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Sixth-Annual Coming of Age Ceremony Held at LWC
By Travis Smith
Friday, January 31, marked the Sixth Annual Coming of Age Ceremony for international students studying abroad at LWC. Traditionally, the Coming of Age ceremony -- also known as Seijin no Hi -- is held throughout city halls in Japan on the second Monday in January. The ceremony, which dates to the 8th century, celebrates when a person in Japan reaches legal adulthood, which is the age of 20.
Three LWC students from Japan were recognized during the ceremony Friday at the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center. Classmates, faculty, staff and area residents gathered as Mayor of Columbia Pamela Hoots congratulated the three students and discussed major events that have occurred in their lifetime.
"This is a great event, not only for the college but also for the community as a whole," said Hoots. "By making the decision to study in the United States here at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, we hope to play an active part in helping these students fulfill their hopes and dreams. "
The three students being recognized then spoke, expressing their gratitude to those who honored them and also shared their feelings about studying at Lindsey Wilson College. After the ceremony, the students were surprised with video messages recorded by their families in Japan.
Sabine Eastham, Director of the International Student Program, helped plan and organize the event again this year. Eastham says that sharing rich experiences is one of the goals of LWC international program.
"The presence (of international students) broadens cultural awareness," Eastham said. "Exchange students are only here for one year, so we want to give everyone as many experiences as possible."
In addition to holding events such as the Coming of Age Day ceremony, Eastham said LWC's International Student Program also looks for ways to give back to Columbia-Adair County. The program holds several events during International Education Week that are open to the public, and LWC international students visit Adair County schools throughout the year.
During their time in Columbia-Adair County, LWC's international students are paired with area families, who introduce them to Southcentral Kentucky culture and "open their hearts and homes to welcome the students," Eastham said.
This story was posted on 2020-02-03 08:30:56
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