The 14th MIFA International Exchange Festival
– “Festival! Travel around the world in Meguro!”
Let’s make friends and get to know each other.
You can enjoy stage performances, Japanese traditional culture, world cuisine and more!
Date and time: Jan. 20 (Sun) 10:00-16:00
Place: Meguro Persimmon Hall & Meguro Kumin Campus Park
Anyone interested in volunteering for this year’s festival, please do not hesitate to contact MIFA!
Interview with Mr. Hiroki Abe, Leader of MIFA festival
Q. When and how did MIFA Festival start?
A. We started the festival in 2006 as MIFA’s original event to provide more opportunity for all the embassies in Meguro City to participate in international exchange. By then, they had individually joined some of Meguro City’s events.
Q. How do you run the festival?
A. MIFA has only five staff members, so it is impossible to hold the festival without the support from volunteers. In the beginning, the scale of the event was so small that only about 20 volunteers were enough. However, by 2017, the festival was supported by 227 volunteers, including about 50 non-Japanese residents. Recently, there are more high school students joining us and it is really encouraging to see so many people helping our festival repeatedly every year.
Q. What is the goal that MIFA would like to achieve through this festival?
A. We would like to help people to build relationships with foreigners living around them. The festival is also a place where epople can enjoy the out-of-the-ordinary: for example, meeting someone with a job they are unlikely to encounter on a daily basis. We would like everyone to experience different cultures and learn something new, it could be anything, let it language or food.
Interview with Mr. Jules Kankoe Aduayom, Togolese Embassy
Q. How did you start to take part in MIFA International Exchange festival?
A. We moved to Meguro City in Octover 2014, and we have taken part in MIFA International Exchange Festival ever since 2016.
Q. What impressed you the most about the festival?
A. The most striking fact is that a large-scale event as this MIFA festival is organized by volunteers. Another noteworthy thing is that I get to know new people there. Some students who get to know about Togo at the festival, for example, choose Togo as a subject for their research, as a part of their summer vacation homework and bother to come over to the Togolese embassy for their research. Other people who get to know Togo at the fesitval, get interested about Togo and take a trip there. An embassy tends to be isolated from ordinary people. As a member of the Togolese embassy, I would like to make the embassy open to everybody. I believe this contributes to international friendship between Togo and Japan.
Q. What is your goal to achieve through the festival?
A. Togo is a small country, comparatively less known than other countries. It is neither rich economically nor in terms of mineral resources. Neverthless, Togo is often referred to as “Smile of Africa”, meaning the people are friendly and never cease to smile. We are proud of this Togolese characteristic, and I would like people living in Japan, so remote from Togo, to get to know Togo and feel closer to Togo over ethnical and cultural differences.
January 5th, 2019
Edited by: Meguro International Friendship Association(MIFA)