By Md Saidy Ismail and Fatimah Dolah.
Vientiane City, 18 July. It was a joyous moment filled with love, sharing of achievements and relaxing while watching special cultural dances that drew smiles on faces of many youngsters amidst a farewell for newly met friends who were about to leave.
That was the sentiment, on the last day of LIFE 2016 as all participants of the humanitarian mission were warmly received by Dr Bounnhong Sidaphone, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, senior officials and students of University of Health Sciences, Laos (UHSL), at their city campus in Vientiane, today.
UHSL students who helped during LIFE 2016 medical check- up activity on last Saturday attended the farewell despite lectures were seen conducted in the UHSL campus.
Student leaders from both universities shared history and latest achievements of their own institutions on slides and video presentations followed by cultural performance from both sides.
CUCMS students presented silat and dikir barat performance that drew a great applause by the audience.
Participants spent more than one hour visiting faculties in a relatively small campus but distinguished with distinctive buildings with French architectural design.
A brief background about UHSL was presented. In 1958, the first school of Medicine in Lao PDR was established under the name Sisavangvong University.
And in 2007, it was changed to University of Health Sciences and was put under the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR.
UHSL has seven faculties covering medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, medical technology, basic sciences and postgraduates studies.
Throughout LIFE mission, from 14 to 17 July in Vientiane City, CUCMS students have gained lots of insights about Lao socio-culture, its tertiary education, food cuisine, dressing style and codes, languages and lifestyle. Likewise the Lao students were exposed about Malaysia.
As Lao is one of ASEAN country, it shares some cultural similarities with it’s neighbouring countries while some cultural diversities and differences are also felt and need appreciation.
Students must be able to understand the cultural diversity so as to be able to live and engage amicably with other ethnics and nationalities in the spirit of the ASEAN Community as established since 2015 when Malaysia was the Chairman of ASEAN.
This is more so important in the cross- cultural communication and dialogue involving students and lecturers of higher education that will bring us closer through activities like students exchange and outreach programmes like LIFE 2016.
At the end of the event, a short appreciation poem was beautifully presented by Associate Prof Dr Mohd Ikram Bin Mohd Salleh, the LIFE advisor for 2016 to the audience. The poem goes:
From malaysia we travelled
Not too far across the sea
To a land full of history
Lao PDR, a place so friendly
The place the food and the community
Not much different from our country
We love, we care and we share
Improving our knowledge and skills further
Our last visit in Vientiane
At University of Health Sciences
Sharing our stories together
Will hopefully make us closer
LIFE 2016 has generated friendship and bonding of love among students from both universities.
And, we hope LIFE 2016 will also mark the beginning of a long term relationship between the students of CUCMS with the villagers of Phon Sawattay, the University of Lao and the UHSL students as well as with the lovely people of Lao PDR.
Lawkhown, khowp chai lai lai!
Energetic silat performance from CUCMS students.
Sweet cultural dance performance from UHSL students.
Having group photo together is a must!
Great tour session marked the end of our exchange programme meeting.