sábado, 26 de diciembre de 2009

Holiday in Burma


I've always put my titles in english and written in spanish, maybe right now that I'm writing in English, my titles should be in Spanish? Nevertheless, today I'm going to talk about an issue which I've found interesting. If you know me a little, jsut a little, than you will probably know that I'm currently on an exchangee year in Finland. i came here with the ICYE program, which works with volunteer service. I applied for this program around April, this year, and was accepted months later, and have been on this dead cold country since August. I've been writing unfreqauently since, about what Iäve been doing. And what I've been doing? I've actually been working. My work is simple, basically I am the assistant to a teacher who works in an class with immigrants who have somehow reached Finland.
In many cases, this means that these people have to leave their countries, because there has been internal conflicts on their countries. Therefore, in my class of 15 students, it is not difficult to find three guys from Afganistan. I bet you know the situation over there is not really stable, plus Finland gives opportunities for them to come live here, a good choice even in times of peace. But actually Afghans are not the most populated nationality on my classroom, half of my classmates come from an East Asian country on the Thai Peninsula. The country itself is found under the names of Myanmar, though some countries acknowledge it as Burma. Burma was an English colony, which gained independence in the 60s, and after a small independent democratic era, there was a coup, and the same people have been ruling for years now. THe main problems in BUrma are the labor explotation, which people are forced to work under bad conditions. Although there are protests, the country has been living under thsi control for years now, which makes me think if it is a similar situation with the more familiar Cuba. I wouldn't be able to tell, because my main concern, is this really is never on the news. I personally had never heard about this conflicts until I met this great people over here in Finland. Things turn even more scary when you know that the government has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Karen people, the greatest of the minority, and the ethnicity to which my friends are part of. Karen is actually an offensive term used by colonists, but that people have now claimed as their own, this people are currently fighting for their independence from Burma.
So some days ago, one of my Burma friends invited me to go to his house and help him with some computer stuff. I was not sure what to expect, I didn't now it will all be pretty normal, or if I would find myself that they were living under bad living conditions. But apparently, the Finnish government, which I believe is who sets them out, has made good jobs helping this people out. The apartment might just be a little too small, since there are 5 people living there, but after that, it is was all perfectly normal, and they even had a way better computer than the one at my home in Honduras. However, I was really glad to have visited, mainly because they were such good hosts. THeir parents might not have been very talkative or interactive with me, but they sure showed some appreciation for my helping and I was received with a breakfast of sweet rice, some Thai coffee and some noodle lunch afterwards, all with frutis and cookies in between.
As I said before, I'm really glad I met this guys, and I really wish the best for their lives, so I plan to stay in contact with them after my exchangee year is over, but I don'treally knwo what to expect from them. Apparently, most of the plan to be soldiers for some reason, they're still young and have a couple of more years catching up with Finnish and some other science studies, but I don't doubt they will make it.
For the mean time, I leave you with this song, which always reminds me about their country, Dead Kennedys Holiday in Cambodia, a bordering Burma country, and one of the places I wish to see before I die, mainly for the Khmer culture heritage.


Dead Kennedys - Holiday in Cambodia .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

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