Sitting in the bus, I felt a sense of nervousness and anxiety as we neared the venue of BMUN 2011. I had had a tendency in the past to “freeze” up when I had to speak in front of a crowd, so I really wasn’t sure if BMUN would go well at all. Also, being my third MUN, I was beginning to lose my excuses for underperforming so I knew I had to try my best this time.
Our bus halted in a street corner and I knew we had come to the right place, for it was overflowing with students dressed in western formals. I can imagine that it must have been quite a spectacle to bystanders, to see over 500 students dressed in formal wear descending on Vidya Niketan school. The sheer number of participants gathered outside did nothing to help my nervousness.
After a moderately long opening ceremony, I found myself seated inside my committee room, the World Bank. As delegates of BMUN, in our committees, each of us represented a different country. I represented South Sudan, the world’s newest country in my committee. We had received the topics of debate earlier and had to do some research on the topics and our countries stance on them. Over the course of the next two days, we were to discuss the topics in depth, before we came to a conclusion about them, and formed resolutions.
The committee session started, with speakers making some opening remarks. I willed myself to raised my placard multiple times and spoke quite a few times in the first committee session. I was off to a decent start, but more importantly, I had overcome my nervousness. After another two hours of fairly eventful debate, the first day of debate ended on a high for me.
While the debate on the first day had engaged me, I also had found it interesting meeting so many new people. I had a wonderful time meeting people my age with similar interests. Many a time I bumped into an old friend and got the chance to catch up after years. Perhaps that is what makes MUN such a rich experience for those involved in it. It is not only an opportunity to debate global issues but also an opportunity to meet hundreds of students from different schools throughout the globe.
I continued speaking to the best of my ability throughout the second day, with my newfound confidence. However, I thought the second days debate topic to be less interesting than the first days. Nevertheless, I tried to stay as involved as possible. The third day was rather uneventful from a debater’s perspective, with no substantial debate taking place, though the house did vote and pass two resolutions.
As with most inter-school events, MUN is a competition, with the best delegates in a committee receiving awards. The end of debate on the third day was followed by a closing ceremony and a prize distribution. While my heart yearned for an award, the logical and reasoning parts of me convinced me otherwise. In a few moments my tension was eased when I heard my countries’ name being called for the prize of honourable Delegate (2nd place in my committee). I felt happy for my achievement.
The atmosphere on the bus on the way back was jovial and upbeat. As a school we had performed well. Shalaka (12th grade) had won the best pre summit report as a press member and Manasi (grade 9) and Kashvi (grade 9) received mentions. To me and to many of my friends, the MUN experience is an unforgettable one. It offers the opportunity not only to hone ones debating skills and practice international diplomacy but also the opportunity to develop as an individual and get a brief insight into the world outside childhood.
Nischal Nadhmuni ,
Grade 10 IGCSE