DHAKA: Can you imagine how thrilling it is to represent one’s country to other nation, experience a nation that has so many things to offer to the rovers, get exposed to the culture of that country, meeting the local people, have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life of the visiting county, experience diverse culture, foster friendship with some of the people you came across of that country, be present at the receiving end of warm hospitality and end up falling in love with that country?
The other day a 100-member youth delegation paid an eight-day visit to India. The team comprises students from eight different public and private universities in Bangladesh, journalists from renowned dailies and satellite TV channels, artists, dancers and physicians.
Aim of the visit was to provide Bangladesh delegation an exposure to the diverse culture of India, and to facilitate exchanging the culture of two countries.
The Bangladesh delegation left Dhaka for Delhi on September 4 and came back to Bangladesh on September 11.
The entire program was organized and funded by India ministry of youth affairs in collaboration with Indian high commission in Bangladesh.
During the stay in Delhi, the delegates visited Delhi Museum, India Gate, Kutub Minar, and some educational institutions.
The Delhi visit ended with the meeting with India President Pranab Mukharjee at his Presidential Palace. Mukharjee delivered a speech welcoming the delegates, and recounted some of his pleasant remembrances with Bangladesh.
He also spoke about the importance of the strong ties that Bangladesh and India have been sharing since the very beginning of the birth of Bangladesh.
Later, the delegates headed towards Agra to relish the beauty of Taj Mahal, Red Fort and other historical places in Agra. They also went to Jaipur of Rajasthan and enjoyed cultural programs representing the colorful local culture, tradition and heritage.
The thing is to mention is that delegates from Bangladesh also took part in almost every cultural events, held during the program to showcase the culture of Bangladesh side by side with its Indian counterpart.
The eight-day tour to India comes to an end with the visit to Kolkata Eden Garden and Santiniketan.
Recounting her feelings about the program, a Dhaka University student Maimuna Quazi said, “The eight-day tour to India gifted me the memories to be cherished for my whole life. In personal level, the warmth and cordiality received during the tour was commendable. Among the memories of the eventful tour, meeting the President of India was definitely a red letter day for me”.
"It was a great pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to meet the President of India. The way he spoke about the shared cultures and shared identities was enough to further strengthen the bonding between the two neighboring nations," said Zunaid Omair, a delegate from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), while expressing the feelings.
“I consider myself to be the luckiest one getting the greatest opportunity to meet the honorable President of India and at the same time visit the historical places there,” commented Samiha Nowrin, student of Zoology, University of Dhaka.
Only two delegates in the program were lucky enough to have chance to deliver speeches before the president of India.
Mahmudul Hassan Akib, student of the Department of English Language and Literature at Chittagong University, has unanimously been selected to speak on behalf of 100-member of delegation. As had the past experiences of delivering speeches as a debater, he happily grabbed the opportunity and wonderfully represented his beloved motherland.
Akib, a poised character and at the same time outstanding debater, is the Assistant Debate Secretary and Communication, Chittagong University Debating Society (CUDS).
He, along with his team, became champion in The Daily Star Biz Dialectic Debate Competition 2014.
Apart from this, he has several achievements in national arena like National Earth Olympiad 2013 and 2014, Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative (BYEI), International Youth Environmental Meet (IYEM 2013), CUDS Ultraviolet Interclub Debate Fiesta 2015, and Cuet Inter-Varsity English 2015 Rotary Club Drishty Interclub English 2015, etc.
Recently, he has been selected to participate in the GLOBAL UGRAD Program (2015-2016) in USA, funded by US Department of State.
He is one of the four students selected from Bangladeshi educational institutions and going to leave for USA by January 1, 2016 for five months to participate in the program.
I myself am happy with his gradual success and hope better tomorrow for him.
He expressed his feeling saying, “It's true that I was a little bit nervous as I had no experience of delivering speech in such a big platform”.
“When some of the high-profile Indian officials with the President approached me after my speech to thank me for the speech which they thought to be excellent one, I felt honored and at the same time humble.”
I would like to end up with a quote from an anonymous for you brother. Keep in mind, “Life has two rules: 1. Never quit 2. Always remember rule 1”.
Md. Mohin Uddin Mizan, a Delineator for the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chittagong
BDST: 1854 HRS, Nov 11, 2015