“I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become” – Carl Jung
Back in my country, studying biotechnology, public health and working were not the only responsibilities I had. Becoming a public figure at the age of sixteen, as I became a singer/performing artist and an actress, allowed me to get involved in various fields of work. I became engaged in different capacities starting from volunteering at orphanages and hospices to being an ambassador for children’s and women’s rights with local and international organizations, such as the UNDP, United Nations and Good Neighbours – which is an international non-profit, non-religious, humanitarian development NGO in General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Leaving behind my long-built career, shutting down my newly launched business, and most importantly leaving my son for a certain period of time to pursue my studies in Japan was a step of faith. Yes, we are here to achieve our academic goals but, building both academic and personal aspects equally are important. I believe that we all need to live the life of leaving our comfort zone. Whenever we take good risks we are stretched and eventually advance on to the next level of understanding, competence and maturity. It is never easy but, it is the life of adventure and rewards. Life with its ups and downs is an amazing journey after all!
We never know what impact one may cause if a foreign student or a researcher becomes a temporary but a true citizen of Sendai.
Our first years in Japan usually are the time to learn, discover, and adapt to the new culture. Frankly speaking, Japanese people possess the qualities that we don’t see much in other nationalities. We are happy to be the chosen ones to receive the benefits of Tohoku University as well as the ones that the city of Sendai extends to us. That’s why, out of my thankful heart. I want to contribute back to the city – my city of Sendai!
Thus, as I live in Sendai during my academic years, I chose to view Sendai as my home in Japan and not just the place where I am obtaining my doctoral degree. Sendai is my home city that has become inseparable from my life during these years. In the 21st century a lot of people can experience “global citizenship”. Now, home for many people is not necessarily one geographical location and one neighborhood but, can be several places on earth with international community and friends that transcend geographical, ethnical, linguistic, cultural, political and religious differences.
Even though I lived most of my life with my family in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, we decided to live locally with a global perspective. My mom and dad spoke Russian to each other and English at home (besides Mongolian), especially to my younger brother to make him a global citizen from his childhood. So, English has become a part of our family culture since I was little. We had American, Swiss, Finnish, Russian, Korean and Japanese people as family friends. I went to Russian secondary school, and later Mongolian International University in UB (run by Koreans), and had exposure to Russian culture and language. Now since I am in Japan, I want to integrate the best Japanese culture and language into my daily life and me.
My allegiance and loyalty is not primarily to one country, nation but to the ideology of building bright future where people with pure hearts genuinely love each other and make the earth a better place. I am a Mongolian but, there also is some American, some Russian and some Japanese in me too – I am a GLOBAL CITIZEN!
Regardless where life may take me in the future, Sendai will always be the place in Japan I would call home with the familiar streets I walked, the places I went, the University I studied, and the friends I made! It is in my best interest that Japan as well as Mongolia, Sendai as well as Ulaanbaatar would prosper and become better places for its citizens and foreigners to live!
We spend tons of our time to master our pieces trying to build our future with academic skills. Just as we enter academic research, have we ever researched ourselves? Are we doing research for its outcomes only or are we searching our hearts to discover the better ME that may or may not achieve great academic heights but, still would choose to give more than receive? Do we have a BIG vision and mission beyond our own selves that may inspire and impact many for good? We need to pursue excellence in all the things we do but we should never forget that we are a man (human) in the first place!
As expressed by MPH Tselmuun Chinzorig. Tselmuun was born and brought up in Mongolia and is currently studying as a PhD candidate at the Department of International and Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tohoku University.
The featured image of the writer and her son was published in the magazine ‘OK’.