Every semester, Busan Board of education arranges a program, where international students visits schools of the city, and give a presentation about their country and culture. The authority also provides guidelines and transportation cost to each presenter. Usually they made a database with all the applicants and give the applicants contact info to the corresponding school teacher, and the teacher lets you know later when’s the time and how you can get there.
So, last semester, when I came to know about this program,I really wanted to apply. But truth is, I always had a stage phobia. I had never done anything like this before. I was too shy, too introvert from the puberty stage. I always skipped things like gathering and even attending a concert. They were all too much for me. I always have had my very own world. Where there is no crowd of people to make me uncomfortable. lol 😛
So, what changed my mind? Like I said before, here in Korea, I have a really small world of people with whom I can interact. I wanted to have something outside. And also, I wanted to know Korean kids about my country. I wanted to have the honour of presenting my country. ❤
Till now, I have attended two schools. One is elementary and another is a private girls’ high school. When you are a cross cultural awareness program volunteer, not only you have the honour of presenting your country but also you have the fun of watching the kids and teacher’s expression hearing things they are unfamiliar to, about your culture and country.
I always feel very proud to introduce kids and teachers to the pride of country, Cox’s Bazar, the largest sea beach of the world (125 km approximately), Sundorban, largest mangrove forest of the world and home of Royal Bengal Tiger, which is also another pride of my country. 🙂 And of course hearing that their expression will cheer you out more. Usually, Korean People use a long “Haaaaaaaa” expression, for expressing their surprise or appreciation. Which is adorable! ^_^
Or, the fact that we wear Shari in different ways. Or, the different rice cakes we make! Rice cakes are known as PITHA in bengali. They are also very interested to know about the bengali words, fonts and also the counting system.
They also are amazed by colorful bengali weddings. When I show them my wedding pictures, they can’t even believe it’s me in red shari! HA HA 😀 We surely use a lot of makeup in a wedding, because there’s too many yellow lighting in the program hall, and we want ourselves to look good in camera. The most surprising thing for them was knowing about arranged marriage. They don’t get how can I marry a man knowing only for 10 days! lol 😀
Smashed fruits with spices, putting raw flowers in bun, or kids keeping new dress hidden till eid day because it would get old if someone else sees it, colourful celebration of 1st day of the bengali new year, beautiful Saint martin’s island, I like the way they look at me when I tell about these. Most importantly when they hear about the 9 months long liberation war we had, for an independent country and our language movement in 1952 for which UNESCO announced 21st february an International Mother Language Day, they give me the look of honour and respect, I feel very proud.
I forgot to mention, the kids love wearing shari too! And, both the time I made “Potato Chops” for them as I wanted them to know how our foods taste like. IN SHA ALLAH, the next time I go in other school, I will take some Bangladeshi snacks there, too!
I know for some people, it’s nothing! But for me, who has not done a really productive things in her life, it is very important & significant to let kids know about her country. And, when I’m up on the stage there, I know it is a big responsibility to tell about the things of country properly, but also it is the biggest honour of my life to be the one who represents her country in a foreign land. :’)