Human Library, a novel way of sharing one’s perspective through the prism of experience. Primitive tools like paper, marker, and pen offered this event the expected appearance that everyone desired. The event’s day was Sunday, November 14 around noon, to discuss the agenda of Peace Café DU, headlined “Diversity and Tolerance in Bangladesh in 2021: Challenges and Way Forward.” General participants were the members of the Peace Café, DU executive board and students from several disciplines at the University of Dhaka (DU). Others also had the opportunity to participate in this event by offering their thoughts. This joyful and informative event, which begins at 12 PM and lasts two hours, features the participation of the eight members who gathered the rest of the enthusiastic people.
This initiative was indeed a form of casual adda for providing everyone with the chance of expressing their intuitive insights. The Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) at the University of Dhaka was selected to be the venue of this event to ensure their lively presence. As a result, apart from the members and students from DU, they got some spontaneous participation in this event.
Dhaka University Peace Café’s platform has organized an offline interactive event by its members for the first time. Peace Cafe, Universe of Dhaka organized a slightly unusual discussion session called “Human Library” initiative on the International Day of Tolerance 2021. The essence of this effort is to give peacebuilding aspirants a forum to communicate ideas and perspectives on a variety of subjects and situations through narrative or casual adda, and the first session’s topic was ‘What tolerance means to you.’
The first hour was allocated to an introduction, a discussion of the event’s agenda, and the sharing of some significant event topics.
The discussion creates a momentum where each reflection reaches a general point, that how Tolerance is inclusive in every sphere like Communal integrity, Empathy, Plurality and in Acceptance of diversity. Important issues such as how child-rearing affects a person’s socialization process, Current politics revolving around intolerance and its roots, Socio-cultural and political aspects relating to the tolerance power, How violence and extremism are linked with intolerance, Unwelcoming mentality toward disagreements, Correctness absolutism among active groups, Personal experiences with tolerance, How much DU campus provides one with environment for reframing rigid thoughts and views, The role of individuals and community to promote tolerance, as well as government and administrative structure.
The final hour was set aside to look for possible answers to these problems, and it could be hoped that some of the conceivable outcomes would materialize. Strengthening motivation to work for a better world, active uninterrupted listening practice, and exchanging ideas and thoughts – in a word, a stronger peacebuilding network through offline conversation at a site like TSC is intended to improve the mental process. However, the outcome will only be long lasting if and only if people are given additional opportunities to participate in these events more often.
During this period of the pandemic, it was an excellent initiative for the students by keeping in mind about Covid protocols. Peace Café DU hopes to host more events like this in the future to encourage people’s involvement in society.