Symbiosis School of International Studies (SSIS) under the aegis of Symbiosis International University organized an 'International Students' Meet' for a discussion with students from various countries on September 29, 2016.
International Students were invited to speak briefly about their countries in context to their respective geography, economy, language, society and some of their major domestic and foreign policy issues.
The discussion started with a brief presentation by Ms. Haaba from Republic of the Gambia who spoke about her country's historical background, indigenous festivals, language, food, currency, current political scenarios, emerging businesses, traditions and appropriate ways of greeting in Gambia. The Gambia is one of Africa's smallest countries and, unlike many of its west Africa neighbours, it has enjoyed long spells of stability since independence. Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange.
The second speaker for the day was Mr. Hassan from Republic of Uganda who began his presentation with a little gaming exercise which reflected the importance of understanding the true essence of cultural diversity. Further he shared his experience in India as an African student. He appreciated the comparatively practical education system in India, particularly praising the one implemented in Symbiosis. He also elaborated about the various businesses and political scenarios currently present in Uganda. "Acceptance and humanity"was the one aspect Hassan stressed on along with sensitizing the youth about racism in India. He expressed his desire to assimilate the youth in tackling the issue of racism and promoting the ideal of humanity and thereby increasing sensitivity among the youth and the population at large.
The third speaker for the day was Mr.Roland from Republic of Chad. He briefed the students about Chad standing to benefit from its recently-acquired status as an oil-exporting state. A land locked, largely semi-desert country, Chad is rich in gold and uranium. He also briefed the class about the languages, food, currency and local businesses.
The fourth speaker of the day was Mr. Ajmal Zurmati from Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who shared his views by beginning with a brief history of his nation which has suffered from chronic instability and conflict during its modern history. His presentation covered geography, language, present state of the economy, traditions and cultural practices and the cuisine of Afghanistan.
The fifth speaker of the day was Ms. Shreendibai Narroo from Republic of Mauritius who briefed the students about her country in context to geography, social, political, economic and cultural aspects. The people of Mauritius are multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual. The island's government is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system, and Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom. It is a popular tourist spot. She also mentioned about indigenous Mauritian festivals and how there is an Indian cultural presence in the country with regards to similarities in languages and traditions.
Last speaker of the day was Mr.Sanjeet and Ms. Aayasha from Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal who addressed the students about their country's culture and economy. They spoke about Nepal as a prime destination for tourists and elaborated on the varied shared cultural practices between India and Nepal. Nepal is strategically important due to its location between Asia's great powers, China and India. It is also important for its hydropower potential.
The use of relevant facts and examples helped the audience to ponder over the issues of cultural diversity and further understand its importance.
The interactive discussion was further enriched through a vibrant Q & A session.
Report Prepared by: SSIS Communication Committee