SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Nineteen

Have you accessed your free trial on www.scola.org yet? If not, you need to now, because you will definitely want to join me on this next adventure with On the Street Videos! I was scrolling through photos on People and Places and stumbled upon the scenic views of Asia’s second most-populous country, India! I only had to scroll through a few out of the 280 original photos from India to know that was where I wanted to travel next!

I’ll admit, I don’t know a whole lot about India. No worries though, before my adventure I log on to Language Training Materials and check out India’s Country Overview Video. Here I learn about India’s climate (not that it matters because I don’t have to pack a bag!), India’s history, India’s diverse economy, and so much more!

My next step in preparation for my big trip is to learn how to converse with the locals, and with over 975 ready-to-use language lessons straight from India on Insta-Class I am well on my way! I fly through Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced language lessons in Bengali, Hindi, and Punjabi and soon I am on my way to India!

To begin my adventure I log on to On the Street Videos. After taking in so much information about a country that was so new to me I could really use a little rest and relaxation! It seems my prayers have been answered as I hear about a yoga camp offered by Yoga Guru Arunji. I explore mantras to strengthen my body and soul and discover health benefits of making yoga part of my daily life. The yoga camp gave me the strength and energy I needed to carry on through the rest of my adventure!

During my second stop in India I chat with some locals about the Indian education system. Locals tell me about the differences in education when she was young as compared to today, the busy lives of her children that leave little room for play, and the differences of live in her village and life in the metro city of Mumbai. Thanks to Insta-Class I feel comfortable in my Punjabi skills and am able to fully understand and converse as I experience parts of daily life as a citizen in India.

My time in India is up and I find myself back on my couch where my adventure began. No reason to be sad though, I know another adventure is just around the corner with On the Street Videos!

What are you waiting for? Access your free trial today on www.scola.org!

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Bringing Out the Best in SCOLA

As our users enjoy the authentic material SCOLA offers, many may wonder how the resources came to be available to us. Everything available to users on www.scola.org has been sent in to us from providers in countries around the world. SCOLA providers regularly send in TV programs, photos, publications and much more to ensure that our subscribers have the most current and applicable information.

Our providers are the ones who make the work we do at SCOLA possible, and between launching a new website, creating Savoir-Vivre, and updating our existing services daily, SCOLA also stays busy with many special projects, such as conferences and presentations. Our subscribers are always enthusiastic and willing to help, whether we need short clips of them singing a song, a video greeting for a special guest at a conference, or sending information on love and marriage for our upcoming 28 Days of Love. All of our special projects are in addition to the regular material our providers send in for services like World TV Online, On the Street Videos and Insta-Class.

SCOLA staff enjoys hearing about our providers daily lives, learning about their culture and viewing the new and exciting material they send in. Recently, we got to hear from a few of our providers about what they enjoy most about working with SCOLA:

“I take pleasure and feel that all these treasures of India should be shared with the rest of the world.  I also feel that one grows by learning about different cultures of the world and brings all the people closer like a universal family and does away with any misunderstandings which may exist.  It is very important for international peace and understanding and I congratulate SCOLA for doing such nice work.”
-Jitendra, India

     “Listening to a different language always encourages me to learn it. It is good to know.  My grandfather always said “Speaking one language makes you one person, speaking two languages makes you two persons.” Learn a new language and be happy.”
-Doa, Turkey

“…how fascinating it is to know the culture of other countries. This will make people from all over the world come closer and understand each other. This will make the world a more peaceful and better place to live in.”   -Jyoti, India

“[SCOLA] brings out the best in you. It has exposed me to so many aspects of TV production as well as areas of untapped knowledge, culture and much more.”
– Mercy, Nigeria

      In Mercy’s words, our providers bring out the best in SCOLA. The work the providers do for SCOLA makes our mission, to help the people of the world learn about one another; their cultures, their languages and their ideologies, possible. We are very thankful we have found so many people around the world that share the same passion of educating the world about one another. Without the hard work of our providers, SCOLA would not have the authentic language learning materials that so many of our subscribers learn from and enjoy. Their hard work is appreciated by all SCOLA staff and users!

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Make the World a Better Place to Live

Recently SCOLA provider Jyoti shared with us her thoughts on making the world a better place to live. Here is what she had to say:

Hi, I’m Jyoti Nikam from India. I am a freelance translator for Gujarati and Marathi. I have worked with SCOLA for the last four years and I’m happy to be a part of it. I am putting forward my views briefly about what culture is and why it’s important.

To me culture is human’s knowledge, learning, customs, language, tradition and food habits which are passed from one generation to the next. We live in a world with diverse culture. Tradition, language, dress, art, food, and festivals all form culture. A person is known by his culture, which makes his identity unique.

IMG_2457We should know about our own culture and also should learn about other’s culture as well. Knowing another’s culture will help us respect them and in return we will learn to respect others. In this age of globalization we have to travel to other countries. By knowing their culture we will communicate with them better and respect their culture as well.

For example, I live in India in Maharashtra state, and when I visited Rajasthan state, also in India, I came to know their culture. I learned about their food habits (which is very spicy), their dress, their business, and traditions. So imagine when just in India I had the opportunity to learn the culture of another state, how fascinating it is to know the culture of other countries. This will make people from all over the world come closer and understand each other. This will make the world a more peaceful and better place to live.

I am happy to introduce you to my Indian culture. To start with, I will be sharing with you different Indian Recipes from different parts of India. Also, I will introduce you the different festivals that are celebrated here in India. You can find all of my material on Savoir-Vivre.

SCOLA appreciates Jyoti sharing her thoughts on culture and the material she has shared so far for Savoir-Vivre. When Savoir-Vivre launches you will be able to experience the culture Jyoti has shared with us through the fascinating videos we have received from her.

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, Filling in the Gap for Parliamentary Discussions

Aarati Raghuvanshi is an undergraduate student at Boston College, in the USA. She is currently an intern for Santosh Shah, a SCOLA provider from Nepal.  Aarati wrote the following article about the new debate show from Nepal that is currently being featured on SCOLA Channel 4. You can tune into the program every Saturday at 14:05:00.

 

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters, filling in the gap for parliamentary discussions

By Aarati Raghuvanshi

In a country where young generation is barely aware of their rights, responsibilities and their strength, “Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters” is a show that is on its way to change this mindset for good. Produced by Today’s Youth Asia, a youth led organization overseen by its president, Santosh Shah, the TV series is one of the very few platforms where Nepali students are encouraged to voice their opinions on a national level. Launched in July 2012 and successfully on its way to its third season, this annual debate show attracts viewers throughout the country. The show has also achieved recognition as the world’s first reality television show based on a debate theme.

The Constituent Assembly formed in 2008 was dissolved in 2012 without delivering the promised Constitution. At a time when Nepal’s political, social, and economic development is at halt, the show has become a medium to address public concerns. Megan Titley, a part of the live audience says, “It’s great to get young people, especially girls, out there thinking, analyzing, and adding to the conversation about topical issues.” With thought-provoking topics such as ‘whether Nepal should focus on Asia or the West for its economic prospects’ and if ‘Nepal government should ban the privatization and exploitation of its natural resources’, this platform is a powerful tool for the Nepalese youth to discuss current affairs that were previously limited to the national political figures of the country.

The debate show has also been rated as of the highest caliber by visiting judges from all over the world. For one of the final episodes, where the topic of discussion was “Peace is possible without justice”, one of the judges, Dr. Dee Aker from University of San Diego, praised the tenth grade finalist, Anuska Pant, saying: “I’m very very impressed, I’m not sure if I have university students that would do half as well as you did with the topic.” As for the other finalist, Urusha Silwal of grade twelve, fellow judge Dr. Lilia Velasquez, from California Western School of Law said, “ I wish that my law students had half of the passion that you do while debating”. When asked about the concept of the program, Santosh Shah, the producer of the show says, “After the Constituent Assembly was dissolved in May 2012, there was a dearth of public platform to discuss the grave national issues, and my team and I thought that a debate series on a national channel would fill in the need very well, where young concerned citizens can fearlessly voice forth their findings, logics and public opinions. That is how we conceptualized Top 7 Debaters.”

The TV series may have the added glamour of a reality show, however participants are solely judged by Santosh Shah and two alternating judges. Claire Naylor, a judge for one of the episodes, says “Everyone has their own standard and way of judging, but we all look for the same things from a participant – content, clarity, and confidence. I was blown away by the maturity and the conviction of the students.” Naylor further adds “It’s beautiful and powerful to see youths do something for other youths,” denoting to the fact that the production team is made up entirely of people in their 20s – the producer of the show Mandira Raut and the entire production team are in their 20’s, while the anchors and the research team are even younger.

Leadership Academy, the youth education wing of Today’s Youth Asia that actually operates the show, aims to train many young intellectuals on the technical details of scripting, editing, and production, exposing them to the world of media at an early age. In fact, not only are youths included in the production of the show, but also in the brainstorming phase of the show as students can suggest interesting topics for debate through the use of social media.

Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters is a show that has ignited a spark on the once stagnant and withdrawn spirit of the people of Nepal. It has and continues to provide young debaters a powerful platform to raise genuine and forthright concerns of common people that are often missed out in the discussions of parliaments, politics, diplomacy, and developments. It is indeed heart-warming and inspiring to see an organization that recognizes and values the role of the youth in our society.

 

Not only does SCOLA broadcast excellent programming from Nepal, it is also our August Country of the Month. Visit any of our social media pages to learn more about the country.

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