Journeying together as formative factor for my YATRA experiences

by Hau Sian Suan last modified 18 August 2016 02:13 PM
Journeying together as formative factor for my YATRA experiences

Roadworks © Hau Sian Suan

14 July 2016

For this historic moment of YATRA 2016, the Youth in Asia Training for Religious Amity which was going to start on 28 May in Jakarta, I set off on my journey three days earlier, on May 25. Coming from a remote area in the western part of Myanmar, the journey to YATRA was a big challenge from the beginning.

In those days, there was heavy rain in my home place because of the monsoon. Unfortunately, it rained again after I had just started the journey for almost forty minutes. My area is full of mountains and the road is really rough.

When heavy rain hit my home place in the last rainy season, there were lots of landslides which destroyed a lot of villages and made a huge suffering for us. Especially it was very difficult to have pure drinking water and transportation. The roads are still in the progress of renovation since that time.

When it rained on May 25, it was really difficult for us to keep on going by a small bus which had just allowed 13 persons as passengers. Actually, it is only fifty seven miles from my home place called Tiddim to Kalay. But on that day, we spent eight hours for journeying to get to Kalay.

In some places, the rough road was very muddy. And it was really tough to go forward. Therefore, all of us got out of the small bus and pushed it together.

Sometimes, we struggled only a few minutes in the muddy road, but sometimes it took much time. At one place, we were not able to push the bus at all because there was simply too much mud. At that place, the road renovation group helped us move on by pulling our bus with their excavation machine.

At this moment, I realized that I had already started my pilgrimage of peace and justice before being at the YATRA course, by journeying together with all the passengers. Most of us had not known each other before - we journeyed together and faced the challenge jointly.

Even though we did not know who people are in the road renovation group, they helped us and cared for us. The only thing I know about the people from the road renovation group is that they were from different ethnic groups and non-Christians. But they did not hesitate to help us who were in need of help.

Even if I was far away from my home and faced difficulties along the journey, I did not feel lonely because I knew that there were some people who journeyed together and struggled with me. And, I did not fear because of journeying together with people from the road renovation group who also journeyed by caring for others in the midst of bad weather and on the rough road.

So, for me, journeying together means solidarity with others, without any segregation. Realizing about the essence of journeying together is the basic factor to involve in the larger community.

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