Asian British Parliament 2021

Nov 15 2021
Written by : Chayaton Subchavaroj,
4th year student, BBA#23

Asian British Parliamentary 2021 was the largest debate tournament in Asia with 192 teams from 179 institutions. It was hosted from 22-31 October 2021 by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), Vietnam and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), China. There were 8 preliminary rounds before qualifying top 24 teams to compete in elimination rounds. I teamed up with Chanakan Wittayasakpan from the Faculty of Arts. The debate motions covered various topics including politics, international relations, economics, culture, feminism, minorities, gender equality, law, philosophy, etc. Teams were given only 15 minutes to prepare after being given a motion, and each debater would give a 7-minute speech. For example, the motion I debated in the Grand Final round was "Assuming the technology exists, this House would allow the use of the technology which allows individuals to irreversibly erase all sadness and sorrow associated with past and future memories", which was abstract and involved philosophical discussions regarding the meaning of life.
To say that debating has changed my life is an understatement. It has broadened my worldview so much thanks to the plethora of fields that the motions covered. Having debated for five years, I felt like this tournament was where everything I had learnt so far crystallized and came together; I had a eureka moment. My teammate had a similar experience and we were both surprised by our breakthroughs. At the same time, this made me feel empowered and excited for upcoming tournaments, including the world championship.
I would like to acknowledge the guidance from Chulalongkorn English Debate Society's advisor, Dr. Bhanubhatra Jittiang, and our coach, Praewta Sorasuchart. Also, I would not have come this far without the support from my fellow Chula English Debate Society members. But most importantly, I couldn't be more grateful for having Chanakan as my teammate for over 3 years now. Our first tournament together was also coincidentally Asian British Parliamentary 2018.