BEING involved in ADA APA? was as exciting for the British facilitators as it was for their Malaysian counterparts. Although two weeks was hardly enough time for anyone to delve into the psyche of another culture, the six visiting facilitators came away knowing more about Malaysian teens than the average Malaysian adult. For one thing, they learnt that speaking out is not the norm among youth in Malaysia.
On another note, they discovered refreshing similarities between the UK and Malaysia – such as family ties, the importance of friends and interests in life. All say they would love to return to Malaysia for another ADA APA? travelling adventure.
Here are a few things they have to say about the experience in general and Malaysian youth in particular:
It has been a great experience as I have learnt so much about Malaysia – the politics, cultures and problems. Apart from the differences between Malaysia and Britain, each one has his or her own style. – Bhavini Raval, 22
It was amazing to see how the young people opened up to the facilitators despite the cultural and language barriers. – Philippa McKenzie, 25
The experience has showed me how little I know about my own country; something I'm quite ashamed of. The first thing I will do when I get back is learn more about the UK, its history, culture and people. – Siobhan Lightfoot, 20,
Many young people in the UK take their freedom and opportunities for granted, so they are not so aware of issues like those faced by Malaysian youth. – Gemma Megwai,22
It has been an eye-opener talking to young people in Malaysia. I was impressed by their openness and willingness to share. I did not know what to expect before I came. I am glad that I did. – Silvia Cataudo, 20
It was a refreshing experience as participants were enthusiastic to tell us visitors about their country. It helps us to view another culture in a different light as it forces us to examine our own culture. – Tearlach Duncanson, 33
Talking to the youth reminded me what it’s like to be a young person in Malaysia. It is easy to forget a lot of things as we get older. – Imri Nasution, 25
It has been crazy but amazing – travelling, interacting with different people in different environment and working together with the Malaysian and UK facilitators. It proves that we can bridge the diversity and work together. – Kitrhona Ramday, 22
It has been a good experience interacting and working with the UK facilitators, especially to compare and exchange facilitation skills. As for Malaysian youth, we hope that particular attention will be given to their grouses, especially on education. From the feedback we gathered, all seem to have a problem with the education system. I believe that it would be good to have a parent-teacher-student association, so that the youth can participate in the decision-making process where education is concerned. – Fahmi Fadzil, 22