BY: Anamika (Cindy) Tangsakulnurak, Thailand
Today, we have nothing to study and no special place to visit. Thus, it is a good chance for us to work on our video of the Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program (YSEALI). The video will represent the stories of 14 professional fellows from Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We decided to have a superhero theme. However, we make it a bit different from most western superhero. As we are from Asia, when we think of our most famous super hero, we are thinking of the Power Rangers!
The key message of being superhero does not mean we are superior than others. In stead, it can be said that our group is more focus on the responsibility of what superhero has. Superhero does exist to protect the people and we as the “YSEALI Rangers” are here to learn the best practice of non profit organisations in the U.S. and go back to our country to serve our community.
Working with many people from different backgrounds from time to time can be extremely challenging. Asian people are well known on the issue of being on time. The importance of being punctual does not really matter in our culture and we have our own ‘Asian – time’ which means people could be an hour late from the stated time of arrival. We have been told and request by the Mansfield Center on the first day we arrived about this issue but still…In my opinion, it is great that we have a good chance to exercise this appropriate manner in an American society. I never see any American people being late in my appointments. It is extremely impressive for me and I wish that people in my society could have that preferred trait too.
Today, I have learned that working in the group with other fellows also gives us a chance to exercise our negotiation skill and learn constructive ways to deal with stress. It is very interesting seeing people express, discuss and listen to other people’s opinions. I really appreciate these values because it proves that we are equal and everyone should respect each other as we have democracy as a way of life.