Pakistan is featured a lot in the media; both good and bad things. A few years ago, I saw a documentary about a Pakistani shepherd. I could never forget the beautiful landscape and since then, I have had this dream about coming to Pakistan. My only problem was that I was afraid of travelling alone as a girl to Pakistan.
One day, in a short presentation about volunteering projects with AIESEC at my university, I came across a project for women empowerment in Pakistan. That is when I knew I had to apply.
Another reason was also that I was always fascinated by different countries and cultures. In my opinion you can learn the most if you go to different countries. It is not only about their cultures but also about your own culture. In a completely different environment you realise you own reactions. You interact with different people with different opinions and discuss the differences. And when you go back home, you will always take a part with you, and that changes your life. You can discover things, which are worse in you culture and things you like more in your culture. For example I think the Pakistani family culture is a very good thing. I think it is sad that Swiss people don’t take so much care of their parents when they get older. They live alone and if that’s not possible anymore the move to an elderly house. That is something that made me really think about my culture and my behaviour towards my parents. When I was a child my parents took care of me because I couldn’t take care of myself.
Why we don’t do the same and take care of them when they can’t do it anymore? Why do we leave them alone? Now, what we do just feels wrong.
What I really wanted to see in Pakistan was how people really live. What their problems are, how they survive. I wanted to gain a different opinion to the media. In the media most of the time there is more about bad things that happen to get the readers’ attention. Cultural themes are rather rare. Too see the real culture, you have to come to the country and not believe what the media tells you. Rather, create your own opinion about the country and the people.
As I am studying International Affairs and Governance I am also very interested in politics. Therefore I also wanted to learn about the history of the country because as the first state built on religion it is a quiet interesting story. And even more interesting are the personal opinions about the nation. For me personal opinions are more reliable than digital sources because you can built your opinion and get a measure of a person on your own.