Tuesday, June 10, 2008

my turkish adventures: turkish language olympics (part 3)

Malaysian Reps with the infamous French boy, Gzim

Sweetie Niyan from Iraq and I

A'ala the Woody Woodpecker from Poland with Sakinah and I

Me with the 'Singapore Airlines stewardesses' lol

Sakinah, Achala from Sri Lanka, me and Achala's cousin

A simple 'Merhaba. Nerelisiniz?' (Hello. Where are you from?) could sometimes build friendships that will could probably last for a very long time at the Turkish Language Olympics. I made tons of new friends from different countries. But I grew closest to Achala from Sri Lanka, Niyan and Saya from Iraq, the Singaporeans and A'la from Poland. We came from different family backgrounds, countries and religions but even with our differences we managed to click and remained close knitted until the end of the competition.

The competition was a success in bringing the world closer together. On a daily basis I wouldn't make friends with someone far away like Malawi or Kazakhstan or Sweden but because of my participation in this competition as well as 550 other people from 110 different countries it was possible for us to make new, exciting friends. For example I met this really weird French boy who knew very little English and Turkish and he only knew French. So when people asked him 'How OLD are you?' in either turkish or english, he would reply 'I'm fine' and when asked 'how are you?', he would say 'on dort' which means 14 in turkish.

Weird, indeed and he was kinda the laughing stock of the competition but we remained friends with him. At the end of our 3 weeks, we exchanged e-mail addresses (not with the French boy though 'cause his computer crashed. He didn't tell me that. He told me by making slashing sounds of the computer LOL) and promised that we would meet again if we would visit each others countries.

As our ways diverged at the end and as we wonder if our paths will ever cross again, we continue with our lives with the beautiful memories made in Turkey still etched in our hearts.

What did I get from this competition? I can now speak 3 languages, I got to learn more about other cultures and traditions, I gained new friends, I travelledTurkey for free, I had the chance to have a taste of fame and popularity ;) and most importantly, by mixing with a variety of people I learned to accept the differences of others and embrace their similarities because at the end of the day we're all still humans with more similarities than we think we have.

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