What is our legacy?
Or in other words, what is the legacy we want to leave behind? Is it unanimated buildings or concrete that crumbles with time? Or is it the gift of life? Hello. Im Atiqah from Brunei. You might have remembered me as there were not many of us Bruneians in the event. Due to university commitments within Korea, I only applied to be an inbound participant. Hence, three days seemed like a very short time to ponder on the above questions, and an even shorter time to seek for answers. However, no time is too short to gain a worthwhile experience and a significant realization regarding issues we often neglect, but are very important to us.
For the past one year, I have been living in a concrete jungle in Busan. From the 10th floor of my dormitory, I look down to a sea of buildings, which is ofcourse is pretty. I have almost adapted to this view of Korea, I almost forgot what it felt like to look up into the sky and see the leaves decorate my sky view. So, the first time we stepped foot on Soopchaewon, it was like recalling a good memory- memory of what it feels like to be surrounded by nature. There was no bustling sounds of traffic, just birds singing as if welcoming us to serenity. There was no yellow dust or exhaust fumes, just fresh air. This feeling itself is one of my greatest memories in the event.
Then, we were brought into a wooden like auditorium where, to my surprise, we were given very nice and practical souvenirs. The day proceeded into forming groups and cheers and I was placed in a group that fits me well- a carefree group. Amused by the name of the leader of our team, Hangeul, we call ourselves team 한글. The first few assignments was difficult for our team to comprehend, but that was understandable as not everyone came from a forestry or even environmental major background.
However, despite such obstacle, it was also what made me realize that our actual world is like that. Our society is made up of many different people coming from and working in different backgrounds- business, economics, human development, environmental etc. As each of these persons place different things as their priorities, protecting the environment may not be on top of their knowledge, or even on top of their priorities. Which is why we needed to sit together, discuss, enrich other with our knowledge regarding protection of environment and most importantly, listen to others perspectives too. This way a harmonious solution to environmental issues could be found.
One of the most memorable experience too was the process of making UCC. Many different ideas were suggested which had made it quite difficult to choose but in the end, we came up with a simple yet more meaningful solution. During the t-shirt making competition, each one of us in the team create a shirt with any design that symbolizes our environment and we recorded the whole process. This symbolically means that, the environment is not just made up of trees. It’s the whole myriad of organisms- the insects, the birds, the leaves, fruits, trees and animals. To protect one, we must take into account of everything for all living things in an ecosystem are interrelated.
So if you ask me what is the legacy I want to leave behind, it is not bricks that will crack and crumble; but nature that will evolve in time- all the fresh air to breath in, sky view decorated with leaves, animals singing to their own content and the serenity of being in a forest.
Thank you for such meaningful experience within my short inbound experience.
Atiqah Raduan, ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop 2015 participant