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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pakistan 101 for Korean Middle/High School Students

Ms. Jiwon Park (Sinsu Middle School: Grade 9)

I have been working with UNESCO's Cross-Cultural Awareness Programme (CCAP) since 2004. This program was launched in September 1998 by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea. CCAP invites foreign residents in Korea to visit Korean schools in order to share the culture of their respective nations with Korean youth.

Foreigners visit elementary and secondary schools with Korean Interpretation Volunteers (KIVs) to share their culture with Korean students. Individuals of any nationality, race, gender and cultural background are welcome to join CCAP as a Cultural Exchange Volunteer (CEV).
CCAP is not designed solely to provide Korean students with knowledge of specific cultures, but rather as a means for sharpening their thoughts and attitudes in favour of cultural diversity and open-mindedness in general.

The instructional method of CCAP is not the traditional lecture style but instead, CEVs are advised to specific examples from their own daily lives, including what they eat, the way they greet and speak, how they play and interact with friends, and what they value in their lives.

CEVs are recommended to utilise activities such as singing, dancing, cooking, sewing, drawing and so on.

Yesterday, I took time out to go to Sinsu Middle School to introduce Pakistan to these 9th grade students. Their teacher came to me and said that usually, students know a country through media and mostly news and she selected Pakistan so that students can make comparison to what they hear/read from the news and what actually a country offers, what are the things that they have missed so far about Pakistan....and would hope to bridge the gap.
After having greetings in Korean and Urdu, I gave an overview of the history (old/new) of Pakistan and its geographical location. Briefly touched on creation of Pakistan and about its founder 'Jinnah'. I also covered briefly the Indus Valley Civilization, Gandhara, Taxila, Silk Road, Mounatin ranges ( famous mountains:K-2), Religions and history of Buddhism, different provinces - ethic groups, their respective food, traditions, languages and cultures (they were surprised to hear this because Korea is a monoetnic country). I also briefed them about the education system in Pakistan, uniforms of the public school for boys and girls was very intriguing for them, major exports, major crops and fruits, festivals and a Pakistani wedding ceremony including "Mehandi/Hinna culture" and its importance in Pakistan.

We learned about Urdu (the national language of Pakistan/ some call it Pakistani) and also practiced "Urdu alphabets" ( I showed them what Korean alphabets sounds we have in Urdu and vice versa) which they learned with great interest and they thought that "written Urdu" is like an art work ( I thought the same about Hangul (Korean language / I used to call it a language with a lot of zeros)! Students simply loved it. I wrote for them their names both in Hangul (Korean) and Urdu and they had a lot of fun with that.....the most interesting feature of Urdu for them was that we write Urdu from right to left. We learned a few Urdu words such as 'shukriya' which in Korean is Khamsa Hamnida, we learned the word father and mother in Urdu which goes like abba (abbu ji) and amma (ammi ji) in Urdu and they were surprised because the exact same words abbu ji and amma for father and mother are used in Korean language respectively. It wowed them!

We tried Pakistani jewellery, clothes , khussay....and girls loved it. I gave churiyan (bangles) to our model students of the day.

I wanted to make for them kebabs but due to some technical problems we switched to lassi (yogurt drink) which fit in our time limit. All students and teachers learned how to prepare lassi and also some variations of it as well as the traditional one with salt - I briefed them about the importance and health benefits of lassi.

We had a small Q&A and handed UNESCO souvenirs to the students.

The lecture composed of a PowerPoint that I prepared which included Photos of Pakistan!

Time allotted was 90 minutes but we extended it to a few more minutes.


  1. Hey Sarah,

    Next time you do this let me lend a helping hand.


  2. Nice blog. I really love South Korea. I am from Pakistan and I must say that you are presenting Pakistan in a very modest way. I appreciate this!

  3. @ZKA: Thanks for the comments.
    My feelings for Korea are same as yours. I feel at home in Korea and visiting Pakistan is like going thorugh the reverse cultural shock!

    1. salam;;;;
      sarah g i am frm pakistan now living in korea.actually just found this blog accidently.any ways love to see this.
      sarah sister you are doing great work for pakistan.
      wish you very gud luck ahead....

    2. Salam Taib, Thanks for your complements, really appreciate that! I hope that you will follow it to get updated on what's happening in Korea!

      All the best to you!

    3. salam sarah.. i want to study medicine in korea on scholarship can u help me please?????/

  4. Hello.
    I found you by accident when I was searching something in the Internet.
    Anyway, are you a Pakistani?!
    I saw your profile and have got to know you are a PhD student.
    What do you study?! and Where do you study?

  5. @Natalie: Hi, yes, I'm a Pakistani.
    My area of focus is migration and ethic studies. I'm in a grad school in Seoul.

  6. Ah! Anyway, nice to meet you:)
    I found your blog when I was searching some English grammar.
    I'm Korean and my Korean name is Minhee Oh.
    Do you use Facebook?
    If you have, how about being Facebook friends?
    Actually, I use Facebook often.
    I also know some Pakistanis who study in korea.

    1. hi i want to study medicine on scholarship in korea ,,can u help me plz??

  7. Ah! My Facebook email address is noto20@hotmail.com:)

  8. @Natalie:

    Hello Minhee, I'll add you however, I do NOT use FB that often. It's good to know that you have other Pakistani friends. We are a total of about 250 students from Pakistan in South Korea.

    Btw. your English is very good.

  9. There are just 250 Pakistani students in Korea?! Wow~ then very little.

    Btw,what is ur name? Your name is Sarah?!

    Actually, I'd dated a Pakistani guy, so I know about your country a little:)

    Btw, isn't it difficult for Pakistani women to study abroad?!

  10. Btw, where is ur hometown? Islamabad?! I'm also interested in foreign countries...:)

    Now, I'm looking for a job I can do in a foreign country;)

    I'm also interested in having foreign friends:)

  11. Minhee: I'm from Islamabad and you guessed my name right...Sarah!

    It is NOT difficult for a Pakistani woman to study abroad. There are hundred of thousands, all over the world. My aunt went for higher studies to Germany in 1960s and my mother finished her post graduate studies in 1950s, my grandmother's younger sister finished her post graduate studies in 1930s. Hence, nothing uncommon. Do you know how life was for women in Korea during all these years>1930s-1970s??? I'm sure you know the stories of Ehwa and the tough time women had to go to but even then they fought against all odds. That said, people stereotype Pakistan a lot. We are going through rough times, no doubt BUT it will be over.

    For your working abroad, there are many options since Korean Studies has taken the world by storm. You can do many things. What's your major and your education?

    Have you tried KOICA?

  12. *Minhee: I'm glad that you are interested to know about Pakistan. It is a rare trait! Welcome to my blog. ^^

  13. Oh~ Sarah! Your talk helped me to know about ur country.
    Yes~ I have not might known about ur country a lot.
    I just heard some news about ur country and judged, so ur talk interested me:)
    I like to know about the world, and that's why I'm curious I think.
    Anyway, very interesting to know about ur country.
    When I dated the Pakistani guy, I was curious about ur country, and I think I'm still, and as I said I'm curious about the world situation as well.

    Anyway, good to know you:)

    Do you use this blog often?!

    What SNS do you use often?

    In my case, I use Facebook often, so I asked you use Facebook:)

    Btw, I'll check KOICA as well.

    Thanks for the information~;)

    My major was aerospace engineering, but I taught English to children after graduation, and now I'm looking for any job(?) I can do in a foreign country. Maybe office worker or something else.

    Anyway, Thanks a lot again.

    PS. Can I ask you your age? I'm 31 in korean age, and did you marry?

  14. Feel happy because I feel I got one more foreign friend:)

  15. I'm also interested in your religion.
    Actually I'm interested in other religion as well, and I think that's why I don't have any religion now.

    Ah! Hoe long have you been in Korea?
    You sound you have been staying in Korea for a long~

  16. @Natalie:
    Well, there is a lot of literature on Islam in Korean language. If you need pointers or want to meet other Korean Muslims, let me know. You can pick and choose hence, you should study them first.
    BTW.I'm in Korea since 2002.
    You can interact through this blog ~ no problem.
    You have a very competitive major. I used to have friends at the Korea Aerospace University. Have you tried jobs at Incheon airport?
    Do consider: "Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language", this may give you many options for working overseas! Yonsei has many programs both long and short!
    I'm older than you. :-)
    Best of luck!

  17. You sound you know about Korea a lot:)
    Actually, I've been to the central Mosque in Itaewon and met some Muslims there.
    Also, I have some Muslim friends.
    I'm just curious about many things and want and like to know them:)
    That's why I like to have foreign friends and want to visit foreign countries:)

    I'm considering to get a certificate of Korean teacher:)

    You suggested several things. Thanks^^

    Can I ask you which university you study at?

  18. @ Natalie: You are welcome!
    I've studied at "several" universities as an exchange or full-time student. It is a list. :-)

  19. Hello~

    I saw ur Facebook friend request and I accepted:)

    And I have a question.

    You know what it means? "zardari dakooooo"

  20. @Natalie:

    Zardari (name of the president of Pakistan)
    dakoooo means a thug, a bandit or a thief.

  21. hi this is Arsalan from Pakistan... i want to study medicine on scholarship in korea is any one can help me??

  22. please reply me as early as possible

    1. Hi Arslan,

      School of Medicine in Korea is NOT open for foreign students yet!

      By the way, there is Engineering School that accept foreign students and also has a scholarship through HEC, Pakistan.

  23. Hi Sarah,

    I just visited your blog and its very useful and awesome. The way you guide peoples about Korea is wonderful and informative. I am also thankful to you as Pakistani and Muslim that you are presenting it in Korea in best way and its feel happy to me. Any way I am Shahnawaz and doing my Master in Seoul Korea.

    1. Salam Alaikum Shahnawaz,
      Thank you very much for liking my log and leaving encouraging remarks. It helps and gets us going!
      I wish u a wonderful stay as a student and you can also join this CCAP and represent Pakistan, it takes a total of 4 - 5 hours per visit!

      Pakistan desperately need some change in its image - the way media has portrayed it!

      You can help reverse it!

      Thank you very much for visiting the blog, I'd be doing some importantposts on "Islam in Korea" - I'm just too busy these days and simply do NOT get enough time to sit and write for the blog anymore!

    2. Hello Shahnawaz,
      We want to visit few middle schools in seoul along with a group from India. You are in seoul only. Can you help us to find out good typical Bilingual korean schools in seoul.

  24. Nice Blog. I do also want to visit "sinsu middle school" . Can you provide me the mail id and name of contact person. my mail id is-"naveensharma94166@gmail.com"