Eating Lunch in School

school lunch

My school lunch experience was much, much different from young children in Japan. It looked a lot like this picture. We all left our classrooms and gathered in the cafeteria to eat. We found our friends to sit with and after eating we all headed outside to play for the after lunch recess. You did the same, right?

The experience in Japan is quite different. It is well known that the Japanese people think in terms of group rather than independent and handle mistakes in terms of shame rather than guilt. In this post I won't get into the differences between guilt and shame cultures because I want to highlight what I believe is a good example school lunchof not only the way in which Japanese people think and work as a group but also a small example of how the culture molds and shapes the value of group into the next generation.

At lunch time a few designated students are sent to the kitchen area where school staff has been preparing all the food. The kids take large carts and bring them back to their class room. In the class room the rest of the students have been busily moving desks and preparing to receive the food carts. Once they arrive the food is distributed and everyone sits down to eat. 

After they finish eating they all work together to clean the room and get it ready for their afternoon of study.

The video below will give you a glimpse into the life and times of young Japanese children. I don't think this will ever happen in the American school system. But in Japan it is a nationwide reality. The children learn from a very young age to work in harmony with their community. They learn that their actions affect those around them and in the case of the school room, each one cleans the messes that others have made. They soon learn to be careful not to be the one who creates trouble for others.

I hope you not only enjoy this video but also reflect on how these values reflect our Kingdom values of community, of loving one another and for caring for one another.