fajar.triperdana's picture
Contributor, Editor, Regional Coordinator, User Manager
September 2, 2018
Let's Get to Know Our Neighbors Better - The Story
pijakasean.jpg

Good Day, Lanugage Enthusiasts!

In the spirit of ASEAN Day, Polyglot Indonesia organized a meetup titled Let's Get to Know Our Neighbors Better on 4 August 2018. In this meetup, we invited Ms. Nyein Ei Phyu from the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to explain more about Myanmar's culture and language. We also asked our friend Senjaya Mulia, founder of ASEAN Youth Organization, to share his experience with Thai culture and language.

The presentations were very well received as proven by the number of questions asked by the 47 enthusiastic participants. Through Ms. Phyu, we came to understand that Myanmar has a rich culture with diverse ethnic landscapes. Senjaya's explanation shed a light about Thailand's cultural aspect other than those that Indonesians already know like Songkran, floating markets, etc.

Our participants, who were divided into English Table, Japanese Table, Mandarin Chinese Table, Korean Table, Arabic Table, German Table, Dutch Table, Spanish Table, French Table, and Italian Table, were then tasked to discuss about the unique cultural aspects of the two countries presented and choose one to present. We divided the tables into two categories: those who asked to discuss about Thailand and those who were given Myanmar as discussion theme.

After the discussion and presentation sessions, we split the room into two parts. Ms. Phyu taught simple Myanmar language to one part, and Senjaya introduced simple Thai language to the other part. Both being a tonal language presented an unexpected challenge for our participants. Luckily, we didn't have to start by remembering the alphabet system as both Ms. Phyu and Senjaya provided the participants with a transliterated handout. By the end of the day, we knew some simple Thai and Myanmar phrases to introduce ourselves.

Thank you for Ms. Nyein Ei Phyu from the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Senjaya Mulia, founder of ASEAN Youth Organization for the fun and educational collaboration! Special thanks to Hoshino Tea Time and Menara BTPN for the great venue! Hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter's meetup! (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album)

About the author

Fajar graduated from Japanese Studies, Universitas Indonesia in 2013, and currently works for Australia Awards Indonesia. His interests else than language including doing part-time work as liaison officer or interpreter, reading novels or manga, and browsing through spotify and youtube for music, preferably European or Asian music. He is also a big fan of Eurovision Song Contest. Currently he can speak Indonesian, English, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, with French, Portuguese, Czech, and Russian in progress. To a certain degree, he also able to understand Javanese and Sundanese.

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