COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Peter Yoo Foo (Mauritius)
Thank you for being a part of the Kokoro Community! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a BBC (British Born Chinese), born in Scotland, but grew up in London; however my parents are from here in Mauritius. Lived a few years here whilst in my teens, before going back to finish my education in the UK. Moved to Japan in 1999, & left in 2007.
Mauritius sounds like a wonderful and unique place. What’s it like living there?
Mauritius is a tropical island, with a mixed ethnic community. Majority are Indian descent, with a large Muslim population, Chinese (Sino-Mauritian), European descent, & local Creole. Life here is more laid back then in many developed countries, but also with the lack of variety in entertainment options. If you're a fan of the beach & the sea however, then all the better.
Is it easy to get Japanese food there?
Japanese food is now more available than before but level of quality is varied. In the high end hotels, there are a few very nice Japanese restaurants set up. Mainly sushi, and a few of the basic stereotypical dishes. Bit pricey though. A couple of chain hotels have Japanese style menus, primarily sushi, which is not bad. Also, in the supermarkets, some Japanese products can be easily bought, but most come via Singapore or Malaysia.
Have you spent much time in Japan?
Spent 3 years originally as a JET ALT, then 5 years hired directly by a Board of Education, all in Niigata prefecture. Then several almost yearly trips to Japan since leaving in 2007.
What do you miss the most about living in Japan?
Miss the genuine friendliness of the people, and the convenience of living there, except administration, and the food especially.
What’s your favorite part about receiving your Kokoro Care Package?
I love the chance to get new products to try out, which I probably would not have had the opportunity to try otherwise.
Photos from the First Sakura Tree planting in Mauritius
How would you like to see the relationship between Mauritius and Japan grow in the future?
Since the official opening of a full Embassy of Japan here since 1st Jan 2017, there has been a gradual increase in Japan related activities for the benefit for the general public. It's still a work in progress, but I think if there are more collaborations between the 2 governments in the future, there will also be an increase in the number of visitors here from Japan, & vice versa.
And of course, we have to ask, what’s your favorite Japanese food?
Difficult question. I miss natto the most I think, but I think authentic ramen or tempura also are in my top 3.