I participated in three different programs: the Model United Nations conference for Korean students held at Korea University, Korea-China Youth Cultural Exchange, and the Model Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) held in Beijing.
This summer was the busiest and the most motivating time I have ever had. At the Model ESCAP conference in Beijing, I met student delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, and other parts of the world. Most of them were from the countries that were somehow unfamiliar to me in the past, and the time I shared with them enabled me to broaden my perspectives on the global society. At the same time, it helped me to realize how biased I have been toward the people in the Southeast Asian countries. Actually, when I saw Jenny, a Filipino girl and her friend? camera, I was very shocked. First, I was surprised because it was Sony? brand new model, which costs more than 1,000 dollars. Secondly, I was amazed to find myself having thought that people from countries that are poorer than Korea are not affluent enough to afford such a camera. Whenever I heard about other developed countries delivering false information on Korea or being ignorant, I easily got mad. However, I found myself being the same as others! The more and more I talked with these people, I could not help feeling sorry. In fact, those people proved to be nicer and more intelligent than I had expected. Little Jones, a smart Filipino friend of mine, was well aware of his country? history and he even made a toast in commemoration of Akino, a Filipino conscious politician who died in his early age.
Not was I only prejudiced, but also ignorant. There are many study groups on politics in colleges, but most of them deal with issues in developed nations. In Korea, many often encourage people who speak fluent English to become global leaders, however, being ?esternized, should not be a synonym for being ?lobalizalized. We still have a long way to go to reach a true global partnership with all nations.
In China, the Prime Minister Wen Jiabao asserted the importance of the partnership between China and Africa, and urged its people to more openly approach the African nations. As a result, All-China Youth Federation invited delegates from all over the African continent and started the first cultural exchange program this August.
In my own short experience, I learned that a friend, expecially an international friend, could truly contribute to your life. Better late than never. It is never late to try, now is the time to look around and hold hands of other nations.