Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cross-Cultural Awareness Program (CCAP) in Korea

At no other time in the history of the world has there been such a need for intercultural education. As globalization and technology bring people closer together day-by-day, cross-cultural awareness is becoming essential to peaceful human co-existence. Recognizing the importance of mutual understanding among different people, CCAP, organized by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and supported by the Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development, has been introducing a diversity of cultures from around the world to Korean youth since 1998. CCAP is designed to be a participatory process that augments education for international understanding in schools nationwide and promotes a culture of tolerance and mutual respect.

CCAP Regular Class is the central activity of the CCAP. In this program, foreign residents in Korea are invited to share their culture with Korean youths. Normally assisted by Korean Interpretation Volunteers (KIVs), foreigners act as Cultural Exchange Volunteers (CEVs) to provide an animated lecture about their home country for an hour or two at the school. While some deliver three or more lectures a month, once or twice is the norm. Depending on the children’s age and in interests, volunteers may elect to teach a folk song or dance, cook a traditional dish, or even introduce their own family through snapshots. Volunteers avail themselves of such props as videotapes, flags and traditional games and clothes that KNCY stores in the CCAP Resource Room at its Myeong-dong office. Anyone, regardless of age, sex, religion or country of origin, can participate in the program as a volunteer. By involving themselves in this unique and exciting endeavor, all participants are able to deepen their understanding of each other and broaden their commitment to a culture of tolerance and mutual respect.

In addition to the regular CCAP classes, CCAP Caravan teams are sent to schools in remote areas where students have little or no exposure to diverse foreign cultures. Consisting of six to eight CEVs and KIVs each, the caravan teams take weekend trips and offer class environment interactions in which foreign volunteers present their culture to students. The teams also have student Q & A sessions and a one-night stopover with Korean families allowing both sides to further share cultural experiences. This program not only benefits all students of the chosen schools, but also provides foreign volunteers with a chance to experience rural Korean culture, go sight seeing off the beaten track, and make friends with fellow volunteers.
If you love to teach and want to share your culture with Korean kids, then, why not to click here
http://ccap.unesco.or.kr and go to the next class. May be, we can see each other there……...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Daehakno Street, Hyehwa Station Exit- 2 and Bus-273 - My Daily Life

I do not have any remorse being a residence of Daehakno for three years even though I am walking on the same street, passing the same subway station, Hyehwa and going to school by the same bus 273 from the beginning of arrival in Korea everyday. It has been long time I am living at the same place, International house I in Daehakno. Actually, Daehakno, known as the street for young people, is the former location of Seoul National University. Since the 1980s, many play theaters started moving to Daehakno, and gradually it turned into a cultural center. Soon live-cafes, movie theaters, regular cafes and pubs came as well, and it grew up as an entertainment district. Its popularity is still maintained by famous small theaters such as Parangsae (Blue Bird) Theater and Hakjeong Theater, and some 30 additional theaters concentrated here contributing to Daehakno. Thereby, it became the root of performance art in Korea. It is very common to see on every weakened, couple and friends meet in front of the Hyehwa subway station.

The center of Daehakno, Marronnier Park, has frequent live performances or dance performances by the young people. For the same reason Daehakno is called the “Play Mecca” or “Young Street” as well. Many parents come with their little children to spend time in the park too. I like to go for a walk around that park very often as I have to pass this park on the way of dormitory everyday and it is not far (only 3 or 5 minutes walking distance) form my dormitory too. Another place, which is related with my daily life, is Hyehwa Subway Station. If I go out, often I use subway even though sometimes it’s much crowed, especially on the weekend. But when I go to my university, it’s much convenient for me to go there by bus. Bus number-273 is another of my daily companions. One of my language teachers told that the most beautiful girls travel in the bus number 273, but I was shocked when I could not find any difference between those travelling by 273 and other buses. However, it takes only 20 minutes from my dormitory to go to my university, which should be a more important significance of bus 273.

Koran people have tendency to change their business very often. That’s why; often I get confused to visit the same place. Actually I target any shop near by the place as an indication to find that place again easily but when I go another time, I cannot find that shop. It makes me really puzzled in front of my friends. My Daehakno street is not beyond this group but my bus 273 always stops in the same place and Hyewa station, exit 2, is at the same place.

Another reason Daehakno became so popular among young people are the various interesting sights and foods to be found here. Many restaurants, fast food joints, cafes, and bars are concentrated here, making it convenient for people to find something to do after plays and live-performances. Each restaurant is famous for some special dishes. Sometimes we like to say among our friends “Let’s go to Thakkhalbi place or How about Chimthak place” etc. One of favorite dishes is 닭갈비(Thak khalbi), a kind of delicious dish with chicken, potatoes and noodles. And I like to go to a restaurant near my dormitory where I can eat Chimtak. It’s also kind of dish with chicken, potatoes and noodles. Actually I like chicken and potatoes very much. One of my friends always make jokes with me “Hey Jamali , have you bought potatoes and chicken again?”. By the way, I do not like to cook often, as I do not like dish washing. Another reason for this is the kitchen situated in the opposite corner of a long corridor from my room. I get really tired to come and go with my stuff from my room to kitchen. Anyway, sometimes I have to cook for myself and for my friends too. I do not like to eat alone. By the way, I forgot to tell my favorite dish’s name. It is “Shabu Shabu”, a very delicious food with vegetables and meat. Long time, I do not eat this dish, as I need some partners to go to Shabu Shabu place. I have to search who likes to eat Shabu Shabu among our new friends, then I can go to eat my favorite dish, Yummy Yummy…..

Besides many nice sikdangs (Restaurants in English), there are some nice bar and coffee shops such as Basquite where every Sunday night, they arrange some jazz show and also Comfort Zone, where I can play dart. One time, our dormitory friends used to go their often as we were crazy for darts but I do not go often now as some of my friends left. Once I played in the dart competition in the Seoul. My performance was chugum ( in Korean “ a little bit” ) OK.

There are some marts like Lucky Mart, Naim Mart in the Daehakno where I can buy my daily stuff at cheaper rates. Most of the shops open until mid night even though some shops are 24 hours such as GS25, Family Mart. However, my dormitory door gets closed at 1 am. This is the only negative side of my dormitory; otherwise I like my dormitory very much.

Daehakno Street is arranged by many nice sculptures, which make this street more artistic and attractive to the people. Its unique atmosphere and space continues to be beloved by many young people. If you have some leisure time, then, don’t be deceived from this artistic atmosphere and let’s meet Hyehwa Subway Station Exit 2, in front of the Marronnier Park.

Friday, September 11, 2009

১৫ই আগষ্ট, কোরিয়াতে অবস্থিত বাংলাদেশ এম্বাসীতে একদিন

গত মাসের ১৫ তারিখ (আগষ্ট) ছিল বাংলার ইতিহাসে এক কলংকিত দিন কেননা এই দিনে ১৯৭৫ সালে শহীদ হয়েছিলেন শেখ মুজিবুর রহমানসহ তার পরিবারবর্গ। আর তাই বাংলাদেশে এই দিন জাতীয় ছুটির দিন হিসেবে গণ্য করা হয়ে থাকে। বাংলাদেশের সাধীনতা অর্জনের ক্ষেত্রে যে মানুষটির নাম উচ্চারণ না করলেই না, তিনি হচ্ছেন শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান। বাংলাদেশে ২টি পার্টির একটির নেতৃতে ছিলেন এই নেতা। যাইহোক,পার্টি নির্বাচনের ক্ষেত্রে, একেকজনের একেক মত থাকতে পারে কিনতু, মুক্তিযুদ্ধে শেখ মুজুবুর রহমানের ভূমিকা কেউ অসীকার করতে পারবে না।

১৫ই আগষ্ট উপলক্ষে কোরিয়ায় অবস্থিত বাংলাদেশ এম্বাসী যথারীতি ছোট্র পরিসরে একটি অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজন করেছিল। সৌভাগ্যক্রমে আমি সেখানে একজন আমন্ত্রিত অতিথী হিসেবে উপস্থিত ছিলাম। আমি মোটামোটি এম্বাসীর সবাইকে চিনি এবং আমার সাথে সবারই বেশ ভাল একটা সম্পর্ক রয়েছে। তাই তারা যে কোন অনুষ্ঠানে আমাকে দাওয়াত দিতে ভুল করে না। আমি যথারীতি দাওয়াত পেয়ে বেশ খুশিই হয়েছিলাম যে, যাক অনেকদিন পরে ভালমন্দ কিছু খাওয়া যাবে। যাই হোক, ১৫ই আগষ্ট সকালে লুনা, মহিলা এবং আমি সকালে এম্বাসীতে গিয়ে হাজির হলাম। সেইদিন আমি পাঞ্জাবী পরেছিলাম। সাধারণত যেকোন বাংলাদেশী অনুষ্ঠানে আমি গেলেই সেই পাঞ্জাবী পরে যাই। যথারীতি জাতীয় সঙ্গীতের মাধ্যমে অনুষ্ঠান শুরু হল। তারপর শুরু হল বক্তৃতার পালা।

যথারীতি আমাকে বক্তৃতা দেয়ার জন্য অনুরোধ করা হোল। সাধারণত আমি বক্তৃতা দিতে পছন্দ করি না। আমাকে গান গেতে বলা হলে আমি গেতে পারি, নো প্রব্লেম। যাইহোক আমি ছোটখাট একটা বক্তৃতা দিয়ে দিলাম। সবাই দেখলাম ভালই হাততালি দিল। আমি অপেক্ষা করছিলাম কখন বক্তৃতার পালা শেষ হবে, কেননা আমি আগেই জেনেছিলাম, বক্তৃতা পর্বের পরেই ভালমন্দ খাওয়ার ব্যবস্থা করা হয়েছে। ১ ঘন্টা পরেই খাবারের জন্য উপরে ডাকা হলো। ভুনা খিচুরি, সেই সাথে মুরগির ভুনা (গরুর ভুনা হলে আরও ভাল হত), ডিমের তরকারী, সালাদ, আবার সেই সাথে পায়েশ দেখে জিভে পানি না এসে উপায় ছিলনা। যাইহোক, খাবার দেখে খাবারের উপরে ঝাপিয়ে পরার মত অবস্থা। কোন রকমে নিজেকে নিয়ন্ত্রণ করলাম অসভ্য আচরণ থেকে। বেশ গাপুতগুপুত করে ২-৩ প্লেট খেয়ে ফেললাম। লুনা বারবার বলতে ছিল, হে জামালী বেশ দেখি টানছো। যাইহোক, কারো কথা তোয়াক্কা না করে, আমি আমার মত যত পারি, টানতে লাগলাম। অবশেষে খাবারের পালা শেষ হলো। আমি এর মধ্যে রাত্রে যদি খেতে না হয়, শেই পর্যন্ত খেয়ে নিয়েছিলাম। যাই হোক খাবার পালা শেষ হবার পরে ঘরে যাবার সময় হোল। রুমে আসার সাথে সাথে ভারি একটা ঘুম দিতে মোটেও দেরি হল না। আবার কবে এম্বাসী থেকে ফোন আসবে............... আর একটু ভালমন্দ খাওয়া .........।। অহ ইয়াম্মী ইয়াম্মী...........সেই অপেক্ষায় আছি।