Meet Maya

Meet our new friend, Maya. She is the grade 3 daughter of Prof. Jianrong Chen, the Founder and Executive Director of Jinan University’s Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, which hosted and organized last month the China-Asia Peace and Leadership Training Workshop at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Brought up in Asian values of respecting elders, Maya would not just settle with calling us workshop participants as “uncle” or “aunt”. She would rather call us“granduncle” or “grandaunt”!

The first ‘victim’ of this appellation was no other than ‘Granduncle’ Kriya Langputeh during last year’s workshop when Maya met him for the first time. Next year, it would be nice to hear her calling him ‘Great-granduncle’!

Maya is the youngest peace-builder in the group. She is a photographer, an English interlocutor, a Tai Chi practitioner, a drawing artist, and a workshop facilitator.

As we finished our last dinner after the workshop’s closing program, I taught her the ‘magic’ of putting a piece of paper at my back neck and pulling it out from my mouth.

Thereafter I returned to the hotel at dust amidst a heavy downpour.

As I was folding my umbrella in my hotel room and recalling how happy Maya was for knowing the ‘magic,’ I couldn’t help but wish – “How I wish this umbrella would turn into a magic wand for world peace that Maya and her generation would truly enjoy!”

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