By securing top-notch ranking in an international essay competition, Anto Ryan Raj, who has just completed grade 12 at Campion Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, has won a sponsored trip to Washington D.C. from April 8 to 12.
Anto has been ranked fifth out of the top 30 winners in the competition conducted by Gulen institute, University of Houston, Texas, USA, for high school students. The winners can take a parent along to tour the capitol, meet U.S. Congress members, visit educational organisations, and participate in the award ceremony.
Under the topic ‘Hospitality in a Global Village’, the students had to select any of the questions explaining how it relates to a nation-state. Anto’s essay ‘Tackling the threats to multiculturalism in Norway in the aftermath of 2011 massacre’ was also awarded prize money of 300 USD.
In his essay, Anto has explained why every nation in the world must embrace multiculturalism in the backdrop of migration and economic reasons. The essay deals with the exploration of strategies and methods to be followed by host countries, migrants and the government to handle cultural tension.
For Anto, Norway was a symbol of peace. The Norwegian term ‘likhet’ implies conceptualisation of alikeness being the crux of the government’s policy to treat immigrants and hosts alike. Even after the cultural tension in the aftermath of the massacre of 92 persons by a right wing extremist in 2011, the country that awards the Nobel peace prize stuck to its stand of multiculturalism by appointing its first Muslim minister, the essay states.
Reluctance of a small section of hosts to accept the contribution of the immigrant culture to that of the nation is as much a reason for cultural tension as the hesitancy of a few immigrant ethno-cultural groups to assimilate the culture of the host country. Multiculturalism can be successful only when it can cultivate cultural unity which in turn leads to national unity, Anto has explained in his essay. At the same time, every nation should have strict laws prohibiting social evil under the garb of culture, he emphasises.
Anto had attended the NASA conference in Chicago in May 2010 after being ranked third in its ‘space settlement’ contest under literary merit category.
In the same contest in 2012, he won the first prize. Anto was also a semi-finalist in spirit of innovation challenge 2011 conducted by Conrad Foundation, Texas.
In the letter of invitation sent by Gulen Institute to Anto, its Outreach and Event Coordinator Hakan Yagci said the trip offers the winners a unique opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and respectful dialogue with peers from around the world.