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My Take On The Multicultural Festival 2015
Aurpan Kar

On the 14th of February, like most people in Canberra, my family and I attended the 2015 Multicultural Festival. At this festival, I visited many stalls, including the Children Sanctuary where volunteers from different heritage wrote children's names in different languages. I got my name written down in most of the languages that were there. I found this as a quite clever initiative by the organisers. By the request of the organisers, my brother and I volunteered our time to help out.
The most intriguing event that I took part in at the festival was to work in the Let's Work For Bangladesh (LWFB)'s food stall where my dad and many other volunteers were working. At the stall, I helped them with cooking the parathas, grilling the kebabs, setting up the plates, handling the money and many more. I thought of it as a fun activity, but I suddenly realized that my fun work at the stall was more than meets the eye because I understood that all the profit from the stall will be used to ensure a better education to the underprivileged children of the Bangladesh Canberra Friendship School in rural Bangladesh.
Being Australian born, I never really had much experience with how the poor feels. That was until my recent trip to Bangladesh, where I witnessed the sheer amount of underprivileged souls, including children around my age. These children were sleeping on the dirty ground and begging for money and food. I felt remorse seeing these kids slaving away at daily chores just to get leftovers. The state of these children was truly shocking.
When I started working with the volunteers at the LWFB stall, I simply wanted to cook. But now I realize that I have not only cooked there, but unknowingly helped those souls to prosper and thrive. From LWFB's work I now realize why one parent of my school friends raised funds for making mosquito nets, building sanitary toilets and providing educational equipments for rural children in Cambodia rather than receiving gifts.
From this experience, I realized how far someone can go just to help those in need by fundraising through concerts, selling food and many more.
By growing up in Australia, I realize how privileged I and others are. I was very surprised to see that my time and devotion at the food stall indirectly helped the poor people, which made me feel very proud about myself.


Aurpan Kar, Canberra




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