Accepting Failure

“Growing up in Vietnam, I was so afraid of not getting into a good school. There was pressure from my family, teachers and friends. So when I didn’t pass the entrance exam of a university where I wanted to study, I cried for a whole day. Looking back now, it wasn’t the end of the world. And this is what I want to impart to the young generation in Japan—a culture of accepting failure. I’m participating in a youth movement to help people not be afraid to try new things and to not fear failure. If you fail, you just need to stand up again. I was in class one day and the professor asked how many students would want to start their own business. No one raised their hand except for me. Next, he asked how many girls in the classroom wanted to get married or how many think marriage is the goal, and the majority of girls raised their hands. These are smart people in my class. They pay attention to the news and are aware of what’s going on in society. But maybe because of peer pressure, they’re forced to go with the conventional way, such as getting a good job at a big company or marrying a rich man. So I want to be part of a youth movement to show them that there are other options and possibilities in life. Most importantly, there’s a community with the same mindset that will support them.”

“As a Vietnamese in Japan, I can transform myself to look 100% like Japanese, using makeup. Statistics will tell you that Vietnamese people are the second biggest group of international students in Japan (after Chinese). So you might actually encounter a lot of Vietnamese on the streets but not notice them because we blend in so well. That’s one advantage we have. We share some similarities with the culture, the food, physical appearance, and even the language. On the flip side, we mix so well that sometimes we feel like we’re taken for granted. We’re expected to behave like locals and speak the language more. And when other nationalities with more prominently foreign features are in the room, we suddenly fade into the background.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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