In JAPAN, there is NO TEACHER'S DAY...
Once I asked my Japanese colleague, Teacher Yamamoto:
- When do you celebrate Teachers' Day in Japan, and how do you observe it?
Surprised by my question, he replied:
- We don't have any Teachers' Day celebration. Hearing his response, I didn't know whether to believe him or not. I wondered, 'Why does a country with a developed economy, science, and technology show such a lack of respect for teachers and their work?'
One day after work, Yamamoto invited me to his home. Since he lived far from the school, we took the subway. The subway cars were crowded during the evening rush hour. I managed to squeeze in and stood, holding onto the handrails tightly. Suddenly, an elderly man sitting next to me offered his seat. Not understanding such respectful behavior from the older man, I couldn't accept his offer, but he insisted, and I had to sit.
After leaving the subway, I asked Yamamoto to explain the elder's action. Yamamoto smiled and pointed to my teacher's badge, saying:
- This old man saw your teacher's badge and offered his seat as a sign of respect for your status.
Since it was my first time visiting Teacher Yamamoto, I felt uncomfortable going empty-handed, so I decided to buy a gift. I shared my thoughts with Yamamoto, and he supported me, saying that there's a store for teachers ahead where you can buy items at discounted prices.
Once again, I couldn't contain my emotions:
- Are these discounts only for teachers? - I asked.
Confirming my words, Yamamoto said:
- In Japan, a teacher is the most respected profession, the most respected person. Japanese entrepreneurs are delighted when teachers visit their stores; they consider it an honor.
During my time in Japan, I repeatedly saw how Japanese people deeply respect teachers. There are separate seats for them on the subway, dedicated stores, and teachers don't wait in line for tickets on any form of transportation.
Why do Japanese teachers need a separate holiday when every day of their lives is like a celebration?
As I retell this story, I wholeheartedly wish for our society to grow to such a level of reverence for teachers, and for teachers to be worthy of such a high title!"
Let pride beat in all of our hearts! Teacher, I bow to your name.
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