An exchange meeting with the MRSM students from Malaysia and the Young Muslims from SYM was held.
Date: December 13th (Friday) 5:30-6:30
Place: Nagoya Mosque 4th floor prayer room
Participants: 18 MRSM students and 7 Young Muslims

After all the members introduced themselves, they were divided into two groups to have a discussion.
The MRSM students in both groups had an image of Japanese are well-mannered, polite and dutiful. The students seemed to be interested in how people have their life as a Muslim in Japan. It was honorable to see SYM’s young Muslims responding the questions politely in English.

MRSM students were particularly interested in the following conversations:
MRSM: Are there any converts to Islam?
SYM: Though my father was a Muslim, he was not strict about Islam at all, and there was a Buddhist altar in my house, I thought I was a Buddhist. But now I am a Muslim.
MRSM: What pushed you to become a Muslim?
SYM: When I was a high school student, I was invited by my Muslim friend to join a BBQ party, and there I joined the prayer with other young Muslims. By meeting my new friends, I awakened to my identity as a Muslim, and from that day I became aware of myself as a Muslim.
MRSM: Did you have any opposition from your family?
SYM: My mother who is Japanese disagreed with me becoming a Muslim, saying “We are living in Japan, so do what the Japanese do.” This held me for half a year explaining to her, and now my mother has stopped to oppose on my life decision.

The following are comments from MRSM students and young Muslims from SYM.
・Very interesting talk within our Muslim brothers and sisters. We talked how life is as a Muslim in Japan and Malaysia with the challenges faced in the country of the rising sun. There were lots of new things I have learned at our first meeting with Japanese Muslim at Nagoya mosque. This is one of the best events I ever had in Japan truly. (MRSM Boy)
・ The discussion was very fun and light. We got to know the life of muslims in Japan and the hardships they faced. But to manage to shape a smile even though facing hardships is very admirable. I hope that the muslims around nagoya will stay the way they are able to face any hardships together. (MRSM Boy)
・ We had a great time discussing various topics since the students asked a lot of interesting questions. One hour is not enough at all! Listening to the experiences and the ideas of the same generation students was enjoyable and precious. (SYM boy)
・ Although we have had exchange meetings with non-muslim Japanese students, this time we had a very different and an new exchange meeting because it was a Muslim person who could not speak Japanese. The activeness of Malaysian students enabled us to enjoy by talking about deep topics. I would like to participate again if there is such an chance. (SYM boy)
・ I have got excited when I learnt that Japanese anime was popular even in Malaysia, and I noticed the difference between two cultures. I believe everyone was enjoying this time. It was a valuable opportunity to interact with Malaysian high school students. (SYM boy)
-Not only did we explained about Muslims living in Japan, but I also learned a lot and made new friends with each other, which made me happy. (SYM girl)

After the exchange meeting, everyone moved to a halal restaurant near the mosque and enjoyed a meal.

* SYM is an acronym for Space for Young Muslims, and is a gathering of Nagoya mosques where young Muslims from junior high school and above interact. Click here for more information on Young Muslim activities.