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Cultural Importance

October 25, 2022 By Crystal Chainani

Junior integrated marketing communication major and international student, Rin Takahashi. (Photo from Rink Takahashi’s Instagram Page)

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”.

Rin Takahashi, an international student, and junior integrated marketing communication major, says it is important to stay in touch with her cultural roots.

Takahashi was born in Tokyo, Japan but moved to Singapore when she was just three years old. She spent over ten years living there before returning back to Japan where she completed high school. Takahashi had never experienced American culture until she started school at Pepperdine in person in Fall of 2021 her sophomore year.

Though, having lived the longest in Singapore, Takahashi says it is impeccable for her to stay close to her Japanese roots.

“I think Japan is a very unique country. It has very traditional values and cultures, but at the same time modern,” Takahashi said. “It is very different from other countries that I have lived in and I value the traditional lifestyle it continues to have.”

Cultural heritage can provide a sense of unity and belonging as well and allow one to have better knowledge of the previous generation and history of where they came from.

To help stay close to her roots, Takahashi joined the Japanese Student Union (JSU) Club during her sophomore year. She later became a board member the following semester where she manages the club's marketing and PR side.

“I feel like this position is perfect,” Takahashi said. Not only because I am studying integrated marketing communications, but because it allows me to continue practicing traditions in my culture which I think is very important.”

Though Takahashi feels like it is important for one to continue learning where they came from, she thinks it is necessary to learn about other cultures as well.

“Living in Singapore, I got to experience a completely different culture, which was a very beautiful thing,” said Takahashi. “Living in America now I am now able to experience a completely different culture, which is an adjustment but it is truly fascinating.”

Takahashi says that she thinks more students should be involved in the international clubs Pepperdine has, even if it is not their culture.

“If more people of other culture joined JSU I think it would be very informative to them,” Takahashi said. “I think when people think about Japan they often think about like big neon signs and anime culture. Those things are very present in Tokyo but it is much more than that. When you go to the rural side, there are groups of people who still live traditional lifestyles who still have those traditional but a bit more conservative mindset, which I think is very interesting.”

Takahashi hopes that not only more people will consider joining JSU to learn about Japan's rich culture, but will also consider being involved in other international clubs Pepperdine has to offer.

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