This summer, our student 5C To Sum Yuet (Joy), participated in the Asian and Oceanian High School Students’ Forum 2023, which was organised by the Wakayama Prefectural Government, Japan. Through the opportunities to convey students’ ideas to the others, the forum aimed to foster leaders that can play active roles in the international society. 

The forum offered an opportunity for high school students from Asian and Oceanian countries/areas to see things from a global perspective by exchanging opinions with Japanese high school students on global issues, such as natural hazards, education, food problem, diversity issues and environmental issues. Joy made presentations on the Hong Kong Food waste problem, in which she spread a message to the foreign students: When tackling the 21st century global food waste challenges, we should all “Think globally and act locally”. The smallest action that aids the reduction of personal food waste does make a difference in changing the planet!

Moreover, the forum  provided high school students from Asian and Oceanian countries/areas with opportunities to experience the local Japanese culture and history such as visiting the World Heritage site Koyasan, a mountain-top Buddhism sacred site. They also visited a local high school and Wakayama Castle. We are grateful to the Japanese government for inviting True Light again!

Sharing by Joy:

The most memorable part of the journey is the Japanese tea ceremony. It is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea typically in a traditional tea room with tatami floor. Beyond just serving and receiving tea, one of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life. The tea ceremony is an essential part of Japanese culture and history, and learning it can provide me with an authentic experience of Japanese customs and aesthetics. I can learn about the philosophy, art and customs of Japan through this traditional practice. The tea ceremony is also a highly ritualistic and calming practice that can help promote my  inner calm and peace. By learning and practising the tea ceremony, I can learn to slow down, be present in the moment and appreciate the beauty of simplicity.

From the forum, I have learned that the food issue is a global problem. For example, not only do less developed countries suffer from food problems like famine, but more developed countries also suffer from food waste problems. International cooperation is particularly important in tackling global food problems. Besides, we could not simply depend on the work of the government, but also the contributions of both the government and citizens. The sense of global citizenship is essential as the food problem is influencing the whole world. As a high school student, our duty is to spread the idea of saving food to the other generations so as to influence more people and save the earth’s resources.