Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Racial Harmony Day - 21 July 2010

What does Racial Harmony Day mean to you?
For the parent volunteers of TK Racial Harmony Day Celebration, it is literally the day to share the message of racial harmony with the students through their dedication, teamwork and friendship.
This is the 4th year that the parents have facilitated the Know-Do-Be sessions of the Racial Harmony Day Celebration. Their fruit of labour was very well-received by TK students and the guest students from the international schools. "Kampong Game - Those were the Days" and "Souplicious Harmony" were the titles of the two sessions.
Here are the reports from the PSG Committee members, Norlia and Smrita.

Kampong Games - Those were the Days

Once again “Racial Harmony Day” is here! This year it falls on 21 July 2010. This is definitely an eye-opener for many. It offers a platform for students to explore the cultural dynamism of different nationalities, races and religions. "Kampong Games - Those were the Days” is our team's theme for this year’s RH Day.
Our students learnt to play the kampong games like, congkak, capteh, biji saga, pick-up stick, five stones, kite, hopscotch, marble,
paper doll, chess, ludo, etc., and the most beautiful part was playing on our traditional mat (tikar mengkuang).
This mat is made of screw pine leaves (Pandanus odoratissimus). It is a huge pandan-like plant that grows along the back of mangroves and also in the local jungles. The fruits can be eaten, and leaves may be used for weaving. Mengkuang weaving is usually practiced by womenfolk in the rural kampong areas.
The process requires patience, skill and dedication. Those were the days where all the village boys and girls would gather and sit on this special mat to play their indoor games.

Besides browsing through the showcase of all the kampong games, the students got a hands-on experience of the games, playing together with their friends and the parent volunteers. It was indeed a very good way of interacting and bonding with each other.
There were lots of posters showing different games played around the world. The students got to see and read the beautiful posters done by our parent volunteers.
We even collected all the dry palm leaves to decorate the room just to signify the traditional kampong houses.

We had a good time bringing back those memories of playing during our younger days and the student had a very good experience in playing those games too. At the end of the day, they were not only able to experience playing Kampong games but they learnt to have patience, build good relationships and good sportsmanship and most importantly they have a good feeling of the good old times compared to today where most children are communicating via computer and play at the computer unlike those days where we played and met together all the time.

We ended the session with Norsiah giving a quiz and reflection of the events. Each student received a packet of five stones which was packed nicely, hand-made by our parent volunteers.

We all had a good time and see you again next year!!

Written by Norlia
Photos by Alena
Souplicious Harmony

Our team’s title for the Know-Do-Be session this year was “Souplicious Harmony”. What a delicious way to know the differences and the similarities of different cultures! Students from the Global Indian International School and the Indonesian International School were also invited to partake in the ‘learn-as-you-eat’ session.
Soup and sweets stalls were put up; a small presentation was prepared on the ingredients that went into the soups and sweets; and all of this was followed by a quiz to find out if the students took away more than soup-filled stomachs from the event!

The Myanmar stall had an offering of chicken soup with vermicelli, bean curd, black fungus and lotus flower. Spicy and flavourful! Yum!

And the Chinese-Indonesian Chicken Delight – it was a real delight! With the stock made of carrots and potatoes, garnished with fried shallot and seasoned with some of the most flavourful herbs of Asia, it was just what the cook had ordered.

There was the Malay chicken soup. And then the Thai chicken soup – lip smacking stuff! Why not when the ingredients included things like lemongrass, galangal, finely chopped lemon leaves, and hot, hot, hot Thai red chillies! The quickly emptying pots were testimony to the successful coming together of these ingredients into a delicious soup.

The Indian stall also had a chicken soup, giving credence to the almost universal acceptance of chicken as a meat of choice in the cuisine of the 5 cultures although each with a taste uniquely its own. And the Indian chicken soup was marked by the flavours and aromas of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and star anise.

Along with the various chicken soups, the students also enjoyed the dessert - Ondeh Ondeh and the similar sweet rice dumplings from various cultures such as Chinese Tang Yuan and Mon-Lone-Ye-Paw from Myanmar, as well as Rava Laddu, Indian semolina sweets.

Soup and sweets tasting was the kickoff event to let the kids get a taste of things to come (please excuse the pun but it was irresistible). It was followed by the presentation on the medicinal properties of the herbs that went into the soups, then the quiz to ensure that the head had an equal opportunity to participate in the event and take something away from it. And since all of this was thirst and hunger-provoking, the children were let free to improve their understanding of different cultures through a sampling of their soups and sweets.

Personally, I found the day quite exhilarating – I am a mother and I just enjoy seeing kids eat good, wholesome food and learn a little bit about the country and the people from where it originated while they are at it.

I am already looking forward to the next Racial Harmony Day – perhaps an exhibition of old photographs from the childhood days of the teachers and the parents to show the different places and the environments in which they grew up.

Written by Smrita
Photos by Emily & Roger

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Racial Harmony Day: Amazing Race

Bee Chin volunteered her time to help tend to the amazing race. She contributed the article on the event. The race is part of the Know-Do-Be activities planned for the students to appreciate the diversity of Singapore.

Amazing Race – Racial Harmony Day, 21 Jul 2010, Wednesday

One of the activities of this year’s Racial Harmony Day at TKSS is the Amazing Race. Similar to its TV namesake the Amazing Race, participants have to get to various points, in this instance within the neighbourhood of TKSS. Unlike the TV show however, no teams will be eliminated.
Students who have signed up for this activity were formed into groups. At each designated location, they have to perform a task before they can move on to the next location. These criteria are again not new to many of us who are fans of the TV reality show Amazing Race.
What I find really amazing (no pun intended) is how the planning committee has so carefully and succinctly planned the locations around the race(ial) theme to give full effect to the intent of a race as well as addressing the intent of the racial harmony day.
The locations that the participants have to criss-cross are an Indian temple close to Katong,
a Chinese temple in Joo Chiat, a mosque near Paya Lebar MRT,
the Eurasian Community Club not far from TKSS and
the Katong Antique House.

I am sure the participants are now more aware of the rich cultural heritage that surrounds TKSS. Credit to the planning committe for such a well thought out activity.