Brothers and sister in peace

By Rotary International

Rotary Peace Centers at Chulalongkorn class of 2016.

Rotary Peace Centers at Chulalongkorn Class of 2016.

By Ana Patel, 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

“Sawatdee” is a useful phrase in the Thai language. It means everything from hello and good morning, to goodbye and peace be with you. I learned the phrase on the second day of my three-month International Rotary Fellowship in Bangkok this summer, along with the traditional gesture of putting ones hands together in prayer and bowing the head to acknowledge others. It’s a lovely gesture – one that requires meeting the other person’s eyes and conveying a respect and recognition for each other’s humanity.

In December of 2015, I was accepted as a Rotary Peace Fellow. The fellowship is for experienced professionals working in peace-related fields and consists of a three-month residential program in peace and conflict prevention and resolution at Chulalongkorn University. My program also included two field study experiences:

in the Deep South of Thailand, where there has been on-going violent conflict between Thai security forces and groups of Thai nationals who identify as ethnic Malays, and,
in post-genocide Cambodia.

Notwithstanding a Master’s degree in International Affairs and my time as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, this was my most international learning experience. A …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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