Any of us cannot live only by ourselves. People need somebody’s support to live. Being a member of community, people are able to have a feeling that they’re not alone. Therefore, people can be strong whenever they belong to some kind of community.
Remember the days of elementary school ages, many of us may have hung out with group of your friends. If you were not in the any group, you may have felt isolated from others. Same thing can be said in society. For example, immigrants in other countries tend to join in the community of their homeland people. If there is no community, people create some kind of community for their relief. As I mentioned, whenever people are in the community, they feel comfortable and they can be their selves, thus they can act as who they are. When I was in the US, I went to Japanese School in every Saturday. On weekdays, I went to local public school, so Japanese school was a place where I can be myself. For me, being a part of Japanese student community made me comfortable. Not only in other countries, but also in their homeland people tend to be a member of community in daily lives.
Moreover, I believe the type of community people belong to is related to people’s identity. What I mean that whenever people are in the community,people can recognize their identity. So community is a place where people feel comfortable and it also helps people to recognize their identity. For instance, if a person is in Otaku community, other people can recognize that person is Otaku, and also he or she itself can recognize he or she is Otaku. Therefore community has a role of identity recognition.
Some people may think they don’t want to belong to any community, and want to be alone. However, they are related or belong to some kind of community in various ways. “Not belonging to any kind of community” is an identity itself for that person. Whatever that means, being a member of some kind of community shows that person’s identity and that person can recognize themselves. Therefore, community in our society makes people comfortable and helps people’s recognize identity.
by Ayako Kofuji
Gracia Liu Farrer “The Chinese Social Dance Party in Tokyo Identity and Status in an Immigrant Leisure Subculture” University of Chicago, 2004
Thank you for the interesting blog post, Ayako!
I agree with what you have written above.
When I went to Sweden for study abroad for about a year, I felt really comfortable when I was in the Japanese community, or hung out with Japanese.
At the beginning, I tried not to get together with them because I did not want to speak in Japanese as possible, so I had few Japanese friends.
However, few months later, I met Japanese on the street by accident, and I got along well with her. She introduced me her Japanese friends to me. When I met them and talked to them, I laughed a lot and felt relief. We, as a Japanese, talked how we felt about Sweden, or how hard or how fun to live there. We had a lot of things in common, so we had a good conversation.
In a daily life, I belong to the small community, such as University students, my family, or my friends. However, I noticed that I was in a bigger community group in Sweden: that was as JAPANESE! When we were in Japan, we might not met. Even if we met, we did not be a friends because our personality or type were totally different. That’s why it was really interesting experience for me, and I agreed with your opinion.
However, being in the community is not good thing all the time. I am going to introduce the case in Sweden. Malmö,in Sweden, is the third largest city. There is a place called Rosengård in Malmö. It is said that a third of population is immigrants there, and especially, one-forth among them have Muslim background. It is difficult for immigrants to learn Swedish and they feel relief when they are in the community. As a result, they seldom talk to Swedish, and they talked in Arabic. However, preacher at Rosengård’s largest mosque insisted that
“some immigrant communities here are not as open as they should be to Swedish society.”
Thus, it make people relief to be in the community or talk in their mother tongue; however, as preacher pointed out, it is not always good, I guess.
The Local. “Rosengård: Integration in the eye of the storm” , (2009/3/27) Retrieved from http://www.thelocal.se/18506/20090327/ (last access date: 2012/01/11)