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Interview with Mr. Kazal Ribeiro, a student from Bangladesh

by William M. Balsamo

Today is August 16, 1998 and I'm here in downtown Dhaka, Bangladesh at the campus of Notre Dame University. I'm interviewing a young college student who would like to share with you his ideas on college life in Bangladesh and the culture of his country.

Q: What's your name? And how old are you?

A: My name is Kazal Ribeiro. I'm 21 years old.

Q: What are you studying here at university?

A: Bangla, English, Social Welfare and History.

Q: After you complete your studies, what job or profession would you like to enter?

A: I wish to be a priest in future.

Q: Why do you want to become a priest?

A: I want to serve the people. You now that Bangladesh is poor. There are many poor people here. They are deprived of education and other things. And so I want to help them.

Q: Tell us about college life at the university.

A: At 8 a.m. we start classes. We study hard. The teachers always try to give us a good lesson.

Q: How do students spend their free time?

A: We spend our free time by different kinds of sports, sometimes teaching, singing songs, etc.

Q: What kinds of sports do you play?

A: Cricket, football, volleyball.

Q: Do students have part-time jobs?

A: Yes. They teach boys and girls, to earn money. They also work as a salesman in a shop.

Q: How old are your pupils? What do you teach them?

A: They are all primary level, 5-10 years old. We teach them English, Bangla, Math, etc.

Q: My students in Japan aren't familiar with Bangladesh. Could you tell them about your country?

A: Yes. Bangladesh is a young country. 26 years ago we got our freedom. There are about 120 million people. We are a poor developing country. Most people are farmers. They live in the village. We produce rice, jute, wheat and textiles.

Q: Recently you experienced some terrible flooding in the cities and the countryside. Could you tell about the floods and how they affected your country?

A: Many people lost their homes. Many people took shelter here in Notre Dame College. There were 2,000 people here. We gave them food, clothes and other necessary things. The water was about 1 meter deep. It flooded for 3 days.

Q: Besides the floods, what are some of the other problems that affect your society?

A: We have many problems like cyclones which destroy homes and kill people, and diseases like malaria, cholera. Many people don't have jobs, and many boys and girls can't go to school for poverty.

Q: If my students were to come to Bangladesh, what places should they visit?

A: They can visit many places. Cox's Bazar. It's a beautiful beach. They can visit Sundarbans. It's famous for its jungle with Royal Bengal tigers.

Q: Finally, Kazal, are there any questions about Japan which you would like to ask my students?

A: Yes. I have 3 questions. First, is there any politics in the universities? Are students interested in politics? My second question is "How is their love and social life?" And my final question, please tell me about the Japanese education system.

Q: Can you give a message to my students?

A: I am very glad to be able to give you some information about my country and I invite you to visit Bangladesh someday. I send you greetings and love.


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