Japanese students’ thoughtful gesture

|    Azlan Othman    |

THE Japanese exchange students, who held an unprompted clean-up of litter at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Campus, expressed their surprise at going viral on social media.

In an interview with the Bulletin, Azuma Riku, 21, said, “There are also many Bruneians cleaning the environment voluntarily. However, we feel guilty for getting the media attention instead. It’s natural for people to pick up the litter that they see.

He added, “On the morning before we left Brunei, we carried out a clean-up of the UBD Campus. We wanted to express our utmost gratitude to UBD and Brunei Darussalam for the great memories and experiences.

“Our action is common in Japan, and there is a Japanese proverb, ‘Tatsu tori, ato wo nigosazu’ (Cast no dust into the well that gives you water), which also means ‘To keep things clean means to treat them with gratitude and respect’.”

Komori Yuka, 20, said, “I am surprised. I didn’t expect to get so much attention from the public and the media.”

The Japanese exchange students in a group photo. – AZLAN OTHMAN

Yoshikawa Kousuke, 21, said, “It’s a routine for Tenri University students to do cleaning around their campus on weekend mornings.

“As Tenri University students, we were trained since young to do cleaning in the mornings as our part of Tenri’s ‘Hinokishin’ practice, which means ‘daily contribution to express our gratitude to society’ through sincere and simple acts of cleaning around the campus or anywhere in the world.”

Tenri is a city located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

A former Japanese participant of the exchange programme at UBD meanwhile shared her fond memories of being in Brunei, “I still remember the culture and traditions, such as wedding ceremonies. It was something new to me then, and now I miss Brunei so much.”