Global Village 2020

Last week, AIESEC Sunway held an online sharing session with the global volunteers from Vietnam and Indonesia. The event aimed to broaden the awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures by joining their volunteer program across different countries.

First off, 2 AIESEC representatives from Vietnam, Lucy & Jen from Foreign Trade University (FTU) Hanoi shared their country’s culture and revealed many more things with the audience.

Demographic

Vietnam is a country with 3 different regions which are North, Central and South. Their biggest city is Ho Chi Minh City and they use their own currency (Vietnam Dong, VND). It’s a tropical country where there are no significant weather changes (except for North). Their office language is Vietnamese whereby 90% of the population are familiar with while the other 10% are ethnic minorities with people from all over the world. 

Culture

Vietnamese have their own religion in which people pay tribute to historical figures and ancestors and mother Goddesses of Four Palaces. Ao Dai is Vietnam’s iconic dress which symbolises beauty, elegance and their identity. When it comes to food, Vietnam’s spring roll would pop up in most of our brain due to its popularity and how delicious it is. Aside from that, there is the sticky square cake which is a traditional cake that is made during the Tet holiday(festival). There are other dishes such as Banh tet (celebrated with Tet), Gio Cha (Vietnam sausage/ham) served alongside Xoi and Banh Chung.

Vietnam’s traditional customs may seem to be quite similar with Chinese customs in Malaysia, but they are unique in their own way. The Vietnamese traditional customs include:

  1. Visit and show respect to Buddha and Gods of the pagodas
  2. Watch firework performance 
  3. Gather around and watch the Tao Quan Show
  4. Indoor worship area (for ancestors) and outdoor worship shrines
  5. Lion dance during Lunar New Year
  6. Burning of joss paper
  7. The first visitor of the year
  8. New Year’s Eve – the meal finishing year 

Volunteers are allowed to choose from the 3 Global Volunteer Programs which are:

  1. The Free School, Kiddo English and Coins for Change (Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 4: QUALITY EDUCATION)

Live with foreign teachers and volunteers while being able to exchange culture and improve their English through online and offline platforms.

  • Working hours: 30 hours/week 
  • Accommodation: Single room 
  • Food: Allowance is provided
  • Job description: Teach English for different levels of student
  1. Blind-Link and Dao’s Care (SDG 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH)

Social organization in Hanoi, creates employment and encourages self- independence and self- confidence for the visually impaired. 

  • Working hours: 40 hours/week
  • Accommodation: Stay with host family
  • Food: Allowance is provided
  • Job description: Customer service and marketing the spa, write and translate news on website, teach languages for blind employees and staffs at the spa
  1. Homestay Vietnam, Lida Homestay and Enghouse Homestay (SDG 4: QUALITY EDUCATION)

Live with foreign teachers and volunteers while being able to exchange culture and improve their English through online and offline platforms.

  • Working hours: 25 hours/week 
  • Accommodation: Dormitory
  • Food: Allowance is provided
  • Job description: Teach English for different levels of student

Moving on, an AIESEC representative from LCVP iGV AIESEC in Padjadjaran University, Indonesia, Hanni shared her local cultures and customs.

Demographic & Geographic

With the capital city of Jakarta, Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. The country also has the largest archipelago with a whopping 17,504 islands in which 6000 are inhabited. The 5 main islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. Similar to Malaysia, they have only 2 seasons which are dry and wet seasons. They are famous for their beautiful landscapes such as beaches and mountains. 

Culture

Indonesia is very diverse and has 1,300 ethnic groups and languages due to their many islands. The official language is Bahasa Indonesia while other languages are only spoken by a certain number of people. Though Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, however, they accept other religions as well such as Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Even though Indonesia may seem like a beautiful country, it still has its own social issues as well such as poverty, deforestation and corruption. Thus, Hanni stated that it’s very important to become a world citizen, which is to be aware of happenings around the globe and be more responsible in protecting and contributing change to the world through the Sustainable Development Goals. Among her social projects include:

  1. H.O.P.E PROJECT (SDG 4: Quality Education) 
  • Teach English to the youth in the rural areas
  • Motivate them to pursue higher education
  • Prepare books and stationaries
  1. Padpreneur Project (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • Contribute to society through economic growth
  • Promote and sell the products made by indigenous people

What is provided in the Global Volunteer Program?

  • Arrival pick up
  • Visa preparation
  • Training for exchange participant
  • Webinar and incoming preparation seminar
  • Certificate of completion 
  • Local volunteer/ Buddy
  • Host family (depends on the situation)

It’s not about the size of the impact, it’s about how we take action and contribute to our society.” – Hanni, 2020

With that, the sharing had ended. Those who are interested in participating in their Global Volunteer Programs or would like to have more information can visit AIESEC Facebook page.

Writer: Alex Wong

Editor: Pei Zoe

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