The BJEP or Bangladesh Japan exchange Program 2.0 came again this year,
2021. The BJEP 2020 was the first exchange program with Bangladesh, held online
due to the pandemic. This year, the BJEP 2021 program was executed online due
to the barriers by the pandemic situation worldwide. The program was scheduled
for 22nd September 2021, but the preparation started a few months
earlier. The announcement for this program was declared in April. In May, the
unofficial organising team was formed. Five organizers from Bangladesh were
assigned to the organising team along with the Japanese organizers. The theme
of this year’s event was in debate among the organizers at the beginning. After
many online meetings and discussions, the theme which was determined was “Deep
Culture”. The main objective of this program was the interaction of people for
a better understanding of one's values and standards, creating a platform for
reducing the knowledge gap, breaking stereotypes, developing mutual respect and
appreciation, and broadening the idea of "acceptance" for cultural
differences. Sharing the learning gained
from this program will be an essential social contribution for the participants
and organizers. The whole program was structured like an onion ring in which
each layer contributes to the primary purpose. The program was designed for six
consecutive days, but it was changed to seven successive days for achieving its
goal. The final day was divided into two days that is day 6 and day 7. Day 6 was designed for the participants and
day 7 for the outside world by inviting some chief guests.
Then the team was divided into different groups and were assigned
various tasks. The organizers from both counties worked together to plan every
step of the main event. The first task was the recruitment process. The organizers
shared the circular in different groups and platforms. Then comes the interview
part, where the people were asked various questions regarding deep culture and
given additional creative questions which could reflect their diverse abilities
After the interview session, the participants were selected, then comes the preparation of the main program, which was conducted by the three days of the Pre-program. The preprogram was mainly designed for the introduction of the surface culture among the participants of both countries. There were different activities, games, introductory presentations, self-introduction, etc., which acted as an ice break among the participants and helped them open up. They also learned about each country’s surface culture, habits, food, festivals, livelihood etc. After the pre-program, the main program was about to start, and the main tasks of the organizers were to start. The assigned teams were working day and night to make the program smooth and successful.
On 22nd August 2021, the program started. Day 1 was mainly
the program’s opening ceremony, which was carried out with some words by the
president of AAEE (Asia Association Education and Exchange), the supervisor and
guest. The central theme of this day was an introduction to deep culture. The organizers
gave a Presentation to introduce the “Deep Culture”. There were some activities
and games on Day 1, which made the program’s starting very engaging.
Then the following day, which is Day-2, had the theme social level. The
day started with an ice breaker game. The organizers gave a presentation to
explain the day’s central theme, goal, and activity. Then there was the first
discussion session on society and its untold part, followed by the following
discussion sessions on aspects of the society (pros and cons), the present
scenario on social issues. It was an intensive discussion day for the
participants. At the end of each session, they presented the outcome of the
discussions. Day 2 was the first step to reach the deep culture.
Day 3 was based on family. It had different activities which could bring
out the values of the participants family. It also had discussion sessions
among the participants to share their thoughts, feelings, values that they
learned from their family. Day 3 or family plays an essential role in the onion
ring to reach the program’s final purpose.
The following Day 4 was based on the individual level. Its main purpose
was to learn about the core of deep culture, how an individual perceives the
culture from their point of view being a part of the family and society, how an
individual has their own set of standards in accepting values. And how this
impacts their lifestyle as a part of the culture. The organizers made a video
presentation by explaining the day’s activity, which helped the participants
get a clear idea of the connection to the main theme. There were discussion
sessions and presentations from the participants as well. The individual level
or Day 4 was the central core of the onion ring structure, which explains the
main outcome of the deep culture.
Day 5 was the preparation day for the participants and as well the organizers.
The participants were busy preparing their content for the presentation on the
final days. And the organizers were in different meetings to execute the final
day flawlessly. Some discussed the invitation process with the chief guests;
some were busy making a speech, some were in charge of supervising the
participants, and some were busy connecting social media, media, etc. So, it
was a very hectic day for the participants as well as for the organizers also.
Then comes the final day for the participants, which is day 6, different
participants and organizers from other countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan
etc., were invited to the day 6 program. Two from each country, four
participants were supposed to give presentations on day 6 and day 7. Still, on
day 6, all other participants also shared their valuable presentations on the
program’s outcome. Then there was a reelection part where everyone expressed
their feelings throughout this journey. Every organizer and participants were
very much overwhelmed by seeing the output of the program.
Then the last part of the final day, which is Day 7! The management of
this days’ time was crucial as the chief guests will give their precious time
for this program and conducted live. The day started with the national anthem
of both countries, followed by the chief guest’s speech. Then the participants
gave their presentation successfully and got different reviews and compliments
from other guests, which was very inspiring for the participants and as well as
for the organizers. The program ended
quite successfully, which was a considerable achievement for the organizers.
Their four-month hard work paid off successfully. The environment had some
mixed feelings. Some were emotional, some were happy, some were feeling
satisfactory. But the president of AAEE was satisfied with the outcome and
appreciated us, which made all the members very cheerful. It was the perfect
ending of the program that could happen.
I, as an organizer, felt very different
feelings throughout this whole journey—tension, excitement, nervousness,
happiness, panicking emotions. But after the program ended, the last
satisfactory overwhelming feeling got overpowered every other emotion. There is
a saying that all’s well that ends well, so I can say it worked for this
situation. I am grateful to all the other organizers and participants who worked
hard to cooperate to execute the program successfully.
Student Assistant of AAEE,