Blogginlägg om Bangladesh

Genom bakfönstret kunde vi se hennes klänning och leende lysa starkt

Gul. Färgen som för mig blivit symbolen för den här turnén i Burma. Gul som den stekande solen. Gul som alla guldgula Buddhastatyer vi sett. Gul som den gemensamma färgdetaljen vi använde i våra clownkostymer. Gul som den sprudlande energin och glädjen som så många barn lyste med. Gul som de fina klänningarna som tre flickor i tre olika läger hade klätt upp sig i.

En utav dessa flickor var omkring nio år. Hon bar en vacker gul klänning med paljetter som glänste i solen. Hela hon glänste. Kanske hade hon klätt upp sig lite extra idag för att hon skulle se en föreställning.

Efter massor av skratt och lek satte vi oss i bilen för att åka mot nästa läger och hon och flera andra barn gick bredvid och vinkade medan vi rullade framåt. Allt efter att vi ökade farten sprang barnen efter och försökte hålla takten. En efter en saktade de till slut ner och till sist sprang bara flickan i den gula klänningen kvar efter oss. Med ett stort leende på läpparna sprang hon med all sin kraft och den gula klänningen fladdrade häftigt mot den beiga omgivningen. Hettan, det ojämna underlaget och tofflorna verkade inte vara något hinder för henne. Kämparglöden var på topp! Vi vinkade hejdå så länge vi bara kunde och genom bakfönstret kunde vi fortfarande se hennes klänning och leende lysa starkt.

//Anna Aro, artist för Clowner utan Gränser, nyligen hemkommen från turné i Burma.

"The only thing I could really promise her was that I hope I come back very soon"

It was my first trip to Bangladesh with Clowns Without Borders Sweden. I was a little nervous, curious, excited and happy to go there with three other artists that I had never met before. But I had a gut feeling that this trip was going to be special and that in the end of the tour I would have three new friends and that I would feel much richer than I did before the tour.

I remember the day when I got the call that I would be going to Bangladesh. Before leaving I wanted more information about the crisis and read more about the Rohingya people and everything that has happened to them. It was difficult and heart breaking to realize how the past years for these people have been. I remember a first phone call with my tour leader Jonas telling me: ‘All of the people we are going to meet have seen their families murdered or raped in front of their eyes. Every single person at the camps have seen something that nobody should have ever seen. They are traumatized.’

With this background I arrived in Bangladesh the 20th of November 2018 and I will never forget my first day at the camp. Waking up at 6.30, fast breakfast and then heading to the camps. 2 hours of driving in a very bumpy and uncomfortable ride but made it all safe through crazy traffic of Bangladesh and saw the camps. It seemed like endless city with thousands of shelters. Lots of people walking around, kids running around. I felt overwhelmed: where to even start, how can I give enough to these people? You want to give at least something to everybody because you know what they have gone through is not human in any ways. You want to give a little bit of your time to every face you see, a hand shake to every single adult and child that you pass by. But that’s not possible so you have to start somewhere and hope that it will be enough. It was an emotional day full of tears, sadness, laughter and happy meetings. The day felt like a week to me.  When we walked through the camps the children ran out from the shelter screaming: ‘Hello-how-are-yoooouuu-thank-yooooou-welcome-byebyeeee!’. The most remarkable moment for me was to realize how much love these people were willing to give to us, to some weird looking strangers who they have never seen before and had no idea of our intension. And yet, they came to say hello, welcoming us to their new home with nothing but love, joy and curiosity.

I became friends with a little girl from the camp. I met her when we were walking from the car to the child friendly spaces. She came out from one of the shelters and wanted to know my name. The next day she was there again, waiting to see me again. This time she walked with me all the way through the camp. A week alter we returned to this same camp and I got the meet her again. After our performance she stayed with us for some time and I had beautiful conversations with her, of course without a common language but it was not necessary to have words to be able to talk. There were many other children also who wanted to do some acrobatics that they had seen in the show. I asked my little friend if she also wanted to but she refused, she was shy. I saw her again next day from that. She came running towards me and told me how she would now want to do some acrobatics. Before leaving the camp for the last time she asked me when I am coming back. The only thing I could really promise her was that I hope I come back very soon.

Since day one I realized that I am in the right place. This is what I am supposed to do and what I want to continue doing. If these people, after everything they have experienced, are so open minded towards us, I want to give that back. I want to give my love and my time. I want to come back to meet these people again, hear more of their stories, see the babies that our students were expecting, hear how the labor went and hear the new words the children have learned in English. I want to show them that to me they are worth of everything, they are worth coming back for.

/With love and laughter, Inka

We all are children inside our delicate yet strong souls

The clowns went to Cox’s Bazar once more to salute the spirit of the Rohingya community. This time around we had to create a show that emphasised togetherness and sticking together to address the issue of child trafficking in the camp as it has been a big issue. We also worked with the play facilitators and child care workers who run play sessions every day for the children. As we walked through the camp and into the child friendly spaces, there were shouts of “Hello” and “How are you?” coming from rooftops and valleys. The curiosity in the faces of the children and play facilitators, the freedom to be human beings despite the hardships and the triumph of kindness over the hard realities of the communities in the camp gave me the feeling that I was indeed at the right place, at the right time. At the end of the day, the people there are no doubt one of the strongest people on earth, for they certainly know how to be resilient despite all the hardships.

The clown’s way is one where everyone is invited to live. Everyone is encouraged to be full human beings. So where is the meeting point? The clowns know exactly where that centre is. We all are children inside our delicate yet strong souls. As usual we meet within the magic of child spirit, where everyone is free to create, fail and recreate experiences.

Once more its thanks to clowns, and congratulations to the wonderful people of Bangladesh and the Rohingya. Eg Shate, together!

/Nicholas Mamba