Friday, September 21, 2007
Nadine and the Nihonjin
The Japanese (Nihonjin) *LOVE* children! The number of smiles and "kawaii!" ("so cute!") exclamations upon seeing Nadine has been amazing. Schoolgirls and grandmotherly ladies alike can't help but coo endlessly, peppering us with adoring questions (mostly about how old she is and her emerging teeth). Even men in spiffy suits start clowning with her. One guy on a bike literally stopped to pat and gush over this little girl!
Nadine herself was super-sociable, waving and smiling at everybody. Even on trains, she will always engage the person next to her (or persons sitting in front and back).
We saw at least four other youngsters with Down Syndrome in Japan - two playful teens in a Tokyo train station, one toddler at Kiyomizudera, Kyoto and one child near the Aquarium in Osaka. Actually we saw other people even less fortunate - in wheelchairs and oxygen masks! But what's great is that they are out and about, enjoying life!