Thursday, June 14, 2012

My University Life Abroad..just a portion of it.

Thankyou Tashi sir and Singye sir ( MoE, scholarship division) for giving me the opportunity to speak to the 250 fresh scholarship students. More than the students, it was a platform for me to learn and build confidence. Anyway, I wrote the below article in order to prepare for the talk. I thought I will prepare and share with the students in rather an informal way, but ended up reading most of it :D. I was nervous in the beginning for my fist ever public speaking but got over it eventually, and I hope to deliver such talks in a better way next time.

My university life
Entering into the new phase of my life, I was excited beyond words, but I must say, things did not start smoothly as I imagined. Me and my three friends, we did not know that we had to make advanced accommodation booking. The person who was sent to pick us up from the University’s international office asked us where we would like to be dropped. All the four of us were, like, looking at each other with; I have no idea sort of look. Fortunately, before leaving Bhutan, we had contacted the then only Bhutanese student who was studying there in the same university. He was there at the airport as well. Took us with him and helped find a place to stay.
Beginning my university life, I found it strange and difficult for having to choose units of our choice to be enrolled in for the semester. What I had in mind was that, once we decide the course, we would be given a specific set of subjects and would be provided with text books. That was hardly the case, we had to decide what units we wanted to take, and there were many elective units to select from. That was not very pleasing for me at the time.
Most of the university works had to be done via internet. Assignments, quizzes and enquiries were most of the time done online. Coming from a small developing country like ours, where I was not used to using internet so extensively, adjusting to their way of teaching and learning was a major turning point. The another new experience, was, in addressing my lecturers and professors, for all my school life I was used to calling sir and madam to my teachers, but there, irrespective of the post and position, everyone was called by their first name. It took quite a while for me to be able call my lecturers by their name but when I did, I liked it that way so much. Anyway, I had the pleasure of calling some great people by their first name.
During the initial days, it was difficult to make people understand me and I myself had difficulty understanding their accent. It is not just the Aussie accent I am talking about here. There were people from so many different countries, each one of them beared a unique accent.  
Through friendship, food and communication I had the pleasure to experience so many different cultures. Culture is but everything a person/community is made up of. The type of food they ate, they way they mixed the ingredients. The different attires they wore, the way they welcomed guests and strangers. In the university where I studied, activities such as International Food Festival and Armidale Autumn Festivals are a great opportunity for the people to display their traditions and an opportunity to experience other cultures.
International Food Festival is a half day event organised by the University where we can put up stalls to display our culture in the form of food, crafts, clothes, photographs and videos. We Bhutanese leave no opportunity unattended to showcase our culture and country. 
Armidale Autumn Festival is a street parade and it is held in season of autumn. The parade begins at the university’s sports ground.  Walkers grouped in respective to their home country, dressed in their national dress and waving their national flag, will walk through the streets of Armidale city. Thousands of local people and international alike gather along the streets on the day to witness the festival. The festival brings together people of different ethnic group and gives the local community an opportunity to witness and experience cultures of different kind.
My dear young friends, go grab every learning opportunity that will come your way. If you have doubts, ask you lecturers. If you want to make friends, go talk to people and finally if you want learn and experience different cultures, makes new friends.
And don’t always stay in a gang of Bhutanese, for I think, to advance and increase your boundary of exposure, it is important to interact with international students, communicate, know there culture and learn from them.
Just being in Australia, or for that matter any other country, is not enough for us come back with rich experience. We should put an effort and always keep the willingness to learn and provide others our share of knowledge or whatever that is we can offer.
Take it easy and have lots of adventure but there is a purpose that must not be forgotten as well.

The purpose that must not be forgotten 
Until now, most of you I am sure your parents might have guided you through every step of your journey. We come from a culture where our parents are particular about their children's whereabouts and what they do. We are constantly advised on what is good and what is not in almost every decision we take. They are particular and sometimes even strict. 
But the life that awaits you out there is going to be absolutely different. You are going to be a free bird. Your parents will be miles away from you then by distance. So you will become the master of your actions. No one will be there to scold you for the wrong doings.  You can drink and party whole night and sleep till noon, still there will be no one to bother you. The bottom line, you will have the freedom to do whatever you please. 
But remember, this freedom is only until the end of the duration of your course.  At the end of the term, you will have to have all the academic requirements fulfilled, or else, you will have to face a lot of consequences. 
Today, I talk from the experiences of my own-self, friends’ and colleagues’. Some of us we lose ourselves into this freedom and loose our focus. We get excited to have this freedom, all of a sudden. Some of us, only some of us, we start facebooking infinitely, drink, party and wonder-around. And before you know it, you will have failed in one unit, two units and so on.Now, I cannot speak for every university or country. The uni where I studied, you fail in four units and you are one semester back. One semester back, meaning an additional cost of 8000 to 10000 Australian dollars tuition fee plus another 8000 Australian dollars as a living cost. And I must warn you, unless it is a genuine case, RGoB won’t bear the cost of that extended duration whatsoever. For a middle class family, 10 lakhs 20 thousand is still a huge education investment to bear. 10 lakhs, 20 thousands, being the approximate cost of studying in an Australian university for one semester. And if anything like this should happen (there have been few such cases in the past). We must/you must then be answerable to the RGoB. You put yourself into trouble, your parents as well and not to forget the student support staffs as well. Your life style of a free bird will then enter into a life of stress and unhappiness.  And as a result of all this, some students get mental breakdown and go into depression, because if they come back without the degree, double the amount spent on them by the RGoB has to be refunded. To end the talk, I wish and hope that, all of you will make the best use of the opportunity, time and freedom that awaits you and shape your life into whatever that is that you desire.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Being a citizen

:) my this essay won the best entry for "Beyond the Ballot" Challenge ( bagging me 10,000 Ngultrun  cash prize plus a certificate), Celebrating International day for Democracy 15 sept. Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy hosted the competition together with  UNDP, and UNDEF on the theme "Citizen". what does it mean to be a citizen?
Being a citizen
The meaning of being a citizen extends beyond just possessing the Citizenship Identity Card. Love and respect for the nation. It is about respecting the principles and laws of the government, abiding by the laws, which you as a citizen approved prior to bringing into effect. Being a citizen should mean raising your voice at the flaws of decision made by the law making body. It means not keeping quite when the government goes wrong. It doesn’t even mean you keep complaining. What it takes to being a citizen is your willingness to give opinions and point out the flaws, if any, and together working towards a better amendment.
He who is a good citizen will have the qualities; 1) Not being opportunistic and not misusing government resources. 2) Serving the Nation selflessly without seeking individual benefit and working towards upbringing of the people 3) Being compassionate towards the needy ones and extending a helping hand where possible. 4) Respect for the older, courtesy towards the young and consideration among peers. 5) Pride and respect for the unique culture and tradition the nation has, 6) and the mind to keep these traditions alive. 7) Being wise in adopting foreign cultures.
As much as one might think one is right with one’s opinion, one should respect the principles and views of other fellow citizens. Participating in community activities, the activity might be as small as a cleaning campaign or constructing a bridge. Nevertheless, your interest and willingness to be a part of that small event shall prove that you have the sense of belongingness towards your community.  A citizen should not lag behind in standing up for the rights of his own and at the same time should not fail in respecting the rights of the people around as much.
Sometimes being a citizen takes as little as having common sense. For example; by not leaving your waste/garbage behind at a picnic spot, you may be playing just your role but you are being a good citizen by not littering the environment.  Taking care of public properties or at least not destroying them.
When it comes to voting for the leader, we all should keep in mind that it is not the political party that matters. In the end, it all comes down to, how capable that particular person we are voting for is in serving the needs of our community. Our vote should not be biased towards a party background nor should it be based on a relation.  Most of all, it is about being true to ourselves while choosing the leader. 
Being a citizen (of Bhutan) is not just about holding pride talking about GNH somewhere abroad, but it also is about being able to think on the social, economic and environmental issues within the nation and showing concern. It doesn’t end by just showing concern, we all should come hand in hand and work towards how these issues might be addressed.
Well, wearing the national dress, speaking the national language and holding Citizenship Identity Card may be defined as being a citizen, but understanding and feeling yourself as one such citizen has a meaning broader than these physical proves. He is a person with honesty, a person true to himself and others as a whole. Above everything, all that takes to being a good citizen of any nation (for that matter, of the world) is being a good human being. Being a citizen is very simple yet a tough job, it is about playing your role with honesty and integrity. 
Lotey Om 
B.Sc (Physics) Hons, 4th year
The University of New England                                                                
Armidale, NSW, Australia                                                                           

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Talking to the bear :)

Knowing 'Love' + missing you 
Love is a crazy thing; it makes you want to cry, frustrated and messed up. It leaves you in total confusion and illusion. Because one is giving too much, so are the expectation and when these hopes go wrong, there is only hurting and pain at both ends. Sometimes you will wish if you didn’t love that person, because if you didn’t, walking away and never looking back would be an easy choice. But since you care, you will always want to compromise. You will notice how sometimes he tries not showing his anger just because he didn’t want to hurt you, even when it’s reached beyond tolerance. Love sees no ego. You will see yourself saying, ‘I am sorry, it’s all my fault’ while you still might be trying to figure out what went wrong.

Well off course, these little misunderstanding counts to nothing when compared to the happiness you get by being in love. Life is more beautiful knowing that there will always be him by your side not matter what. It is happiness to having found someone you can love and that happiness is more when you mean as much to the person. There is something I have known; as much as one care and love someone, it is equally important to know how much you mean to that someone as well. As long as there is true love and trust, a relation will have the strength to get through any misunderstanding. 

At the end of the day, love always makes me  smile :) 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not just the roses alone

Going got so disheartening and hopelessly tough that now I’m saying, ‘ok life take your share, you have been kind to me till now’. Life has given me more than I even asked for, wondering if I ever appreciated.  How could I have had any complain those days? If ever I had

Saturday, June 18, 2011

..dies but not by itself

At a point in my life, I tried to fit in with the people around. That didn’t just include: showing up at some festive gathering even at times when i didn’t wanted to because there is something the society calls it cooperation, wearing outfits which were supposedly in fashion, giving opinions which sometimes might not have been what you wanted to say but knew what the other person expected to hear. These ones are actually the simpler versions of what some of us do to fit in with the environment.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

the act that goes unrealized

While a plate of well cooked, deliciously appealing beef may sound an amazing meal, that piece of meat suffered and went through a lot of pain to reach this destination. No one heard his cries when he prayed not to be killed. Every tear drop that fell from his eye would have contained pains unmeasurable, prayers asking for mercy. No one felt the pain when his blood got drained and flesh removed even before his heart stopped beating.  There is nothing unlawful, nothing that makes us look ugly in enjoying the beautifully prepared dish. But the truth is; we are all just a merciless, selfish, greedy and heartless flesh eater and blood sucker.Thoughtfully speaking, we humans are the most frightening creature to ever have walked this planet.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Into the 'living'

If I can turn back in time and to live my past one more time, will I want to keep all those mistakes made from happening? Or do I still think those mistakes were worth making to get me the person I am now. Did I even learn anything? But whether mistakes amendable or not, there always was a way forward, every moment had its reason. Living is a weird event, experiences bring realization. We were preached many lessons from the times we hardly remember now, but most of the time, facts and realities are learned the hard way. Yet in this hateful and disgusting world, hard to deny there still are many things worth living for.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Little things, big the end?

Places become home after sometime, only to realize at some point that your soul has been sucked from the core. 

Unable to make it work with the people around. With the selfish ones, you try to make it up but for how long. After sometime you will just want to leave them alone saying let them be blessed. With the good ones, I was not good enough to take in their good nature. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

True words of me to my love

Because of love and care we have lived. Out of love and care there comes a tear. Out of attraction there comes a fear and with the fear there brings a confusion. Most of all, it is the humanity in us that creates misunderstanding. Out of affection we feel sorry, for, the fragrance of a true love will never let the soul die, no matter what.


Monday, July 5, 2010

If anything make sense

Time goes by, life move on and we get dragged. Because it is a cycle, every phase is unavoidable. Sometimes we don’t want to open our arms, if only that will make any difference. Some moments of the past, I wish I had it still but the reality, even the stillness is on move. Whatever it takes and where it might, I still keep this hope in me but when the lights are down in the middle of the night, truth never lies in saying your vision is still clear.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

look up in the sky

You are too less important a figure in my world to even think I’ll get offended by your comments. The very reason why I do not really care what is being said around. Evil and anger is in everyone. Some choose not to show for they understand nothing good but only evil will be reciprocated.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Story of a man

Sky is my brother, he tells and no one knows not what he means, I dont either. I ask 'how are you today?' He answers he been drinking the whole day. 'You didnt go to work again today', I ask. He tells me what do he do? The world sees him mad. ' I talk nonsense' he confess ' can I sing a song for you?'

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

..and you'll know there is a soul in you

An angel at the beach tells her story; saw a star falling down. Unable to believe the beauty created, almost lost her breathe. Just a blink and the star already plunged into the salty ocean. All she got was a drop of water thrown back. Sad for not being able to catch before it disappeared but looking at the sky she was happy to see many stars looking down at her. So she sits, waiting for the next star to fall. People live on, for there is still hope.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nothing unusual; my day

Thursday the 25th Feb 2010
Who could be calling me at this early hour in the morning? Disgusted and with eyes still closed I reach out for the phone. Unfortunately it is the alarm ring. Damn it! Its college time and I have class at nine o’clock. Wish I could sleep at least one more hour but no, this time I want to be good to myself and so a sincere student.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not in the prize!

The worth to a gift is not in the prize it hold but in the message and the symbol that comes with it. Action and words, whatever it may be, with time loses its charm, if not, forgotten..but the gift remains unless you decide you don’t want to keep them anymore. And every time you see it, you are reminded of the person who gifted, bringing back the history.

to my world

welcome all!