Here is what I wrote for BARS (Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies) Newsletter

The darkness, eerie silence, twinkling stars and cool air on the Lisu Theological Seminary campus in Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin) literally took my breath away. It was a night for a lonely soul to let his imagination wander to an unknown world beyond the stars. A tall, unfinished building on the campus sat there like a giant ghost eyeing its little prey on a dark and eerie night.

It was totally different in the living room of the vice-principal’s house. The living room was full. Everybody’s eyes were fixed on a TV screen. Lwin Moe and Saya Waw Lay (M.Th) were sitting in the back row sipping green tea, and relaxing. Dr. Ah Li, the vice-principal, was sitting on the floor, her eyes staring at the screen. The kids were sitting around her, their eyes also on the screen. Some were lying on the floor without blinking their eyes for a second. Everybody was tense and it was at the climax when the disappointment came — the commercial.

We were all watching Jackie Chan’s movie on an Indonesian TV station transmitted through a satellite. It was funny, thrilling and exciting with one exception. The exception was that all the Chinese characters in the movie were speaking Indonesian. People who were watching the movie were Lisus, a Palaung and me, a Mon. None of us understands Indonesian, let alone speak and read it. Yet we were all enjoying the movie, guessing what the characters were saying. It was like 'Chinese characters speaking Indonesian, being watched by Lisu, Palaung and Mon audience.' The communication medium was a satellite above the sky, linking all these people together.

With the advance of technology, the world is getting smaller and smaller. Everybody is talking about 'Globalization' and 'Global village.' Enough of those trash talks and let me get to the point. English, in spite of its weaknesses, has been the de facto International language. Therefore, dear friends from BARS, please master English so the doors will be open, and the windows to tap into the pool of knowledge will become wider.


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