I am Shashi Kumar Bolakhe and I am 44 years old. I am living in Kushadevi (Panauti municipality ward no. 2). I completed my Master’s degree in Educational Planning and Management from TU in the year of 2010. I am into the teaching profession for about 25 years and currently, I am working as a campus chief in Kushadevi Campus. Along with teaching, I am also involved in many social activities in my community. I am the chairperson of Jagrit Kushadevi Saving and Credit Co-operative Society Ltd. As a prime goal, I am more interested to make a positive impact on my society for which I have chosen social work as the main tool. Through the different roles I hold, we have organized many programs which have benefited society in many ways. Along with these, I am also passionate about different cultural activities. As a hobby, I love to lead such events where we can sing and dance with students, family, friends and colleagues during different occasions (Mainly at festival times). I am also passionate about travelling as it is the best tool for refreshment and we could observe and learn other cultures and customs. I would love to share all my experiences and hobbies through social media to inspire youths around.
Activities attended during a two-week stay in Luxembourg
I was very excited to be a participant and also a focal teacher with the team. We were 8 members including 5 students, 2 ARD representatives and myself. Initially, I was uncertain about the people and places that we were going to visit as it was the first visit to a European nation for most of us but it turned out to be the most fruitful experience I have ever had in my life. I am so impressed by the hospitality they offered.
When we arrived at Luxemburg, Findel airport, AEIN team members were waiting for us. Who welcomed us and we had an introductory session with snacks at Lilian’s home. Since it was a cultural exchange program we placed Jamara for germination for the upcoming Dashain festival and separate accommodations for boys and girls were arranged. Female team members went to Edemei’s home.
As a schedule, after waking up and having breakfast at Lilian’s home AEIN member Jeff took us to meet students of ENAD where we had an introductory session. After knowing each other we exchanged some knowledge about the two nations and then we headed for a city tour. We visited the Golden Queen Statue, Churches, Security Office areas, Child Youth Helping Org. etc. At the Child Youth Helping Org. we got to attend a small program about the “Youth for Climate”, where we got to learn about the role of youth for environmental conservation. In the evening, AEIN arranged a Nepali meal at the NRNs restaurant.
On the third day of our visit, we went to Belval University. A session about “Entrepreneurship Development and Psychological Development” was organized there, where we got to learn about developing entrepreneur psychology and about establishing an organization. After learning something about the topic and having snacks there we went to visit homeless people’s care houses and got to know about the activities they perform which got me thinking about the situations of homeless people in Nepal. We could learn something from this. After having some quality time there we had a meal and went to visit Eco-village, where we got to see eco-friendly products and eco-friendly houses, which was more common to us as we could see such practices in Rural parts of Nepal. There we realized the values that an eco-friendly village holds. After returning we rehearse for the next day’s cultural performance.
On the fourth day, after having breakfast we went to ENAD with Jeff. A cultural exchange program was organized there between the youths of Nepal and Luxembourg. There, we performed some of our cultural songs and dances and also got to learn about the education system, lifestyle, foods, culture and many more of Luxembourg. After the event, we went to visit the Bio-gas plant and the distribution network of the plant. This got me thinking that if such plants could have been installed in Nepal, it would have saved a large sum of money which we are spending to buy fuel. After the observation, we went for a short trip to Belgium and then returned to our living place.
After breakfast, we prepared ourselves for the cultural program organized by NRN and AEIN Luxembourg. We were warmly welcomed by the NRN and AEIN. During the program, we performed our acts of singing and dancing to promote our culture, for which we got appreciation and support from the participants. We got to meet with Non-Resident Nepalese (NRN), the Economic and Development Minister of Luxembourg and AEIN team members. We shared Nepali dishes there, which added more flavour and taste to the program. We got special appreciation from Franco (AEIN member), which made us even more proud for presenting it in a foreign land.
On the sixth day, we went on a city tour of Germany. The main attraction of the tour for me was the visit to the Karl Marx house. Since I was always following Karl Marx the visit was special. Furthermore, we visited the city, various church streets and many other places. And after having a wonderful other day, we went back home.
After performing the morning rituals we went to observe the cow farm and the Milk production. After visiting the farm we went on a city tour. We got to know that it was Father’s Day in Luxembourg so we went back to Lilian’s Home and celebrated the festival. Since we were at the last of our visit, a farewell program was organized by AEIN Luxembourg. We attended the program and expressed our gratitude for the hospitality and lessons we got from the visit.
On the Eighth day, we went to visit the Schengen area which was a place touching France, Luxembourg and Germany. We learned about the European Union, open border, their integration history and development. After the visit, it was time to say goodbye to the AEIN team as we were at the last of our visit which turned out to be an emotional moment since the program somehow connected us in many ways.
How overall visit affected you?
Personally, the tour was fruitful as we got to learn many things which could impact our lives and the lives of the people around us. I consider it one of the most successful programs that I ever participated in. The development modality and pattern was the main factor that was catching our eyes. Also, the system and the ways people follow and respect the rules and regulations were other things that we adore. My entire visit was motivating me in some way to share and practice the things and knowledge I gathered from the experience. Now I am planning to implement some of the ideas that I learned from the visit via positions that I hold in my country and community.
What did you learn/see in Luxembourg that you want to bring back home with you?
The main objective of the visit was to exchange culture, knowledge, experiences and youth issues between Luxembourg and Nepal. As per the preplanned schedule of our visit, we conducted many events and activities during our stay and also we got to experience the lifestyle and culture of the developed nation. The education system was liberal, practical and digitalized from which we realized that we should make some changes to our teaching-learning process here in Nepal. The public services that government provides were also adorable. After visiting the urban areas of Luxembourg I got a feeling that if our government gives major focus to the improvement of services like public transportation, traffic, road facilities etc. It can make a huge difference. Waste management, biogas production and distribution were other things which fascinated me along with the modern farming they are adopted.
How did you like Luxembourg? Can you name the biggest difference you noticed and what was similar to your hometown?
During our visit, we spent 9 days in Luxembourg. There were so many things that we loved about this beautiful country. From the well-managed roads to the planned urbanization, from the architectural designs of the buildings, to stone paved sidewalks along with the greeneries everything was adding more beauty to this place. The public services that government provides was adorable and people following the system was the best part of all which I think added more value to this place. As a teacher, I loved the teaching-learning process they adopt which is more practical and less stressful.
The biggest difference that I observed between Luxembourg and my hometown is the education in Luxembourg is far more practical than what we are implementing in Nepal. Sanitation and waste management are managed in Luxembourg. The differences in physical and infrastructural development are beyond the comparison between a highly advanced nation like Luxembourg and a developing country like Nepal.
While some similarities that I observed are both countries are landlocked and the weather and climate are pretty similar. The values people have for culture and tradition are similar. Along with these all, I came to know that the parliament system is also similar.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to all the AEIN and ARD teams for organizing the program so well.