Michelle Obama urges Brazilian youth to build friendships ‘around the world’

March 20th, 2011 - 4:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Mar 20 (ANI): US First Lady Michelle Obama has urged Brazilian youth to build friendships ‘around the world’.

She also encouraged them to focus on getting a good education, experience new cultures, learn new languages and to be ‘citizens of the world’, reports the Politico.

Appearing at a youth culture event in Brazil as part of US President Barack Obama’s five-day tour of Latin America, Michelle said the U.S and Brazil - two of the largest economies and two of the largest democracies in the western hemisphere - are dependent on relationships, specifically among the young generation.

“Don’t be like me and not know — I only know ‘butterfly’ in one language,” she said, before turning to her daughters, who accompanied her.

“So Malia and Sasha, you got to learn ‘butterfly’ in at least 20 languages, okay?” she said.

Offering a message she is expected to return to repeatedly throughout the trip, the first lady shared her own experience of growing up in a ‘little bitty apartment’ and sharing a room with her brother.

“Like many of you, growing up, my family wasn’t rich. My parents are some of the smartest people I know, but they didn’t get to finish college. They didn’t get the opportunities that I had. We didn’t have a lot of money,” she said.

Michelle, however, said her parents taught her that ‘the most important thing was an education’.

“There was nothing that guaranteed in my life that I would be the first lady of the United States of America or that I would be talking to you all today,” she said.

“I want you all to look at me and see that anything is possible. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’ve come to talk to you all, because there I no reason why you can’t be here. No reason at all,” she added.

Michelle told the students that if they dream big enough and work hard ‘anything is possible’.

“The world is going to be watching. We need energetic, smart young people to fix the problems in the world. And that’s going to be all of you one day soon,” she said. (ANI)

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