Engage 活動記錄 | TopScore x NEST 喀拉拉文化交流 (2020 summer)
July 13, 2020

TopScore 和 NEST 聯手舉辦的暑期環保專題志工活動(Environmental Internship )上週開始囉!

這是 TopScore 規劃生專屬的暑期藝文實習活動之一,由 Johnny 顧問的愛徒 - 現就讀史丹佛大學 Ricky Huang,代領學員探討台灣環境保護議題及推廣相關志工活動。

7/6 上午我們就進行一場線上導覽「Kerala Cultural Exchange 喀拉拉文化交流」,連線印度喀拉拉邦當地一所中學師生,瞭解居民如何建立環保意識及施行方式,同時也把臺灣的文化、生態及肺炎防疫成果等等介紹給外國朋友。

  1. I entered the room with a slightly apprehensive heart, preparing for the cultural exchange with students from Kerala, India. Apart from interacting with students at my school, I rarely had the chance to meet new people from other schools or from other nations. The idea of a cultural change excited me. Two days ago, I thought of some questions to ask the Kerala students about the environment, COVID-19, and their culture.

    One by one, the faces of the students in Kerala popped up on the screen, and thus began our webinar! I was astounded by the level of profoundness and sincerity the students exhibited when asking and answering questions. The level of their maturity and curiosity about Taiwan really touched me. I was also surprised to hear about their views of Taiwan as a country because living here had blinded me to an outsider perspective. It was enlightening to hear about how they replaced plastic bags with cloth or paper, and it’s really admirable. I think Taiwan should take further action to reduce the use of plastic. I also learned a lot about Kerala through this exchange. They clarified a misconception that I had regarding their Communist government: Kerala has several political parties and the Communist party was elected for this year’s presidency. I think they also didn’t have online schooling because of COVID-19, they just quarantined themselves at home. They also talked about the festivals and dances of their culture and how it comprises a big part of their lives.

    Talking with students from a country that I am not familiar with really enlightened me and gave me the chance to get to know their culture and their community. I am more aware of environmental conservation and actions needed to be taken for plastic reduction. I hope to be able to do another exchange with them!

  2. Although I don’t take my privileges for granted, I have always complained about it. I always compared myself to people who were more privileged and not people who weren’t as privileged. In school, we would learn about many different cultures and histories and would get to interact with various types of people. On the other hand, this webinar was some of the students’ first time talking to someone outside of Kerala. I can never imagine something like that. Even though they are disadvantageous compared to other countries, it doesn’t stop them from learning. After only an hour and a half of talking with the Kerala students, I learned to appreciate the things I have access to instead of complaining about the things I don’t. I was surprised to see how much the students desired knowledge and would want to hear us share about our country. Throughout the call, the Kerala students were curious and asked many insightful questions along with answering our questions. They wanted to learn new knowledge and also wanted to share their knowledge with us. Before the call, I was uncomfortable and a little scared because I was anxious to communicate with people I have never met before, but I got my courage from seeing the students eager to learn and share. I gradually became more comfortable and would share some of my experiences and knowledge. After the webinar, I understood Kerala and India a lot more and they probably learned a lot about Taiwan as well. I learned the things that Taiwan does better and the things that Kerala does better. We both want to solve the problems in our own country which brought the two communities closer together. This is a unique experience because it involves communicating with a different group of people. Listening to them talk inspires me to care more about my own country and the problems we are facing. It is amazing to be a part of this call and see how much depth our conversation was despite the call being short and us not knowing each other. We both learned many new things to help our country. We can use the knowledge we learned to improve our country and make it a better, healthier place to live.

  3. "This is the first time talking to students from another country" commented Fathima, one of the students from Kerala. That hit me hard. This call was probably their first attempt at cultural exchange. In contrast, I've had the privilege of learning and engaging in different cultures through traveling and social interactions at school. Perhaps the biggest advantage of attending an American school in Taiwan is having your eyes opened to diverse cultures. Of course, I don't take my privileges for granted, but I've also been guilty of complaining about not having nearly as many resources as students living in California. The thirst for knowledge and active participation of these Kerala students made me appreciate the easy accessibility to cultural interchange as well as my cultural experiences on another level.

    Although the conference call only lasted for an hour and a half, I've gained so much insight into an Indian state. What really made us connect with each other was our curiosity for each other's home as well as our passion to solve problems for our country. Obviously, our home and our country hold a special place in our hearts. Furthermore, in order to solve world problems, you've got to start with your own community. Correspondingly, we all have this sense of duty to help and refine our countries, and that was what united us. I think this cultural exchange webinar really helped inspire the idea of partnership. Contributing one person's thoughts may seem downright insufficient, but when people from different cultures and backgrounds come together and share their unique ideas, we may just be able to come up with something to help our countries, and ultimately our planet.