SAARC stands for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. It was envisioned by a Bangladeshi gentleman* and was founded in 1985 with seven member countries e.g. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Later, Afganistan joined SAARC in 2005.
I knew most of this from my education in Bangladeshi public schools. What school did not teach is the more important part, the dormant potential of unity and growth for South Asia that lies in SAARC. This realization came to me during my first visit to Nepal in August 2011.
Through out the week long trip I observed similarities and differences in our languages, culture, problems and possibilities. The Nepalis and Bangalis are same and at the same time different on many levels. This intrigued me a lot. After contemplating over things I became convinced about the potential of a greater South Asian unity some day. I shared my thoughts with my travel partner who was working at the Danish embassy of Dhaka at the moment. He provided a thought through analysis of the situation in SAARC, drawing parallels to EU 50 years ago. To conclude it, he said that Europe is not just a geographic entity; it's a concept and it's growing. That was one of the best comments I've heard about future potentials of human unity anywhere in the world. I'm sure something like that can be done about South Asia too. But it's going to take a while.
*sadly enough I cannot agree with his political ideology of "Bangladeshi Nationalism"