Japanese School Lunches

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Japan is a culture filled with etiquette and customs and this is true no matter your age. In Japan… lunch is much more than a 15 minute free for all. There are lessons to learn here too! Many Japanese school children, like Jiyu, move aside their desks to dust and clean their classroom once a day. 16FALL2_L_B08_04

Going to school in Japan is not just about learning from books, it’s about learning how to become a member of society. Students are taught to take responsibility for themselves, beginning on day one of the first grade. Students are expected to maintain their classroom by dusting the floor, moving the furniture and even cleaning the hallways! Once kids get a bit older, they could even be responsible for cleaning the bathrooms. While it isn’t mandated, classroom cleanliness is a part of life for many students across Japan. While this may seem a bit much to some parents in the U.S., the idea behind the movement makes perfect sense. Many Japanese parents feel that if a child is personally required to take care of their surroundings, they will waste less and treat their environment with more respect. The act of group cleaning also creates a sense of purpose and community at a young age. What do you think about this practice? Would you want the schools in your community to practice this?

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