• Updated : 2020.11.27 금 10:45
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All Year-round Celebration of the Joyful Malaysians
김강민 철학과 3학년  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2019.08.26  17:53:09
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ Kim Kang-min and his friends on the day of a cultural experience

    I went to University Sains Malaysia (USM) as an exchange student in the spring semester of 2019. At first, I thought, "Oh, I can enjoy the campus life of the beach if I go here because USM is located on Penang Island, a famous tourist destination in Malaysia." But unexpectedly, I decided to go to a different engineering campus with other exchange students because the classes I chose were for my dual major engineering course. The engineering campus was not located on Penang Island, which is famous for its tourist attractions, but in a small rural town called Nibong Thabal on the mainland of Malaysia.
    At the beginning, all I felt about this little rural city was the idea that it was a boring place in the middle of the jungle. Because USM is a university specializing in science and engineering, engineering students studied very much and most students had a good attitude towards their studies. But one of the things that impressed me was that there were many cultural events and club activities that were done on a school-by-level basis.


Kayak Club Activity
    There was a kayak team in the electrical engineering department where I mainly took classes. Every weekend, hard-working students gathered at an on-campus lake where they could ride kayaks, with kayaks from each engineering college playing a kayak league game. When I first learned kayaking, it was very difficult for two or three people to move as one body. It's hard to explain to people who speak the same language, and it's harder to do this with people from completely different cultures. But after a week or two, our skills gradually improved, even though the practice was far less skilled than other teams that would practice repeatedly. I don't know why, but I started to want to meet old friends of my teammates. And on the day the much-awaited league was held, I was able to play friendly matches with foreign students. The friendly game gave me a feeling that I had achieved something during the exchange student experience, regardless of my ability. I didn't win first place in the friendly, but it was a pleasant experience for me as I won third place.


Diverse Cultural Events
    Cultural events are an important part of Malaysian university life. Malaysians are culturally Malay, Chinese and Indian, and they have three different languages and cultures. In one year alone, there are three different cultural events almost every month and every cultural holiday period is a national holiday. The ways in which I welcomed the new year also differed from religion to religion, so the Lunar New Year in Chinese culture, the New Year after the Ramadan period in Islamic culture, and the New Year in Hindu culture in India, I had ‘three’ styled new year celebrations during my exchange period.
    The University respects each of these cultures. Many cultural events are organized so that students can plan and enjoy themselves. I enjoyed going to festivals organized by students almost every weekend and it was a new experience. With performances unique to each culture and other traditional costumes and performances, USM students are busy even on weekends.
    Now, after visiting Malaysia, if someone simply says that Malaysia is a tourist destination in Southeast Asia, I would say that it is a place where people enjoy living their lives while various cultures coexist and work hard all the time.

By Kim Kang-min, Junior, Dept. of Philosophy

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