I don’t know if addressing someone as foreigner makes them feel disrespected or something, but I don’t say that in a negative way. ‘Foreigner’ is a common term in Bangladesh that is used to refer to a person who was born in other country and is not of Bengali nation. To make it clearer, I’d say if a child is born in a non-resident Bangladeshi family living in another country, he’ll not be termed as a foreigner. But anyone other than Bengali will be.
I always find it fascinating to meet foreigners. Those who have been following my blog for a while now might already know that I want to improve my overall skill in English. I write English to improve writing efficiency. I listen to English music and watch English movies to improve my listening efficiency. I read quite a lot of article on newspaper daily to improve my reading skill. But the only thing I miss is speak English to take my speaking skill to the next level.
As you might know, people in Bangladesh aren’t much comfortable in speaking English. Even those who update their statuses on Facebook in English aren’t comfortable in speaking English. If I try to speak English, majority of people here will get me wrong thinking I’m just trying to ‘show off’ how educated I am, which sucks! So, whenever I meet a foreigner who always speaks English, I find an opportunity to speak. I know, they suggest wannabe English speakers to talk with the mirror but I can’t do that. It looks crazy to my own self, you know.
Anyway, before meeting Mark Hillary, I met another Indian scientist at a competition where I had to ask him for a few comments on the performance of the participants from Bangladesh. I was as a journalist there and we talked a few. Since he wasn’t native English speaker either, I don’t really count him. So, Mark is the first!
On 29th November, Mark Hillary arranged a meetup called Dhaka TweetUp with local bloggers, freelancers and IT enthusiasts in order to know the current situation of the country’s IT industry. There we talked a lot about many things. Even after the discussion, I personally talked to Mark for a while. It was all great. I wasn’t much fluent in speaking English, though. But I still enjoyed it. Above all, Mark is an amazingly friendly person despite being such a popular figure in blogosphere and international media like The Huffington Post and Reuters.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the event, here’s details including photos on Express Bloggers. You can also check out this article that was published on Daily Sun newspaper on December 6, both written by me.
So, that’s all I wanted to write today. It was a pleasure meeting Mark Hillary. I wish I could get chances to meet more English-speaking foreigners. 😀