My name is Aditya, I have been living in Japan for the better part of 20 years, I have always identified very closely with India and Japan because I have friends and family in both the countries and I went to school in both countries.
What is IYN?
It stands for Indian Youth Network, to put it simply it is a platform for young people who identify with India and are currently in Japan to gather and share ideas about what means to be Indian and how our activities can help define that.
What inspired to create IYN?
Having grown up in Japan for most of my life, I have seen many cultural events celebrating diversity and have been inspired by young people taking charge to drive social progress. There was a festival organized last year by student organizations from many countries in Southeast Asia, and they wanted to invite an Indian youth organization as well. When they asked me if such an organization existed in Japan, it dawned on me that there, in fact, should be a place for people like ourselves to band together and join our voices and strengths for a greater cause. Since then, we have had multiple meetings and gradually are beginning to see a community take shape that feels like a home away from home.
What do you expect from this community you have created?
I want this to be a network of people who can become a family, and be there for each other to make our lives in Japan the best it can be. Hearing the opinions of people who have demonstrated interest online and through meetings has already shown me that there is an infinite potential for ideas to find voice and support in our meetings, and knowing that you are not alone can be a very powerful motivator for living in Japan. Through Waseda and other universities in Japan, we are seeing that Indian students are finding Japan to be a more appealing place to study, and so to have an organization available that can help acclimatize people moving here while representing the interests of young people who consider Japan a home would be a great goal to work for.