Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chiba Kun Ambassador, Again

"We would like to have you as one of the
 Chiba Kun Ambassadors again this year"

International Division of
Chiba Prefectural Office


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The appointment certificate presented to the Chiba Kun Ambassadors.

Oppps, I did it again lol!

And so, this is gonna be my second consecutive year to be one of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors (チーバくん大使). My journey with this interesting project started about a year ago, when I came across a pamphlet at the International Education Center of Chiba University. The requirements are basically quite simple - you gotta be a foreigner and ready to promote the uniqueness of Chiba Prefecture through various social media such as personal blogs and Facebook. You can take a look at a more detailed description about Chiba Kun Ambassador on its official site here.

The moment I saw that, I knew that it is something that fits my interest very well. I love taking photos, I love to crap in my blog, and I thought why not I give it a try. So, the first year ended with three tours to various spots around Chiba Prefecture. We were brought to experience various kinds of fantastic tourists spots, to try on delicious local delicacies, and also not forgetting, having the chance of being featured in Chiba TV early this year.

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Being interviewed at Chiba University by Mr Takahashi (right), the director from Chiba TV (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).

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A letter of appreciation from the International Division of Chiba Prefectural Office for being part of the project last year. 
We were given a Chiba Kun badge as a souvenir as well.

Our period of appointment for the first batch was scheduled to end this month, and a brand new batch of Chiba Kun Ambassador would be elected. Initially I wanted to apply to be Chiba Kun Ambassadors again this year. However I have since moved to Tokyo and technically no longer a Chiba Prefecture resident, which is supposed to be one of the requirements to apply to be a Chiba Kun Ambassador. 

However, guess what? They made a special exemption for my case, and sent me a personal request to be join the project again this year. Sounds so damn cool, isn't it?

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The new group of Chiba Kun Ambassadors this year, who posed together with Chiba Kun himself and Morita Kensaku (森田健作), 
the governor of Chiba Prefecture (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).

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Taking another group photo in front of the countdown board to Chiba Aqua Line Marathon this coming autumn (photo credit: Masataka Ishizaki).

This project, which enters its second year, started a couple of months earlier than the previous year. The appointment ceremony (任命式) was held early this week but unfortunately, I couldn't attend it due to work commitments.

This year, there are twenty Chiba Kun Ambassadors appointed from nine countries. Just like last year, I am the sole representative from Malaysia. Nevertheless, it provides me with a great chance to mingle with the rest of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors, who come from China, Taiwan, America, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Netherlands. This year, the group is much more diverse because we have an equal number of Ambassadors from each parts of the world, although half of them still come from China and Taiwan.

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Despite not making to the appointment ceremony, see what I got! Besides the appointment certificate, there were also several pamphlets, 
Chiba Kun Ambassadors badge and goods, including the tumbler which is a limited edition item.

I came across an interesting writing from Ivan Prakasa, a fellow Chiba Kun Ambassador this year from Indonesia, who had his friends wondering if he does not longer love his motherland after becoming Chiba Kun Ambassador which helps to promote the prefecture to the world. His reply went something like this:

""Menjadi duta pariwisata di negeri orang bukan berarti kita tidak mencintai negeri sendiri. Justru dengan menjadi baik di negeri orang kita secara tidak langsung akan mengenalkan negeri kita kepada orang lain."

Translation: "To be an ambassador in a foreign land does not mean we no longer love our motherland. That's because being a great role model, showing a good attitude while living in a foreign country indirectly will reflect a good image on our country".

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Gonna be the Chiba Kun Ambassador for the second year running, but the sheer enthusiasm just gets bigger.

For more than five years since I came to Japan in 2007, I am proud to say that besides the main purpose of coming here to study, I have involved myself with various kinds of local projects which had indirectly promote Malaysia to the Japanese community and the world. At the same time, I got to expend my network and knowing new people from different backgrounds and sometimes, I get to learn something new from these amazing people. I guess besides being an ambassador for Chiba Prefecture, I am doing the same thing as a duta kecil (small ambassador) for Malaysia at the same time.

I bet it is gonna be another interesting journey for us, the Chiba Kun Ambassadors this year. There will be four tours scheduled for this fiscal year, and the first one is gonna be this coming weekend to another few interesting spots in the eastern side of Chiba Prefecture. So, stay tuned for more updates soon!

3 comments:

DT said...

Congrats.... So when is this チーバくん大使 going to organise to bring malaysian to chiba for hols.... If yes... I wanna enrol... Hehehe!!! :P

DT said...

P/s: u may wanna edit ur "badge"

calvin said...

@ dt:
thanks! anytime! just let me know and i can help you guys to tour around chiba! i guess they will be more than happy to help and offer any assistance to people who plans to visit chiba (^.^;b

and also, thanks a lot for the correction. was slightly in a rush to finish up this entry >.<