Virtual Cultural Exchange Program: Different is Beautiful 2021

Virtual Cultural Exchange Program: Different is Beautiful 2021

IVS (International Voluntary service) – a movement that FSL India follows to promote peace, understanding and service through intercultural programs allows youth from different cultures and backgrounds to connect, experience, share, learn from each other and work with each other physically. Due to the pandemic and the restrictions that it has caused FSL India has continued to promote the IVS Motive and vision through conducting Virtual exchange programs that encourage Personal Social Responsibility. We are happy to share with you the experience of one of our virtual volunteers – Nada, from Indonesia:

FSL India (Field Services and Inter-cultural Learning) is a leading youth development organization of India focused towards intercultural Learning through Voluntary Services, set up to promote Global Understanding by providing opportunities to youth to work in different cultural contexts and to appreciate intercultural learning. 

I joined the program that was held by FSL India for a month during every weekend, Saturday and Sunday. It was a really great experience! I’m glad that I can be a part of that program. I met many new friends from some countries, such as India, Japan, Spain, and Germany.

We talked about different topics every week, and also got different challenges everyday that we had to complete. So, here I will explain the activities in each week.

The first week was about introduction and language. We introduced ourselves to each other, and the first challenge was to get in touch with our buddy, also we had a session about language. Everyone taught their language to each other, and the 2nd day challenge was to learn a greeting in our buddy’s language and take a video saying that greeting. My buddy was Sebastian. He is from Karnataka, India, and he taught me about Telugu language.

The second week was about food and cooking. We talked about food from our country with each other and ate together. The challenge of the 3rd day was to get in touch with our buddy and share a family recipe or traditional dish along with the story or history behind it. My buddy was Nilima. She is from India, and she told me about Pazhampori. It is similar to Fried Banana (Pisang Goreng) in Indonesia. Then, we had Cooking Day! FSL India taught us about cooking Indian Food, such as Lemon Rice, Chapati/Puri, Potato Fry, Potato Bonda, and Lassi. That day really made me crave Indian Food. Want to try it someday! And, the challenge on that day was to share a meal with someone who can’t afford it. I can choose to cook and give them or buy them something!

The third week, we shared about music and movies from each other’s country. The challenge was to create a playlist, the songs should have a social significance or be empowering, it should be in each other’s respective language. Then, on the 6th day, we talked about superstition and tradition with each other. The challenge was to give a small peek into a tradition that each other practice through a small video displaying our tradition and tell each other it’s significance.

The fourth week, we shared stereotypes and gave an impression to each other because it was the last day. We talked about what we think about stereotypes and we got a challenge to take a picture or video stating a stereotype about ourselves or our culture that we have broken or would like to break.

I’d really enjoyed this program and gained a lot of new knowledge. Hope someday I can meet them in real life, or maybe If I have a chance I really want to visit their country. See you at another time, guys. xoxo.

-Nada, Virtual Volunteer (Indonesia)

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