Loveena Sungkur | Mauritius
What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon your return? In particular, with the integration of your experiences here?
I am a resource person. If I had to simplify that term I would say that I am into delivering talks and interactive sessions on human rights to the population, to different demographic groups. What I speak on is their rights, where to seek amends. For instance, if they are exposed to gender based violence, to tell them what their rights are and to let them know what the law says in simple terms, to encourage and empower them to go to stake holders and advocate for themselves.
I want to bring back, though I already have a general knowledge about it, a way to explain things in more simple terms and accessible terms. The networking part – to be able to work hand in hand when I get back use this to apply what I have learned to the context of my home country.
What is your favorite thing about your home country? How about Philadelphia?
Since I was a little kid I always wanted to explore the world. I was more attracted to the idea of being outside of my country. It was only quite recently that I realized that my island really is beautiful and that the nature is beautiful. The nature part of my island, the beaches that we have, the mountains, the sugar cane fields, this nature is what I really hold in my heart. I love hiking and being outdoors, and this is where I find myself at home. Even if I am traveling now, if I am looking around, at some point in time I find that when I am away I miss these elements from my home and wish for the sand on my feet, the sun on my skin and the sensation of climbing the mountains.
I have googled a lot and had an idea of how Philadelphia looks. I did not really come here with expectations but when I came here, it was night, so I did not really get a feel for the city. The next day waking up and seeing the sky scrapers and parks and being able to see the integration of the city and the green parks is awesome. I love walking and this connects me to the people here, as the people of the city walk a lot. I love the way that people are at ease, the easygoing walking environment of the city, and the integration of green and technology.
Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself?
I have quite a few hobbies at home. I am always doing something to the point that people tell me I need to sit back a bit. I love hiking and finding groups to hike with, joining in hikes of different types. I also love gardening, and specifically organic gardening. Especially after a long day, I love just sitting in the garden, even just reading, and it is a stress reliever. When I am inspired enough I also love paining or sketching and drawing, sometimes crafting. I like to try to use unconventional things, how do you say DIY, to create things.
If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?
It is very diverse, we have a lot of Hindu, Chinese, Muslim, ect., so the food is very diverse as well and I could recommend many different things. There is an Indian wrap that is filled with different curries - roti – I love it with salmon and tomato sauce. The Chinese food is quite different as well and I really like bol renverser, I love when my dad makes it, it translates to upside-down bowl in English. It is like a stir fry in sauce over rice but you build it in a bowl and flip it over on a plate and remove the bowl.