In some ways it is astonishing how fast you adapt and don’t notice certain practices.
I only realized on my tenth day, that there are armed police-men and soldiers on nearly every street corner. Showing my passport to strangers, when entering the army’s city area and walking through security scanner gates multiple times a day is part of the ordinary life here in Lahore. Everybody is so nonchalant about it, that you don’t notice it at first. Merely now I see it as a symbol of how fragile the peace is.
I wonder why. Everyone I meet here knows that communication, exchange, tolerance and acceptance are the only ways of making this world a better one and to solve the Pakistani problems. On the streets I experience nothing but common decency and colourful, vibrant lifelines. I am most certain though, that this peace will develop and stabilize. Walking around the campus and interacting with students the future leaders of Pakistan without doubt my hope is rising that the international reputation of your country will change, presenting a more truthful picture.
Looking at Lahore and comparing its structure to a German city, like Hamburg, can give one a great insight of how our cultures differ from each other. Here, people just build their houses, Lahore is enlarging from day to day and the backstreets are an exciting maze giving you thousands of options where to go, seeing all kinds of people and houses. You can tell by the streets that Pakistanis are more spontaneous. The present is celebrated, every evening, every meal is a get together. German streets however, are more planned.
There are quite a few guidelines for buildings, hence they do not vary as much and no matter where you go, eventually you will end at a main street where hiding is impossible. Introducing a new city area, the executives will have already planned its development within the following 50 years. We Germans really do need our schedule, always thinking of the next step, even though we just begun our way. Stressing so much on our future, we may forget every now and then, that there is a present.
Internationalization is an excessive issue in the global society, and I advise you on taking every chance you can find, to go abroad, to experience different cultures, to learn new languages and get to talk with people from all over the world.
Hajvery University is offering great opportunities to do so. There are several Universities world-wide, HU is partnering with and it is also working closely with AIESEC, which allows you to gain practical experience in overseas countries.
In German there is a saying that you can only get to know your own culture, if you embrace a foreign one.
Going abroad also gives you the possibility of making an impact in people’s lives. You can represent your country and change minds; as an outsider, you might have the possibility of seeing a solution for an inbred problem and can advise locals on it. Even if this is not the case, you have the rare option of building up a multi-national network that may develop into deep friendships and an everlasting experience.