrounds or identities but also about the diversity of ideas and perspectives that everyone brings to the table 

日本語訳(in Japanese): 


Perspective from CB member from Japan  

I was in charge of translation into Japanese for the first time. I found some words, for instance, “intersectionality” and “inclusion” are difficult to translate directly because these concepts haven’t been widely used in Japan yet. This experience once again made me realized that Japan is pretty much behind in terms of diversity. I think that people in Japan know that Diversity is a “good thing” and have a partial understanding of it, but do not understand completely and do not put into practice enough. As the saying goes, “出る杭は打たれる(the nail that sticks out gets hammered down)”, there is a tendency to prefer to behave like others in order not to attract attention by behaving differently. I think this makes it difficult to promote diversity.  

The workshop provided a fantastic opportunity to think about ways to foster diversity in Japan. After enjoying various games, we had discussions like “Besides fun, what was the point of the activity?” and “How do you think it could relate to diversity?”. At that time, participants realized that these activities were intended to help them experience diversity to deepen their understanding of it.  

In the final activity, our team difined diversity as a “Rainbow”, because everyone has different “colors” but in the end, they come together to create something beautiful like a reainbow. I believe that respecting people’s differences and cooperate together with taking advantage of differences can make our society much better.  

 日本語訳(in Japanese): 

Crossing Borders 日本人メンバーより 




Overall, the Crossing Borders workshop on “Diversity” for Japanese youth was a fantastic experience that allowed me to broaden my horizons and gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms. I believe that workshops like these are instrumental in promoting understanding and inclusion. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it and to capture through my photography these beautiful interactions. 

日本語訳(in Japanese): 


Authored by Lustin Baisan  and Eimi Yamashita

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