I was talking to my students as they were doing the exercise that I gave them in class. As I was walking, looking at their work, I struck up a conversation with one of the students. He is from Afghanistan. We talked about his country as he related his experience being here in Malaysian and being in his own country. We also discussed about one of my favourite movie, which is about Afghanistan, The Kite Runner.
He told me many people were surprised when he said he is from Afghanistan. I asked him, why? He answered, " They thought those who are from Afghanistan would wear the turban, has long beard, which I am not." Well, I said, aren't most of them like that? Then he told me something that I never knew.
" Most of those people are not even from Afghanistan. They are outsiders, came into Afghanistan and ruled the country."
I was shocked. Then he continued, " If they know I am here and learning, I would be in big trouble. They would not want us to learn or to improve ourselves because they are afraid that we would be clever and try to get the country back from them." Then I remembered a story about a girl who was tortured just because she wanted to run away from people who abused her. She was featured in the front page of TIME Magazine.
You can read more about her here.
In my other class, I was giving them exercises and in one of the session, I asked them to give me an example of a developed country. I half-expected for most of them to say, US or England or whatever Europe country that you can think of when suddenly one of the student,an Algerian, without blinking an eye, said,
I was a bit embarrassed when he said that when I don't even consider my country as a developed country.
How we see other people and how we perceive them is important as sometimes we are being given the wrong information all this while. Some people have a hard time with their country but even with all the obstacles, they still return to their motherland as they cherish whatever is there even though it wont be the most ideal place. So love your country and whatever you have but at the same time try to improve and do not just content with whatever you have now. I love you Malaysia.
a bit patriotic here,it is the month of Independence, right?