Sunday, December 12, 2010

Revive The ‘Kampung’ Spirit 种族和谐日





傍晚6时,场地已经弥漫在歌声之中。居民纷纷排队享用晚餐,而今年最特别的是,晚餐别出心栽地分摊在三个档口:食物分别有马来鸡丝米粉(Mee Soto),印度煎饼(Roti Prata)和华人的甜品——清汤。这些美食都是由居民和义工联手炮制与烹煮的,因此更显得有人情味。







‘Kampung Nite’, a CCS Bukit Batok event, is an opportunity for members and neighbourhood residents to get together for an evening of food, light entertainment and socialising. It is an evening when we try to revive the ‘kampung’ spirit, where different races and cultures meet and neighbours become friends.

The theme of racial and cultural understanding and harmony was particularly emphasised on our ‘kampung nite’ held on Saturday, 4th December. Some 250 members, neighbourhood residents and Zone 8 RC members attended the event. Besides the usual karaoke session, the various dance performances, the racial harmony theme was highlighted in various other ways.

Food: there were Malay ‘mee soto’, Indian roti prata with curry, and ‘cheng tng’, a Chinese dessert, lovingly prepared by our volunteers.

Art and craft: our volunteers showed visitors the art of using coloured paper to make Chinese dumpling-like shapes. Hundreds of these were made, filled with candy, and distributed to everyone.

Dance: besides a Chinese fan dance, a few of our Chinese members went on stage to perform an Indian dance, led by Terani, a lovely young Indian lady.

The highlight of the evening has to be inviting on stage an Indian couple, a Chinese couple and four Malay dressing as a couple and their children to share some cultural moments. They were dressed in traditional costumes, and had these to share with us.

The Indian couple shone with their colourful clothing, particularly the lady with her elegant red gown, richly sparkling with gold and silver ornaments. She said, “In our culture, gold is a symbol of prosperity, but of course we usually use imitation gold and silver ornaments for our costumes, anything that adds sparkle and colour.”

From the Chinese couple. “The Chinese have rather strict traditional customs and rules of conduct. For example, at meal times, we must sit properly and quietly; we must finish every morsel in out rice bowl” On hearing this, the elderly Chinese in the audience nodded with agreement.

The Malay couple said that the bride and groom are royalty for the day. They are dressed in richly decorated traditional attire, and must walk sedately and with dignity. The couple, with their two children on stage, then showed everyone the ‘wedding walk’, receiving much applause from the audience.

At the end of the evening, all of us had gained better insight into the different cultures that make up our society. In fact, some of the elderly Chinese, used to only Chinese food, probably tasted mee soto and roti prata for the first time while some Malays and Indians confessed that they had never had cheng tng before.

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