Akash über sein on arrival seminar in Halle im August 2014
As you know that I am in a seminar right now, it was not only a seminar furthermore it was an ‘’on arrival training’’ for us, as we have just arrived in Germany. So it was a seminar to know more about Germany and about Halle (the city I am staying for the rest of the year).
We started our seminar on 7th of August and it was a one week seminar till 13th of August in Frankeschstiftungen at Francke Platz.
On the first day we have our trainers as Anja and Artur. On our very first day it was really amazing feeling that I ride my bike to get to come there at the seminar place. We started our seminar with our breakfast and it was really nice to meet Artur. He was a really nice guy. Then we get to know that we are in a University call Martin Luther University (MLU) and we have a nice place to organize our Seminar. They have decided some schedule for the rest of the days and it was really good for me because I am attending such kind of seminar for the first time. If I tell you my condition I was really nervous as well as excited to be in a different country and I was living alone there with the unknown people till now. So after looking at the whole place of seminar I was really excited for my volunteering service program. Then we started our seminar with the introduction and everybody was telling about them, we four somehow know each other but still some new things came out about their personality. I can see the excitement in their face also and I am sure they are also feeling like I was.
Then we discussed about the volunteering service what does it mean?
The interesting thing that I get to know was that we are cooking by ourself and doing everything by our own and this is something interesting that I found here and everything is different here if I compare to my daily routine.
Yes, I was looking for our second day because I have met with some peoples here in Germany and again it was a new person I am going to meet and it was Gaby our main trainer for the rest of the seminar. Anja was on the first day just because Gaby was not able to arrive but now she is here. Before meeting with Gaby I was framing her picture in my mind that how she looks like, how old is she would be and many more questions were in my mind but when we meet her she was so beautiful and I was really amazed. I would like to tell you about her profile. (...) I was really happy to meet with her. (...)
Every day we start our seminar with some warm up exercise and she was so creative and active in all such things. Like we play a game like with the name of the animals. She had written some names of the animals in the board and we have to choose one of them and sit one the chair, like it was a chair game one of the person will stand in the middle and will announce some names and they have to exchange their seats and if someone fails to do that then he/she will stand in the middle again. It was really nice warm up and moreover we learned some new words.
Then with some written exercise we started our day. It was like what we have learned yesterday, about me, about others and about Germany? It was really different kind of starting and I really tell you that I have never attend a seminar like this with almost so much perfection. With this exercise I get to know about myself this is the best way of evaluation to everything to think about it later. Some basic daily uses phrases I had learned like ‘’bitte sprechen Sie langsam oder langsamer!’’ today I learn how to start your day with joy and cheer, and to evaluate the last day was really amazing for me. This was a learning day for me. Today somehow I feel I can read and can understand a little bit of Deutsch when she was speaking some words in Deutsch oder when she was speaking with Artur I can little bit understand them.
The most important and good thing I like about the day was we met with two new beautiful girls Nile and Annika. They are also from Berlin and volunteers. Both have them and Artur have been to India in past. Both of them are very helpful in nature and good cook also.
I was very excited today because after looking at the schedule for today it was really interesting and challenging too. Today the thing that I like most is that we did some activity in the seminar room with everyone Annika, Nile, Artur and Gaby. They have a lot of pictures in the table from all around the Germany about different aspects and all four of us divided in to groups as I was with Annika and we started our activity. The activity was to look at the pictures and they will explain us about it what does it mean, so Annika was explaining me very nicely and everybody was looking at the pictures. I found some of the pictures that shocked me and that I have never expected from here. As the task was the same we have to select 6 pictures in which 3 pictures that I have expected from DL and 3 pictures that I have never expected or that pictures that shocked me. For me everything was really shocking but as they said I have to select only 3 pictures so I take out the pictures. It was looking from an old age home and I felt so pity on her. The next thing I took from separating the garbage that I never know. So the biggest task was coming to us it was we have to go to the market place and ask people about it about the pictures or ask them generally what they think about it in short we have to take their interviews. So after mittagessen we have to complete the task. So went to a restaurant in Leipziger Straße named ‘Sao Mai’ for lunch. It was really nice I like the food there.
Then after lunch we went for our interview. I had taken the interview of 4 persons named Tom, Philip, Alex and Anne. My questions to them were: Why you are separating the garbage? You are doing it because it is a rule here or you are habitual of doing it? My second question was with the picture of that old lady in an old age home, and I have to ask them why you are sending your parents/grandparents to the old age home? At first I took this as an interview but later I get to know that it was not just an interview I learned a lot today, I got some shocking answers also from the boys and some diplomatic answers also, however it was a nice experience for me today.
The fourth day was very refreshing as it was a new day after the weekend. Today we have changed some schedule and it was rather than doing language class in the evening we shifted it to the morning session. As it happens I was quiet happy, truly speaking that I like this part most in our seminar the German lessons/practices. Today we learn about us i.e. how to introduce and how to tell about us to others. Like: was machst du hier? Wie lange bist du schön/noch in Deutschland? was mochten sie? Können Sie mir bitte weiter helfen? Was kann ich für Sie tun? All about this questions Gaby told us the answers very nicely and almost I learned all of them and i am using them also in my daily life.
We went to the exhibition also and it was organized by the Serbian youth and they are explaining about the civil war that they have gone through and it was really inspiring they have some posters also and some stories behind them and I like them very most they are the true stories. We visited to a biergarten also and met with the guys there and I like their way of living. They are sharing everything there and doing household work by their own. They have rented flats also there, with the bars and very creative place with a tree house kind of thing also. Overall it was a nice experience to meet with all these peoples.
As the days are passing quickly and we are in the fifth day of our seminar. One thing that I want to tell you that if I have not attended this seminar I would not feel so comfortable. By this seminar I get to know about myself. Who am i? a lot of things that I have not think about myself before, I asked a lot of questions to me, and most of the time I got my answers and sometime I feel like a king also. The most important part in finding myself means I would like to give credit to Artur and Gaby for helping me. Both of them have taken out many things from me. The topics in which I have never worked or never think about it I am getting interest in them. Now the only thing that I want to learn desperately is Deutsch.
Like I would like to give an example, I had done the activity that I have never imagined or never did before any work. It was: Write down 20 reasons/motivation/aims for my Voluntary Service with Friedenskreis Halle e.V. in Deutschland? I get a lot of answers against these questions.
During the seminar I had done another activity that also I like most. Was hat mich/mir: Inspired, helped me to understand, surprise, made me thinking, boring, provoked, shocking, angry and super. To write about others that were helpful for me I like it.
We had done a long discussion about some of the rising topics, some serious topics that needs a solution and many peoples are working on them.
A question that arose few times during the seminar was how Germany is so developed as compare to India and after World War 2 how Germany managed to fill out the blanks in their life and some interesting answers I got. For few of them ‘Development’ means ‘Richness + Power’ and this comes after so much planning and doing the things in a systematic manner. Like they are paying a lot of taxes, they have a very structured management, they plans everything and one thing they have less population.
Another topic that I like the most was we discussed about Conflicts and Discrimination. This was the most interesting thing for me that I have thought about me. As you know everyone has faced conflicts in their life at least once or may be more than once, and how they behaves when conflicts arises. During the seminar I get to know it technically those there 4 kinds of behavior possible when conflict arises. This topic was really helpful for me to know better about me. I found myself in the second quadrant that was negotiate i.e. whenever I found myself in conflict I negotiate it and looks for the solution, most of the time I do this. There are 3 others behavior also but I often goes into that behaviors. We did a small activity on Discrimination also. I have seen the different forms of discrimination like Individual, Sexism, Classism, Racism etc. this is a really nice topic and I have seen these kinds of discrimination in my life but I had never think or focused about them.
Anyway this is going too long, as you know I am a writer and likes to write so I cannot stop my fingers to write. So coming to an end and I feel that this on arrival seminar was really helpful for me to know about Halle and to know more about volunteering about my work here and with these words I am finishing my letter.