At our most recent and last ICDG meeting of the semester, our group talked a lot about the coup happening in Myanmar. The article we read talk about how the protestors are beginning to take stronger measures, forming almost a kind of guerrilla militia.
This coup began on February 1 when the military took over the government and imprisoned the civilian leader after claiming that the results of Myanmar’s most recent election were fraudulent. Since then, unrest and violence have flooded the nation, as the military began to take violent action against the protestors who demanded the reinstatement of the democratic government.
One of the other group members drew a parallel between the events leading to the coup in Myanmar and the Capitol Riot on January 6. Both were the result of groups claiming an election to be fraudulent, both included violence being used in an attempt to overthrow the current government. It’s a sobering reminder that any nation, long standing democracies to new nations, have the potential to undergo times of civil unrest.
I’ve really appreciated my ICDG group colleagues for helping me notice parallel situations like this. Seeing similarities between our own lives here in the States and other parts of the world helps me relate to people thousands of miles away and perhaps understand a little better what their lives might be like. We put so much emphasis on understanding people’s culture that I think sometimes we underemphasize trying to understand the potential domestic issues they might be facing in the current moment.
As I said above, this most recent ICDG group was our last meeting. Ending our ICDG group was bittersweet — I’ve really enjoyed talking about domestic and international current events with my colleagues, particularly the moderators who did an excellent job of picking out articles every week. If I had known how much I enjoyed ICDG, I definitely would have joined earlier in my collegiate career, but I’m still grateful for the semester I did spend with my group.
Once I figure out where I’ll be after graduation, I’ll have to look for a similar program!