When I was a little child, I have dreamed about having a foreign friend which I could show off to my classmate. This dream has come along with me until I went to the university however my purpose has changed. I want to discover new lands of culture as the preparation for me to be a part of the global world. Foreigners are so different from me not only about appearance but also the behavior, the life-style and so on. That’s also the main reason for my decision to be a part of AIESEC.
My first friend is Yusaku, a Japanese guy. He was our guest in our very first testing workshop. He has shared with me much knowledge about Japanese culture. I have never known that Japanese attaches much important to taking off a pair of shoes before enter the house or avoid transferring the food from chopstick to chopstick and many other things. Although these knowledge may be popular in the internet, it was still very interesting and memorable especially when be shared by a genuine Japanese guy.
After Yusaku, I had a chance to make friends with other interns come to participate in our project. They are Sam, Gopal, Alvin and Maggie. Sam is a pretty girl with the dark skin which is typical of Philippine people. She has a taste of delivering her smile free to almost people she met. Furthermore, she sings very well especially when she song the folk-song of her country. Alvin, the first year student come from famous SMU university, was a funny and talkative guy. I still remembered the first time I met him after 2 hours of flying, his face was so pale because he was shocked by the traffic in Viet Nam. Another intern is Golba, the IT student come from India. He has left in me an impression about social person who had a wide connection and very serious in working. Everyone he met he always kept their contact. Furthermore, he was so friendly that he can make friend with almost people. The most interesting of him I have found is the culture of his country which I had a chance to interact through our culture understanding workshop. India is a beautiful country which has many religion and various foods. Through these workshops, I also knew how to say “hello”, “thank you” and “I love you” in Indian language if I had any chance to fall in love with a Indian guy ^^.
The last one is Maggie, the cute girl come from Malaysia but she is of Chinese descent. When she came, I had only 3 days to find the host. It was a stressful memory that I have never experienced before. However, every effort will be cheated well. After a hard struggle, we have found a traditional Vietnamese family who are always willing to introduce our culture to my intern. The Vietnamese family Maggie lived in is an extended family including three generations. In every weekend, they usually have family reunion when the relatives gather and celebrate cozy meals together. More than that, all members in this family always take care of the other and very respect the older. In the meal, other members always wait the grand parent pick up first and then they can start to eat. However, this tradition didn’t create the distance between the members and the grandparent. Furthermore, the relationships between them are very close. In the world cup season, the daughter put the alarm clock to wake up her and grand father in order to enjoy the football match together. “Simplicity and warmth are the impression of Vietnamese family I will bring back” Maggie said.
Regardless of where we come from, whatever language we speak and whatever religion we belong to, we, aiesecers and interns, are one team. We have worked together, hung out together and learned from each other. Thanks to them, I had the chance to interact with other culture and worked in a diversified environment. I have concluded that each culture has a specific beauty, each of them is a flower which has formed the beautiful world of variety.
Thanh Mai-Step Up's project member