Sunday, 8 November 2015

Me, Korea and the people!

 I have visited India and Singapore with my family. But, I never have been to a country with people whom I am not so close, strangers in other word until last August. I applied for Youth Exchange Program under Ministry of Youths and Sports (KBS). I am not a stranger to youth programs since my father was a former Youth NGO leader. But, I should admit that I never heard about this program before. I had to undergo psychology test (not as fancy as it named) and selection camp first before got selected to this program.

 I was surprised and quite shocked too when KBS officer called (on Sunday!) to inform me that I have been selected for Malaysia-Korea Youth Exchange Program. It was very short notice due to some reasons, and the officers had to work on the weekend. Finally I get my passport (renewed on first day before flight) and attend Pre-departure program in Menara KBS. On this post I will to tell you about the wonderful people whom I travel with and met in Korea.

 From the 14 delegates, I have only have met and spoke to 3 of them before in selection camp. Vijay who share the dormitory with me, Azira who was my team member and Helen whom I met outside the hall on the first day, we talk about education on that day. Before we board the flight I try to get engage with them. As we were bringing identity as Malaysian Delegates, I had to ensure a stronger bond with these “strangers”! And very surprisingly there were no trouble at all to engage with them and till the last day of program we stay as one team. As always I had little trouble in remembering their names, honestly it took a few days to remember their name.

Group picture!

 Korea is a country where the people gives very much important to their mother tongue, unlike in Malaysia where a significant number of people who thinks speaking in English making them elite exist. So, not all in Korea are very good in English. You may have a little trouble to communicate with them. But, that’s not a big problem since guides in English are available in Museums. You also can download Korean language app on your phone and you can even use Google Translate.

The first official photo in Incheon, S. Korea (Shi Ming & Kak Nadia looking somewhere else).

 On our stay in Korea we were accompanied by program coordinator, Ms. Yerang Kim (Elena) and translator Ms. Haneul Park (Sky). They both are so beautiful and kind. We ask them a lot of question and they never failed to answer us. Our translator Sky once didn’t even eat anything because she was so busy translating our question to Korean Youth Work Agency director. It was very good and fun to play, travel, eat and talk with them. I ask a lot of questions to them about South Korea and North Korea relationship. Despite the fact that was the first time we meet and we are foreigners it was very easy to get along with them. I miss them actually, good people are rare to find. Hope they will visit Malaysia one day.

Sky and Elena!
 Another important person is Kissannim, our Bus driver in Korea. He is a very kind person. We never spoke since he don’t speak English but still he get coffee in a shop for us in Gangwon and even bring one coffee for Abang Ayie who was sitting on bus. He is very friendly person. Dominic named him as the best driver in the world! 

Shabiha with Kissannim! (I couldn’t find the group picture I took with him)

 Throughout the program I stay with Alan in same room. I have joined many programs before but I never stay with a non-student (He is working). We talk about many things while in Korea and went to homestay program in Incheon together. In Incheon we stayed in foster family’s 100 years old house. But, unfortunately it was very short period and we didn’t have much time with our Omma and Appa. Apparently Korean people work harder than I thought. My foster father only came back early morning after work. He is engineer. They have two kids but I just met them briefly, they were busy too. I got little jealous because other delegates stay with kids and youngsters. They could have learnt more about youth and students life. But nevermind everyone have their own privileges and knowledge they gain from this homestay program. After all, they never stay in traditional house like us. Our Omma cooked delicious Korean foods for us (I couldn’t finish). On the second and the last day of homestay program our Appa brought us for a walk around the house (Will write more later).

My Korean “Family” in Incheon!

After the homestay program we join the most anticipated program, cultural exchange class with Korean youths. It was a good ground for us to discuss many things from education to youth. Those people are so friendly and kind. There were quite surprised and confused over diversity of Malaysian delegates. We had to explain to them about ethnic diversity in Malaysia to them. We spend almost half day with them. I met Yong gi, Seon Young, Ji-Hyun and Hyun-Jin at the program. Since, only Yong gi and Seon Young was in my team my most conversation was with them. I spoke to Ji-Hyun and Hyun-Jin in Kuala Lumpur when they came here for Korea-Malaysia exchange program. We had a lot of informal discussions about education and lifestyle in Korea. I also meet some Korean High School students (Girls High School) in Gangneung. Though the gap between ages not much different, I felt they are too young to talk about many things. We just had discussion about their High School life (which is very stressful). The president of the High School club, Eun Limes was educated in Canada and spoke in very good English. She shares many things about the difference between Korean and Canadian education system. Erin one of our group member (See the picture below, the girl giving present to overexcited Hilmi) is the only one quite active than others.

My team!

With Husyin and Dominic’s Korean Sister!

Korean High School Girls! (That’s Hilmi in green, Shi Ming and Azira)

 Hyun-Jin, Me, Yong Gi and Ji-Hyun

 The Malaysian delegates led by Mr. Mazlan KBS officer from Labuan and assisted by Mr. Ikhwan. At first when I saw Mr. Mazlan I thought he will be a strict person but he was a lot cooler than me same goes to Mr. Ikhwan. We had a lot of fun together with Shabiha the selfie queen, Hilmi the over excited guy, Vijay young for his age guy, wise and smart person (Good adviser, supporter), Azira (no nick name for her, she is a quiet girl), Dominic the engineer (He call me with various name, I quite like him), Kak Nadia the ICT girl, Huysin and Abang Ayie the politician duo (both are in Tourism field), Shi Ming the brave, smart traveller girl (She inspires me a lot), Hellen, the gorgeous (I dare say she is the most mature among us), Alan my roommate and the most important person Izzaty the pretty physicist plus teacher plus ……… (I don’t want to mention, she will get angry later. To those who knows please fill in the blanks). This is the most perfect team I have ever seen.

I hope my friendship with these people will continue. It’s impossible to talk with them all the time but this friendship will never end. I will write more about my Korea tour in my next post. Thanks for reading.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Thoughts #2: Good? Where it is?

 Trust is overrated. Darkness is ruling the world now. Bad people are everywhere. They even disguise as good people. This makes me so afraid with this world. I don’t know who should I trust. We are so vulnerable for attack and expose to great peril untimely. Remember, all that glitter is not gold. Beware and stay in constant vigilance.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Thoughts #1

If you brave enough to do something, than you ought to have the same courage to face the consequences.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


Is there dawn for hope?
I wish there is hope for hope!

Saturday, 17 January 2015


These are the favorite phrases of mine from other language.

Carpe Diem (Latin) - Seize the day

Satyameva Jayate (Sanskrit) - Truth alone triumphs

Cerca Trova (Italian) - Seek and ye shall find

Friday, 26 December 2014

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

  I love to read. I have read a lot of story books. Mostly in Tamil. I hardly read Malay story books. I have read one Malay story book and have read one school Malay Literature novel when I was in form 5. Now I don’t read Tamil books anymore. Just newspaper, sometimes.

  When I decide to read English books, the first I choose is Harry Potter. Simply I choose Harry Potter because of my friends. It took weeks to finish the first book for me, Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone. But, the reading speed apparently improves after I read 3 books. I think I need to improve more. Well, let’s see.

  Okay, Harry Potter. Reading Harry Potter is a unique experience. The writer, J.K. Rowling (pronounce rolling) must be an Angel. Okay, that’s too much. But, she is definitely a magical author. Bless her talent, bless her imagination. She is an example for the phrase, “Imagination have no border.” I have watched unauthorized biography movie about her. I really impressed by her fighting spirit. She struggle a lot before able to become Bestselling Author and first millionaire author!

  Back to Harry Potter. Among the 7 books, the book I love the most is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s the fifth book and first book after Lord Voldemort return. The good thing is this is the first appearance for Luna Lovegood. I love her so much. She is among my favorite character. Lone (Which earns her name Lonely Lovegood), loyal, brave, smart, and true friend. The worst part is Sirius Black’s (Harry Potter’s god father) dead. Really sad. He is like father to Harry Potter.

  I’m very sure Harry Potter readers hate Dolores Umbridge more than Lord Voldemort. She is pure evil. A devil in human form. She is a teacher what apparently a jinxed job, Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher. Harry hates her more than Snape. The best part is peeves chase her out of the school at the end with walking stick.

  Harry’s life is in very serious thread and trouble in this book with Umbridge who dared to order dementors to attack Harry Potter and with the return of Lord Voldemort, mass escape of Death Eathers. Hermione able to insist him to teach a group of a students to learn Defense Against the Dark Art, which taught by Dolores Umbridge who didn’t allow the students to use wand and do practice with the spell and jinxes. Unfortunately, a member of Dumbledore’s Army (DA) betrays them and Dumbledore take the responsibility to avoid the students from being expelled from school.

  Luna, Neville, Ron, Ginny and Hermione who are members of DA join Harry Potter in a battle in Ministry of Magic in London where he lost his Godfather, Sirius Black. This teaches us that we should be very careful with bad people. We should not give a room to them to cheat us. If we fail to do so the consequences could be worse and disaster to us.

  Since it’s my favourite book I reread it. I will share the best quotes from the book below and suggest everyone to read Harry Potter. It’s really good piece of reading. You will never get disappointed.


(Page 186 line 4)
 “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.” – Luna Lovegood

(Page 325 line 16-18)
“I didn’t think there was anything in the universe more important than homework,” said Ron. (I sense sarcastic here)

“Don’t be silly, of course there is!” said Hermione.

(Page 389 line 7)
“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter

(Page 530 line 27-30)
“The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing.”- Severus Snape

(Page 554 line 10-11)
“A fever or something. It has to get worse before it gets better.” –Hermione

(Page 814 Paragraph 4-5)
“There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!” said Lord Voldemort.
“You are quite wrong. Indeed your failure to understand that there are things worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.” Albus Dumbledore

(Page 833 Line 25-26)
“Some wounds run too deep for healing.” – Professor Dumbledore

Sunday, 21 December 2014


   Words are so powerful. Only some people’s words are powerful. I realise that sometimes strong words comes from a weak person. Okay, let’s come to the topic.

   Chronicles of Narnia is a very good movie series (I’m waiting for next sequel actually its sequel to the first prequel for the second and third movie). Chronicles of Narnia is based on novel by C.S. Lewis with the same title. I would like to share some interesting quotes from the movie Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader third installment of the series.

-“To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness inside yourself.”

-“We have nothing, if not belief.”

-“You doubt your value. Don’t run from whom you are.”

   Other than that, I love to read quotes from Master Lao Tzu. He is widely known as founder of Taoism one of the traditional Chinese religion. Actually Taoism is a philosophy not a religion! Here are some of his quotes. The third one is very confusing. But, what he is saying is very true. I just experience that in my life. (sigh)

-“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

-“When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things 
as good, other things become bad.”

-“Try to change it and you will ruin it. Try to hold and you will lose it.”

   A.P.J Abdul Kalam is former President of Republic of India, Scientist and currently Professor in a University. I have read his books in Tamil. Wings of Fire, his autobiography.  He is a great man. Really great man. He is the true visionary. He always asks students to dream. He wanted to transform India using student’s power. Here are some of his quotes about dream.

-“Dream Dream Dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts results in action.”

-“Dream is not that which you see in while sleeping. It is something that does not let you sleep.”

  Vincent Van Gogh is a wonderful painter. I love his painting, “The Starry Night”. My friend says each line in painting describe emotions. Here is his quote and masterpiece.

-“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”

The Starry Night

There are a lot of interesting quotes. But, I think it’s enough for now. Last but not least I want to share a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”