1974 was a historic year for chess lovers all over the Philippines. 22-year-old Filipino, Eugene Torre, became the first Asian grandmaster after winning the silver medal at the 21st Chess Olympiad in Nice, France. His monumental legacy undeniably became an inspiration for chess players across generations, including Jasper Belarmino Rom.
One day, just three days before Eid-Al-Fitr in 2017, Kholidin fell off a 9-meter-tall coconut tree. As he was lying on the ground, he conceded his destiny to God. He prayed that if he still had time left on earth, he wanted to be a valuable man.
Kholidin had just discovered a new hobby—archery—but the fall would cost him his right hand.
Poonam Adnani had just finished her fourth event of the day when she talked with The ASEAN. It was ten days after Diwali, and many in Jakarta were still celebrating.
Adnani’s parents moved to Indonesia in the 1950s. She was born and raised in Bandung, and her family is part of a sizeable Indian diaspora community that settled in the country.
Sixty-five-year-old Adnani has been in the party business for more than two decades. It is not an overstatement to say that she has become one of the most wanted Indian-themed party organisers in Jakarta.
Living and studying at Nalanda University made Yuni Saputri reminisce about her high school life. She was a student at an Islamic boarding school or pesantren in her hometown in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Like in Nalanda University, students and teachers in a pesantren live around the school area. However, the 26-year-old said that the temperature significantly differs between Banda Aceh and Rajgir, India, where she lives now.
The Phoenix is an apt metaphor to depict the revived Nalanda University. Like this mythical bird, the historic campus was resurrected after being burned down to ashes. According to the university’s website, historical findings revealed that ancient Nalanda had a remarkable life lasting 800 years from the fifth to the twelfth century CE.
After a gap of hundreds of years, the new avatar of Nalanda University opened its doors for the first batch of students in 2014, around 12 kilometres from the original site. The restored Nalanda University is again aiming to become an icon for a new Asian convergence, a creative space and a centre of inter-civilisational dialogue for future generations.
The university is built upon a foundational philosophy that seeks to re-establish lost connections in the Asian region. The ideal is shared among students and teachers. Surrounded by the picturesque Rajgir Hills of Bihar State, India, wisdom seekers from all over the world have come to deepen their knowledge at this monumental location.
Stretching around 450 acres, Nalanda University students come from 31 countries, including ASEAN Member States. They are recipients of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarship and the Nalanda University ASEAN Scholarship scheme. The ASEAN interviewed two of them to learn about their stories.
Months into the pandemic, Dr. Disa Edralyn understood that the risk of contracting the coronavirus is higher for medical workers in Indonesia.
The 27-year-old doctor, who is currently inactive to focus on her speciality study on anaesthesiology, was tested positive with COVID-19 in July. Earlier, her 61-year-old dentist mother was also infected by the virus.
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