Message from Mr. Durgesh Darekar






Please give a short introduction  about yourself.

My name is Durgesh Darekar. My hometown is Pune, which is near to Mumbai in Maharashtra, India. Currently enrolled for International Undergraduate Programs in English (IUPE) offered by Kyushu University, I belong to the Systems Control laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Since childhood, I possess great interest in the field of Robotics and thus coming to Japan for higher studies was my goal. Being fascinated by the Japanese culture and the reception of a scholarship encouraged me to drop out after completing my first year in my home university and start freshly in Japan. Even though facing a hard and tough initial adjusting phase, Japan always supported me to overcome with all the hurdles the life here threw at me.
My future plans include to opt for higher education and also gain some work experience. I have an immense interest and also wish to experience the work culture in Japan. The level of discipline, cleanliness and punctuality that Japan offers has always been a great topic of interest for me. Another intention for me to come to Japan was to see and study the working environment and the system, that Japan follows, which has helped this nation to progress and develop at a very fast rate. My dream being to see my country develop in a similar fashion, I want to implement a similar system and develop the current working environment of India. I have an immense love for photography. Whenever I get free time I love to click pictures that reflect the rich Japanese culture along with its food, clothing and the beautiful scenery that this ‘ Land of rising sun ‘ possesses. Photography has helped me to see various aspects about this nation that otherwise without the lens would not be noticed. Apart from this my other hobbies include dancing, cooking and drawing. The immense love in the heart of the Japanese people for Indian curry helped me develop my cooking habits and serve the best food possible during events, competitions and parties.


What is your favorite thing about Fukuoka?

After having stayed in Japan for more than 3 years, you can expect me to travel some famous cities in Japan, even though not the whole nation. I have travelled to Tokyo, and during that visit I saw some considerable differences. Fukuoka is definitely a great place to live. The price of daily commodities is much cheaper than Tokyo including the rent of the places to stay. Apart from this, the cleanliness here has amazed me. The people of Fukuoka seem to be very kind and helping. This city has been a mixture of rural and urban Japan. Our university having its biggest campus in the outskirts, we can experience the rural life in our neighborhood and taking a visit to the downtown helps us to enjoy the modern developed world. Fukuoka has some unique cuisine which includes the delicious tonkotsu (pork) ramen and the motsu nabe (innards hot pot). The food this city has to offer has a unique addiction and I miss it even when I am back home and enjoying the Indian food.
The fashion that rolls out on the streets is definitely worth watching. Having all kinds of fashion outlets right from Zara, H&M to Brooks Brothers and Louis Vuitton. Being home to various local festivals like Yamakasa and Dontaku, this city ensures that your stay is always cheerful and enjoyable and teaches you various aspects about its culture. Not only do these festivals show the native culture but also give a platform for the varied foreign cultures that reside in the heart of the city.
Apart from all these wonderful attractions, the city has managed to have a place for the divine and holy folks too. The Dazaifu temple situated here is famous among the students as it is related to the divine spirit of education. All students line up during new year and before exams to as for blessings for the new year or for the oncoming exams respectively.
Thus for its way of life along with the culture and the modernization this city has to offer, Fukuoka would always be a preferred spot on my list.


In what way has your impression of Fukuoka or Japan changed since coming here?

Before entering Japan, I thought that the people here are very serious and as I had no idea about the language spoken here, I was nervous while entering this land for the first time. I was worrying about the hardships I would have to face due to lack of knowledge about Japanese language as well as culture. However, after my entry in Japan, I found out that there was no language barrier. Wherever I went, I could easily carry out the required tasks and pass my message with a very little effort of talking in broken English. The Japanese people helped a lot too. They removed their smart phones and used various translators to pass my message through. There was no doubt that the people here are very kind and go out of their way to help the one in need. The number of different fashion outlets in the downtown area showed that this place was no less than Paris and London when it came to fashion. Further the cleanliness on the streets and the habits of the people here made me realized why Japan is known as a country with the most cleanliness. The public toilets are also very clean and can be used without hesitation whenever in need. The image that Japanese people are very serious not being completely changed, but still the existence of fun people amazed me. The misconceptions that Japanese food diet was changed and I found that Japanese food were pretty safe to digest and in fact very healthy which also explains it very low obesity rate. The punctuality of the transportation system along with the one followed during work here made my ideas a bit stronger. The pace at which even government tasks are done, amazed me and changed an image which I carried, about the stressful trips to an office to get a single task done.
Japan seemed to be very helpful and a fun place to live in unlike what I thought before.

What attracted you to choose Kyushu University as a place to study?

Just like every other Indian student I also had a dream of pursuing higher education in a different country. Since my interest was in the field of robotics, I had made up my mind that I would study either in Japan or Germany. After doing some research I was fascinated by the Japanese culture and the kindness of the Japanese people. So I made up my mind to go to Japan for my further education. At that time, I had no knowledge about the Japanese language, thus I was interested in courses taught in English. After going through various courses in different universities in Japan, I came across a course in Kyushu University that best suited my expectations. Further the incredible infrastructure and technology made my inclination stronger towards this institution.
Fukuoka which is the home to this university is also considered as one of the most desirable cities to reside, on a global scale. Choosing Japan as a destination brings various concerns related to the natural calamities and disasters occurring on these islands. Fortunately the island of Kyushu is considered very safe in the terms of occurrence of natural calamities and disasters. So, location wise this university seemed to be very safe and also a wise decision.
Kyushu University is one of the most reputed universities not only in the country but also on the globe. Being one of the seven imperial universities of Japan, it has also managed to secure very high rankings in the world.
Excellent infrastructure and technology combined with a safer place to reside makes the Kyushu University a preferred destination for higher studies.


In what way did you adjust yourself to Japanese culture?

Moving to a place with completely new culture, food, clothing, etc. is no wonder very stressful and hard but also has an everlasting experience and a lot of adventure associated to it. When I moved here to Japan, I had no knowledge about the language spoken here. I had come here with very little knowledge about this country and its culture. As my stay started to lengthen, various aspects of the life in Japan came in front of me.
Luckily the language barrier was never felt as the system here is designed in such a manner where we might not have to talk much. For example, at a grocery store, you just buy things and go to the counter. The price is displayed, you pay the amount and leave. In restaurants the menu has photos of the food, the way it looks. You can just point out to the one you want to try, and the ordered food will arrive soon. All this without opening your mouth. In majority of the cases where there is a real need of the language, broken English can also be of great help to you.
Having overcome the language barrier in such a manner, the food is another obstacle. I am fine eating non vegetarian food and was open to almost anything served on my plate. It did take time to get hold of the taste and master the art of chopsticks, but as time passed, I loved the cuisine and the use of chopstick became an integrated part of me.
The culture here is completely different, and cannot be understood or learned through books, but requires your presence in the environment. Being a part of Japan for a very long time, I can say that I understand majority of the culture, but never all the aspects of it, because each time there is something that will come up and show you a new side of Japanese culture.
Japanese people being very kind, I was always helped in every matter where I required it. My friends and some interactions with the locals, with some broken language, helped me to adapt to the culture in a short span of time. But at the end, some things are meant to be learnt only through experience and cannot be taught.


Please give a message to students or researchers in your home country who may be thinking about studying in Japan?

Japan has always been a country which developed at a very fast pace but still has managed to maintain its culture throughout the process of its development. Being an Indian the huge difference in the working system amazes me even today. The speed at which any work is done whether it be private or government along with the discipline and punctuality is definitely worth admiring. When I came here, to the Land of Ninjas, I had no knowledge about the language. But still I was able to live my life and perform the daily chores that were necessary for me. The Japanese people are very understanding and are very kind and always ready to help each other especially the foreigners. No matter that Japan is not a popular choice among the Indians, yet this place reflects a lot of Indian culture which helps to reduce our home sickness. The technology and infrastructure that is available in the Japanese universities allows me to strongly recommend Japan as a priority for higher education to the Indian students. Japan has a vast opportunity for development of the personnel who belong to a large number of different fields of specialization. So, no matter what your interests are, Japan will always have a vacancy and an opportunity waiting for you. Apart from academics, this country has many other options which make our life here a lot more enjoyable. One can indulge in the lip smacking Japanese cuisine and try various Japanese outfits. This country has an unique Manga culture, or Anime as we all know it. So if you are looking for a modern world with a completely different culture to experience and a life which has a mixture of academics and entertainment, I would recommend you to choose Japan to fulfil this dream of yours.