No.

1 · OCTOBER 2009

www.cucweb.org/oasis

INSIDE:

The Weapon of Peace p12
When cultures meet p15

Cheteze Tamang tells us how the ultimate device to establish peace and prosperity in the world lies within ourselves.

CUC’s field visit to Patan p7
Women in Education p5

An interview with Dr Ambika Parajuli p11
Global Youth Challenge p18

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MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR

The Weapon of Peace

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

The world is becoming increasingly violent; the weapon of destruction has failed. One cannot seek to help others via a weapon built to destroy. Fighting fire with fire will only intensify the flames as violence will lead to more violence and the cycle of attack and retaliation will never end. So, in order to maintain a culture of non-violence and a culture of peace, a powerful and dynamic weapon must be wielded. This is the Weapon of Peace. The Weapon of Peace is nothing but a medium – a medium of communication between and among diverse people. “Communication will lead to understanding, which will in turn lead to respect and then the holy grail of peace can be grasped and this state of peace of mind and absence of violence can last eternity. People from different religious background can learn about each others faith, understand it and respect it. Even people from conflicting nations can open the channels of communication, share each others experiences, opinions and ideas, and underneath it all see the similarity between them. When there is no such medium, misconceptions and biasness arises. The weapon of peace acts as a bridge between individuals. Weapons are made for war and so is this weapon. It is made to fight the war for humanity. Contrary to the popular saying-“there are no winners in war”, there are only winners in this war for humanity which is fought wielding the weapon of peace. This war is a war against prejudice, against hatred, against poverty, against hunger and against the evil thoughts in the minds of people. In this war there are no losses, no destruction and no psychological scars; there is only a better life for all – a life of dignity, respect and prosperity. The Weapon of Peace strives to convey the message stating – “We are human beings first, and then and only then are we a citizen of a country, follower of certain faith, member of certain group, a brother, a son and parts of various institutions.” Every person is a member of a family – a family of humanity.

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The Weapon of Peace has the power to change millions and inspire thousands to be pro-active for the common good. This weapon can be used to: -Highlight the problems (like that of street children, Aids, illiteracy) -Stress the need for solution (pressuring the concerned authorities through petitions & peaceful demonstrations) -Suggest alternatives for solution (people’s opinion & experts’ advice) -Inspire people to come together to solve the problem (look beyond their differences and co-operate.) After the Asian Tsunami People from all over the world came together to help the victims by contributing time and resources. This human outpouring of aid was possible due to media and communication technology (which are different forms of the weapon of peace). So, the Weapon of Peace has immense power and all individuals can wield this weapon and harness its power. People can raise awareness on any issue, provide their point of view and communicate what is happening. A form of this weapon – the internet has revolutionized the world. People should use this medium to express themselves. They can open various websites which can be a Common Virtual Home for many people. People from various religions, nationalities, ethnicity, race and background can be a residence here and also be a part of this virtual family. Here they can talk about their way of life – their culture, tradition and customs and basically express themselves. People can also design websites to be an Open Virtual Forum where anyone could log in and talk on any given matter. They can generate ideas, convey these ideas and apply them. A Virtual Painting, Photo & Video Exhibition can be organized. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand word and better still, there is no language barrier. This exhibition may highlight a problem, show cultural events or create awareness. The works displayed in this exhibition are windows into the lives of people from around the world and require fewer resources than a real exhibition and is far more effective. It will show people’s celebrations, festivals, tangible cultural heritages and hardships. It may also show the suffering of people, rights being violated and may encourage participation as well as action. Here, the works of people who do not have access to this technology should also be presented. People can browse at their pace and comment on the works on display. They may also decide to join & exhibit their works, make friends with people from around the world and may even take actions – like online petitions and try to make a difference.

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