I have to say it has been quite a privilege to be inBangladeshduring their victory day. I feel that I have been lucky enough to glimpse brilliantly colourful moments in their culture. Whether it was an art exhibition, a cultural dance performance or song – I was touched by the deep sense of national pride. Particularly amongst the workshop participants, it was inspiring to see them honoring their culture and sharing this with us so openly.
Perhaps this pride explains why these participants showed up diligently for 8 days of workshop focused on having them launch their own community initiative. Perhaps to an outsider this would be classified as a room full of nerds (maybe, but if so then great!) but my sentiments are that they quite simply care about their community in a very genuine way. This was evident to me by the very supportive nature within the workshop. Even though we have four very distinct groups focused on: women’s rights, a financial plan for the poor, the environment and disabled peoples – these individuals have shown a sincere respect for one another’s ideas. Walk into our workshop and you could see these individuals engage in intense discussions but amidst those constructive comments they would finish by affirming they would be happy to lend support to one another’s project. This positive and open attitude to collaboration is really a characteristic that defines the Bangladeshi youth I have met here.
Creative is another feature I would name to describe Bangladeshi youth. I was really excited to see development theatre being used here for HIV AIDS messaging and to learn that these techniques have become quite popular. As a number one fan of development theatre I was really happy to see that even some of the universities were making an effort to use alternative teaching methods that engaged youth in a more participative way. In fact, looks like Recrear might be designing a practicum in the curriculum of one of the private universities here! More updates on that at a later date, but the point is I am really encouraged to see that there are pockets of people whom are not afraid to break the mold.