The library is a great source for knowledge, from books on how to bake decadent cakes to planting your own garden of greenery.
Dr. Hiroaki Kawamura, a University of Findlay professor and promoter of cultural understanding and learning in the community, sees the library as a benefit for people in the pursuit of cultural knowledge, a resource that hasn’t yet been fully utilized.
Originally from Japan, Kawamura has been spreading cultural learning and understanding at the University and in the surrounding community for years, striving to provide opportunities for students and community members to become involved. In association with the Findlay-Hancock County Library, the University and Kawamura are providing people with opportunities to broaden their horizons and learn more about Japanese culture.
The spine of cultural learning
Dr. Kawamura believes that bridging the gap between Japanese people in the Findlay community and native Findlay residents is the key to promoting culture in people’s lives.
“Resources at the library include films and books, but there are many ways to get active in culture,” said Kawamura, referencing community opportunities. “There is Japanese art in the Mazza Museum and Funday Sundays at the Mazza, as well as Genki Kids, which is an afterschool program at Liberty Benton.”
Gathering more information
However, just providing access to resources isn’t enough. People need to combine these resources about different cultures with face-to-face interaction, with both the University and the Library helping to bridge the gap.
“Nothing, not books, films, the internet or food, is more impactful than actual experiences with people,” said Kawamura. “So, we usually involve people, like having hands-on activities with Japanese people before or after Japanese films.”
Writing another chapter
Intercultural knowledge and skills are becoming an integral part of our increasingly global society, and Kawamura points out that these skills will last a lifetime.
“Knowledge of other cultures is the first step,” Kawamura said about the importance of understanding and exploring different cultures in today’s society. “The goal is to develop skills to interact with people from other cultures.”
To learn more about Cultural Connections
at the University, or to get involved in
culture-building experiences contact Dr. Kawamura at
419-434-4619 or firstname.lastname@example.org