Mongolia is an interesting country when it comes to freedom of speech. Democracy was just a year old in my country when I was born. That makes my parents a product of the socialist system.
To explain this old system of our country, I could say that people had limited opportunities to express themselves. “Normal” would be not to raise their voices and keep silent. Simply put, it was a situation of 'to be seen but not heard'. The impact is still on me as I am the product of the socialist-rooted parents. And, of course, such experiences don’t get wiped away 100 percent with the snap of fingers.
I was not used to making speeches in front of people because I wasn’t taught to do so at every level of school. It was not because I wasn’t allowed to but because our country was not experienced enough to handle this "new" kind of revolution. Having no practical experience used to make me feel uncomfortable on stage. I used to fear that I might look stupid and bad when expressing my own idea. That has made most friends of my generation looking rather weak when we need to stand up and fight against what is not right.
World Speech Day 2017 has definitely changed my perspective. I will no longer make excuses. It proved to me that things have changed a great deal. Next time I will work, study harder, because this new generation is going to be strong! For me, World Speech Day is not just an event. It is a celebration of the democratic progress with our short 27 years history. It is a celebration for the freedom of expression... a celebration for freedom of speech. Our team wanted this moment to be the opportunity for everyone from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, to speak up.... and "Yes, we did it"!
This year we attracted more than 150 attendees and 25 speakers ranging from an 11 year old student to a 59 year old lady. The speeches included topics on global warming, education, self-love and self-improvement. National University of Mongolia was our venue sponsor. Shunkhlai LLC, a leading fuel company, supported us financially as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. We also had large news media and tv channels coverage for the event.
I was greatly inspired by all the people who were there. People helping people... each supporting one another definitely gave me much pride in the success! What made this event unique was that people were there for a reason that made them feel they were important. They knew that their voice mattered to the world. They were encouraged by the people in the room. That’s what matters in human life, isn't it?
But as the organizing chair of this committee, I felt that there could still be room for improvement. Now that I see we are supported with all the opportunities to share our thoughts in this era, I see that we’ve achieved much rapidly. At this moment, what we should focus on is the message. In this case, we need to learn more about the quality of the message we deliver. This is the main thing we should develop. Speech making is not just a tool for self-improvement but it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the causes that could lead to change.
Next year, I would like to help the speakers to show much improved performances. Overall, the event ended with proud moments for parents, friends and siblings of the speakers. It ended leaving us with great memories. It ended up as a great experience of team work. Thank you for this great day.
Guest Blog by Dolgorsuren Tsogbadrakh