One vision, one identity, one community. That is the tagline of Association of Southeast Asian Nation or ASEAN.
What’s unique about this region and why it has been hailed as a great example of cooperation is that it was able to foster a sense of community despite its vast differences. From a small group of countries, you can find all the major religions in the world (from Islamic Indonesia to Buddhist Vietnam and Catholic Philippines, among others), all forms of governance (socialism, democracy, monarchy or a mix of these), various ethnolinguistic groups, all struggled under different imperial governments (Dutch, French, Spanish, Japanese).
With such diversity concentrated in a comparatively small region in Asia, the ASEAN countries were able to forge a united vision, identity and community. ASEAN brings the ten nations together to address issues and strengthen the opportunities in the aspects of politics and security, economy, and socio-cultural dimension.
A couple of weeks ago, the ASEAN Student Society of ANU organized the annual ASEAN Multicultural Festival. It was an afternoon of festivities full of sights, sounds and flavours. The countries, represented by their respective student associations, set up booth to display traditional artworks, tourism brochures, and the best of all, local dishes! A cultural performance entertain the crowd while they sample the tasty delights from each country.
I just want to share here some photos I took that day. (Too bad, I wasn’t able to get good pictures from the other booths.)
ASEAN proves that diversity is not an obstacle for cooperation but rather an opportunity to enrich each other and create a peaceful exchange of ideas, goods and traditions. Are you from one of the countries of ASEAN? Share your thoughts about this wonderful community.