Nikhil Persad, Trinidad & Tobago: Joint European Masters in Water and Coastal Management (WACOMA)
“Are you from India? Pakistan? The Middle East?”
“Nope, I am from Trinidad and Tobago”
One of the highlights of the Erasmus Mundus program was getting to know amazing people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. The above conversation was not abnormal but not everyone is familiar with my multi-ethnic, culturally unique island state. I was happy to expand their knowledge but simultaneously, my appetite for exploring cultures opened up immensely.
It was also interesting refuting some stereotypes of different countries or cultures but even more fun learning how different countries viewed Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.
“Do you have schools on the island?
“Do you have a coconut tree in your yard?”
“I love reggae!”
These questions relating to stereotypes associated with different cultures helped us in making open conversations with each other and in understanding better the realities of the respective country/region. We realized that under the umbrella of Erasmus Mundus, these differences just do not matter. Since graduating, I am happy to have supported the Erasmus Mundus Association which reiterated this point while seeking positive change as humans. I wonder, If the rest of humanity can view the world through the lens of an Erasmus Mundus student or colleague, the world would be a much better place.
And by the way, Yes! I had a coconut tree in my yard.
WACOMA (Joint European Masters in Water and Coastal Management)