– The Japanese Culture Enthusiast
“Knowing yourself can mean a lot of different things. It means sticking to who you are and not trying to be anyone you are, not for the sake of others . Knowing yourself and being true to yourself can make others care for you more and help others around you.”
Japanese culture enthusiast and Grade 9 student Grace has been at ISKL since 2020. During the pandemic, her interest in anime and manga quickly became a burgeoning love for Japanese culture.
Here is Grace’s story.
Do tell us more about yourself.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States. That is my home: my parents’ parents, their siblings, my cousins, everyone. When I was two and a half, my family moved to Beijing, China. After two and a half years, we moved back to our home in Kansas City.
When I was eight years old, my dad got another work assignment in Houston, Texas, where we were homeschooled for three years before spending one year in public school. We then had the assignment to come here to Kuala Lumpur. I was devastated at the time, but I could not be more thankful now. I joined ISKL in 7th grade, which would’ve been my first year in Malaysia.
Can you tell us more about your interest in Anime and Manga?
During Covid, one of my most significant interests was Anime. It started with one, but soon enough, I got fascinated by the media and culture behind it. For two and a half years, my love for Anime transferred into a love of Japanese Culture in general. I am taking Japanese lessons and plan to spend my future in Japan. Manga was another form of that media that grabbed my attention, and I would spend days and nights reading multi-genre graphic novels.
Can you tell us more about your other hobbies and interests?
I have a considerable interest in music. Throughout the pandemic, music was one of the things that I found a huge interest in as it could enhance my mood at any time. Many songs with different meanings could help me through a specific time, and music is one of the things I am incredibly grateful for. I love many different genres, from Indie Pop to K-Pop to Alternative.
Most memorable moment at ISKL?
Malaysia Week in 8th grade. I got to be on the same trip as most of my friend group. We made so many memories, and I realized the amazing ISKL community I was in.
Any plans for after you graduate from ISKL – what would you like to do?
I’m still deciding about my career, but my dream is to study in Japan and see where that takes me.
Who or what inspires you or has influenced you?
A group that I listen to called Stray Kids has influenced me in songwriting and production. They produce and write all of their music and create some of the most heartfelt and influential songs I have listened to. They make comforting songs for their fans and talk about ‘taboo’ topics like anxiety, depression, and heartbreak.
What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world.” mean to you?
Knowing yourself can mean a lot of different things. It means sticking to who you are and not trying to be anyone you are, not for the sake of others (unless it’s disrespectful, of course). Knowing yourself and being true to yourself can make others care for you more. It also helps the others around you. Say you weren’t yourself, but you were still caring for the others around you – it gets draining, which is why to have a good environment, someone needs to love themself (without being selfish) first and then help the others around them.
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always has an anecdote to tell, loves to share some insights into their passions and interests, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.