It has been more than two weeks since I started my journey as a Peace Scholar but I have learned more than I could ever do in a semester in college. I spent the first week in Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue in Lillehammer with other Peace Scholars together with participants from the Balkans region, Russia, and Ukraine. There is something special about Lillehammer. Maybe it’s in the fact that everyone go to the same workshop or different activities or having a meal together everyday. Or maybe it’s the party with dancing and stories that we made. But by the end of the week, I looked around the room and I see the faces of people who are so close to my heart. All of a sudden, spending six weeks in University of Oslo with hundreds of other people is not terrifying anymore because I know I have people whom I can always go to whenever I need them.
One of many invaluable lessons I learned from the Centre is using dialogue as a method to solve conflict. This is very important to me because I tend to be very impatient talking with people who have different perspective than me. Instead of listening, I often challenge the other side to see from my perspective but I refuse to do the same. I also learned that reconciliation means accepting the past and move forward together. Of course it’s easier said than done because some wounds are not healed and might never be. But living in the past means letting the wounds open.
This experience as Peace Scholar is clearly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am the kind of person who loves to get more knowledge and to know people who give me inspiration to do great things in my life. And I’m lucky to be in the place full of people who inspire me everyday. Now I have reasons to spend more time talking to people instead of sleeping in my cozy bed.