By Siti Fatimah Zainal
GOMBAK: Fifteen international students from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) were treated to a traditional Malay lifestyle when they stayed with foster families for four days at Kampung Baru Salong, Pekan, Pahang.
The students experienced a brand new fascination as kampung kids where they were exposed to traditional delights such as picking corns, eating tempoyak, cooking traditional patin fish dishes with their foster families and even playing futsal in sarongs.
“My foster family was really nice. I enjoyed so much getting to know them and doing all these new things and experiencing things that I never got to do back home in Afghanistan,” said Head of International Affairs for Communication Technology Students’ Society (ICTSS), Abdul Matin Mohammad Azeem, 21, here yesterday.
The objective of the Kembara Akar Budi IIUM camp is to integrate and acclimatize international students into the traditional Malay lifestyle and experience a part of the unique cultural tapestry that makes up Malaysia.
“The village kids clung to me during departure time and asked me to stay at the kampung forever. It was really an amazing experience,” said Abedisi Abdulrasheed, 21, a Nigerian student from the Kuliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences.
The students also underwent alternative learning activities such as community service, cleaning the village communally or gotong royong, preparing for a traditional Malay feast or kenduri, and participating in a full-fledged cultural showcase.
The participants include five representatives from Students Representative Council (SRC), five from Ahmad Ibrahim Kuliyyah of Laws (AIKOL), and five from Information and Communication Technology Students’ Society (ICTSS). Other students came from diversified cultural background including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Chad.