Head Held High (Contest Winner!)
Bengali girl poses with class outdoors in Flagstaff, Arizona

Henna, dance, and a beautiful Arizona backdrop

Tazrian is also the YES Student of the Month!

Holding the red and green flag of my country in the traditional red and green outfit with head held high, I could finally be a youth ambassador of my country, Bangladesh, in the United States. International Education Week made it all possible.

“Can anyone of you tell me where on this map Bangladesh is located?” I started my presentation by posing this question to the students in the audience. Although no one could give a correct answer, many were very close.

Following this, I tried to give a brief overview of the great history of the language movement and the liberation war of Bangladesh. Most of the students were astonished, knowing that Bangladesh is the only nation that fought for its mother language. The variety of Bangladeshi dishes, clothing, and modes of transportations also amazed them, as they were different and new to my American classmates.

The hands-on approach of presenting the culture of Bangladesh was much appreciated by the students and the teachers. The students gracefully embraced the application of henna on their hands. Some of them even adorned themselves with a decorative sticker worn on the center of the forehead known as a tip.

I also played Bengali songs on the guitar to the middle schoolers and the sophomores, as well as presented a dance on Bengali music in my modern dance class.

To sum up, presenting my country in the heart of Flagstaff made me a proud Bangladeshi and taught many students about a different culture and its traditions.

—Tazrian (YES, Bangladesh), hosted by the Cosner family (AZ)