The objective of AWE is to inspire Asian women who are often bound by culture, traditions and society expectation to follow their dreams.
Being a women in Asia is not easy. The cycle is often like this. Receive education, get a decent job, get married, have kids, retire and wait for the day we say our final goodbyes. If we are falling through the ‘crack holes’ of this format, we are considered different and to the society, different is not something good.
The very first conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last weekend which includes a pre-conference food tour exploring savouring culture influenced cuisines follow by a 2 days conference at 5 Elements Hotel.
I attended the event alone, not knowing anyone. The night before I took off I felt nervous and started to worry if it is a good idea to head over to the conference at all. Being a natural worrier, questions started popping out from my head. What if I do not enjoy it? What if everyone have their own group of friends and nobody want to make friend with me? This is different from solo travelling because I know I will be fine doing things alone but hey, a conference is where everyone is put together in a room, what if nobody want to socialise with me?
Apparently all my worries were uncalled for because people came up to me introduce themselves, in turn made it easier for me to approach people too. It totally ease off the nervousness inside. From then, the rest is history. Surprisingly how easy it is to make friends, just like the first day of my Freshmen Orientation Camp!
Many came from Malaysia and Indonesia however there are also a few others who came from Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Australia and even the States! Surprisingly, I was the only Singaporean. It was pretty diversify!
Keynotes by Juno Kim herself, Lek who is the founder of Elephant Nature Park made all of us teared and entertaining Ligwina Hananto, co-founder of QM Financial in Indonesia as well as various workshops ranging from topics like travelling to freelancing and writing had leave me feeling positive and inspired. It was a fulfilling experience to be hearing and learning from these people.
I am glad I made it for this event and came back home with new friends and wonderful memories.
I have always remind myself not to be conform to the social norms just because I have to, only if I want to. It is okay to pursue what I want because ultimately this is my life and I do not want to lie on my death bed in my final day regretting. It is perfectly alright to be different. So it is like having a support group as I could put it to reassure myself that IT IS OKAY whenever I have crazy ideas and be random.
Here are some friends I made over the weekend. It’s a pity I did not take more photographs.
Meanwhile, do check out some of the write ups of the event by the fellow AWE-ers.
- Take Aways from Asian Women’s Empowerment Conference 2013 (by Amy)
- The power of a Woman (by Aggy)
- Asian Women’s Empowerment: An Unforgettable Experience (by Jeannie)
- Empowering Asian Women – Thanks for AWE ’13 (by Juno)
- Meeting inspiring Asian Women (by Redbohemia)
- AWE-Inspiring Event – Asian Women’s Empowerment Conference 2013 (by Sedunia Travel)
Till AWEAsia 2014 then!