Meet the Japanese Culture Club
“Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”
– Ryunosuke Satoro
Before entering the Education Program at UVic, I spent some time living in Japan and Korea as an English Teacher. Before that, during my first degree, I was a regular member of the UVic Japanese Culture Club (JCC).
I always felt welcome in JCC. Over the years in the club I had a lot of nice experiences learning about Japanese culture and meeting new friends, so I decided to drop by and interview Raffi Keays-Vegt, one of the organizers of JCC UVic and former president of JCC Camosun.
I hope that learning a little bit about one of the many clubs available at UVic will encourage you to join JCC or at least take a look at all of the clubs out there to find your own niche.
On the day that I joined the JCC meeting the sun was just beginning to set outside, and I had just gone inside the Cornett Building to the distinct sound of lively chatter. I walked into a bright room with students sitting in groups speaking in English and Japanese.
My friend Raffi asked for everyone’s attention and introduced me. It was in this busy environment that I interviewed Raffi, later joining in with the daily activities. Members often chat, play games, do language exchange, or participate in cultural activities together.
For my interview I asked five questions to which Raffi laconically replied:
1. How did you get involved with this club?
I talked to the leader of the club and asked to be the manager.
Raffi is also majoring in Linguistics and has experience managing the Camosun JCC.
2. What are the benefits of joining a language club such as this?
Same benefits as my old club at Camosun.
There were tons of benefits in the old club. People met to play games, chat in Japanese, learn Japanese, and make friends. Every semester there are special events which many people attend as well.
In addition to these events, the JCC also sometimes hosts other events such as dinners and other group events.
4. When and where is the club?
EDIT: The time and place of the club has changed since last year. The current time and place is Clearihue A Wing Room 203 Fridays from 4-5:30pm.
5. Do I need to know Japanese in order to participate?
You do not need any experience with Japanese at all to join. JCC is an excellent way to learn about Japanese culture, and a great spot for people from any background to make new friends.
Raffi may be a man of few words, but he and the others leaders are always looking for more people to come join in on the fun. I did, and the friends who I made turned out to be some of the best friends I made in university.