Heritage Trail #CA1

The place I visited for my  heritage trail is the Peranakan Museum. The reason why I chose it was because my friend (Eileen) asked me to go with her so I said why not, I can learn more about my own culture at the same time too. We took a long time to find the place because Google maps was not really helping us that well but we eventually found it. The Peranakan Museum is part of the SG50 Jubilee walk which I went for last year. ( Yes, I forgot how to walk there even though I went for the SG50 Jubilee walk. )

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The Peranakan Museum!

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I became a statue 🙂

( also the wind was blowing my shirt so I look fat 😥 )

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Some of the people who were featured in the Perankan museum. Below their photos are captions of what they like about their culture and the caption under the first picture was ” I like the kueh kuehs ” The boys are brothers! Their photos aren’t side by side in the museum though.

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The museum was pretty aesthetic ( actually all museums are ) and really nice for photos/updating your Instagram.

I learned quite a bit from this visit for example the different kinds of Peranakans. Many different communities are recognised as ‘Peranakans’, for example the Jawi Peranakans who are descended from the Indian Muslims, the Chitty Melaka community descended from Hindu traders and the Baba community who are descended from the Chinese. The term ‘Baba’ was used for both the Chinese Peranakan community as a whole as well as to refer to the males of the community. The ladies were referred to as Nonya, which is why we often see the term ‘Baba-Nonya’. To be honest I always thought that the Perankans were just people who had both Malay and Chinese blood.

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A large model of a Kamcheng

If you did not know what Kamchengs are, Kamchengs are a tub like container  with a wide mouth and low collar. The function of the Kamcheng is uncertain but it is believed to be used to store boiled water or soups. The Kamcheng is one of thee three most important wares in Peranakan Chinese wedding ceremonies and used to bring various types of food and sweetmeats to the bridal chamber.

Traditional Peranakan Weddings

The first picture shows the Pak Boyen which were what the people were known as. The lanterns were used to bare the surnames of the family on them to proclaim to all that the two families were joined together in marriage.

The second pictures shows a few models one being the Sang Khek Umm known as the mistress of the family. She stands behind the bride and her role in the wedding procession was to guide the bride in the way she was to walk, facial expressions and so on. The model on the other side of the other side is the Pak Chindek who is a Malay man and the counterpart of the Sang Khek Umm.

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A traditional Peranakan kebaya

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Hand crafted wood cupboard

This is one of the many hand crafted wooden household furniture the museum showcases. The designs on the furniture are very intricate and many special symbols are crafted onto the furniture and the different symbols have different meanings.

 

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Oh no I’m a third wheel (get it cause I’m also holding a wheel)

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Thank you for going through my blog!

A short video (really short) of my trip to the museum! 🙂

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Global Voices #CA1

A story that really calls out to me is the story about the Chinese officials promising they would not let the Yulin Dog meat festival happen this year. (2016)

The story can be read here:

https://globalvoices.org/2016/06/17/local-chinese-officials-promise-they-wont-let-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival-happen-this-year/

This story makes me relived and happy that they finally stopped this cruel event. I have seen videos on twitter of how they treat the dogs and it is disgusting how some would do that to dogs and other animals like cats and rabbits. The dogs are crammed into small cages and there are a few dogs in one of the cage. The people who collect the dogs just throw the cages around and the dogs inside get hit by the walls of the cages. The people also hook dogs by their necks when catching them and it is really saddening, most of the time they steal dogs that belong to other people. The dogs don’t even know what is going to happen to them and they just look so sad in the cages. They even boil the dogs alive during the festival because its said that the adrenaline released makes the dogs taste better . I was very disgusted by their behavior when I saw those videos. Many people stood up against it and made a petition to stop this event when it went viral on Twitter. I am really glad that this event is put to a stop this year. However the Chinese officials might have put it to and end so that they can redeem themselves from this horrible act. I hope that this event stops forever and not just this year. Animal cruelty comes in many forms but this act is far by the worst I have witnessed in my entire life. People need to put a stop in animal cruelty or any form of cruelty to be exact.

 

$5 Challenge #CA1

Can I survive on $5 a day? The answer is probably no, unless I’m eating at home for the whole day. If I had only $5 to spend on transport, breakfast, lunch and dinner it would definitely not be enough. Plus that fact that I am currently being charged adult fare for my MRT and bus rides which goes up to a dollar plus. To solve the problem of the high priced trips I had to purchase concession for my card which costs $25 for MRT rides alone and I think around $50 plus for both MRT and bus rides. The concession card is a monthly purchased “upgrade” for the usual MRT cards.

The other day I took the challenge and I have to say that I failed. My lunch was already $6.20 and it is the sandwich you see below, because I was working that day and the area around me had quite pricey food. I also bought a cup of yogurt which was $4.50 exceeding the amount by $5.70 already. I was using concession card so my transport was “free”. Honestly, food is quite pricey these days probably because of the rising economy. Everything is expensive in fact. A meal at MacDonald’s already costs $5 which is the amount some low income families in Singapore have to spend on both food and transport a day. Singapore was ranked the sixth most expensive cities to live in, in 2012. I was very shocked that Singapore was ranked 26th out of 136 in the world for income inequality. I had no idea a lot of Singaporeans were not as well of as others. There are over 105,000 families who earn an average of $1500 monthly and hence left with $5 to spend on transport and food. I did not realize this was so bad to the extend that people only have $5 to spend and the fact that some of my friend’s always complain about how they do not have enough money when they have more that $5 each day.

I feel that the $5 challenge allows people to realize and understand how the less fortunate people feel and how we can help stop poverty in Singapore. This challenge has opened my eyes to many things and how I take things for granted sometimes. I would recommend this challenge to my friends and raise the awareness of possible poverty in Singapore. It is very hard to survive on just $5 a day to me and hence makes me feel bad to those who only have $5 to spend because of the income their family generates. I hope more people are aware of this and maybe take to challenge too.

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Unusual Occupations #CA1

In this blog post I would be talking about unusual occupations. What do I mean by unusual occupations? Well have you ever heard of a mermaid? The mythical creature that is in story books and shows? Well yes someone in Singapore works as a mermaid. This is unusual to me as you rarely hear of people working as a mermaid.

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This is Cara Nicole Neo, a 22-yearol-old NUS student. Mermaids intrigued her since she was a child and she transformed into a mermaid also known as “Mermaid Syrena” when she was shopping for a Halloween costume one year. Since July 2013, she has been attending children’s parties and corporate events and charging as high as $500 per hour! Just being at the event for 3 hours and she already earns $1500! I  would want to live that life. However her income definitely depends on the demand for mermaids.

Another unusual occupation in Singapore is a professional poker player

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This is Bryan Huang he started playing poker in the military and continue being interested in poker after the army when he went to study accountancy. While undertaking his degree, he decided to take poker seriously and studied the game to understand the gamer better. He is one of the toughest players today as is ranked as ‘Asia Player of the Year’ last year. He has earned a lot of money playing overseas at places such as Spain and Las Vegas.

The last job is a Lego certified professional, yes that’s right a Lego professional. A 37-year-old Singaporean by the name of Nicholas Foo is the only full-time artist in Singapore and Asia who is a Lego certified professional. He received his first set of colorful bricks at the age of 8 and had continued having an interest towards the bricks till now. He became recognized after posting photos of a bear with a hidden tummy compartment online that he had made for a friend’s birthday. He was sent to Enfield, Connecticut for the programme on Lego building. Now he is a Lego certified professional and has to right to market and sell his own products.

Out of these 3 jobs I would definitely choose the Lego professional. I mean how cool does that sound. If someone were to ask me, “Hi what’s your job?”, “Oh well I’m a Lego professional”. Well actually it sounds quite lame but to some people it might actually be the coolest job in the world. If I were to be one, I would be the second Lego certified professional in Singapore and Asia. Being a Lego professional is also a slightly less stressful than normal average jobs and it allows me to be creative and create many things that I am able to sell. It is also very interesting and my friends would envy me. Hence I would choose to be a Lego certified professional.

Made in Singapore #CA1

One of the few local inventions was the thumb drive and the Pirate3D Buccaneer. A Singaporean by the name of Henn Tan invented the thumb drive which almost all of us use today. The Pirate3D Buccaneer is a 3D printer invented by a group of Singaporeans. The 3D printer allows people to create 3D objects and anything you can possibly think of that a 3D printer can make. Singapore now finally has a locally made 3D printer made by Singaporeans. Carousell, which is a Singaporean made app similar to eBay/Craigslist. Carousell is known as the eBay of Singapore. Carousell allows anyone to buy and sell things. Most of the inventions by Singapore are technology related as Singapore is focusing more on the area of development.

My favorite Singaporean invention would be Carousell. As buying stuff off eBay and Amazon and other online websites are expensive due to shipping prices and it is easier to shop when there is a local website/app available. Its a lot more easier to get clothes and shoes and other stuff because people sell many things on Carousell like cameras, lenses, musical instruments and so on. I definitely have bought many things on Carousell and it is a very useful app however I spend too much time scrolling through the app and not buying anything.

If I were to be an inventor I would not invent something technology related instead I would invent the cure for cancer because of the many lives taken away by cancer. Even small children and teenagers. Some people probably just passed on from cancer as I type this and that is very scary to me. I know its hard to come up with the cure but if I were to be an inventor I would definitely want to come up with the cure. It just really saddens me how cancer can easily take someone’s life away. Leaving their family heartbroken and empty. Even if I’m not the one to invent it I really hope someone would come up with the cure soon.

In conclusion, I think there are many brilliant Singaporeans out there who have contributed to the development of Singapore by creating small inventions like the thumb drive and etc.

 

Workers Writes #CA1

Search the internet for the winning poems from the 1st and 2nd Migrant Workers Poetry Competition and share your favorite poem. Tell us why you like it!

I could not choose a favorite poem so I’ll give the two I liked the most, one from the 1st competition and another one from the 2nd. The first poem is written by a man named N Rengaranjan and the title is “Lessons from Circumstance”. The reason why I like it is because I feel like I can relate to it and the poem has a lot of meaning. I quote

“Mother

When
I fell, not knowing how to walk,
you would pick me up
But
when you fell, unable to walk
I pushed you
away. Regards, the
modern, (un)civilized family” (N Rengaranjan)

This is very true and I teared reading it. Especially in Singapore, walking at HDB blocks, you are able to see many old folks home around and there are many old folks inside. I had been to many old folks homes during my secondary school days to help out and provide some entertainment for them. When conversing with the old folks there, most of them always say how their own kids “gave up” on them and put them in the homes. Most of them look very sad when they are there and they always say how happy they are when we come. I feel very sad when I heard how their own kids just abandoned them at the old folks home. The reason why I like his poem is that I can relate to it, I’m sure a lot of others can too. The ending of his poem is about money and his last line, ” Money alone, kills by absence ” the upper half of that is how diseases kill by presence which is true. How money kills by absence, I feel that he is trying to say that without money, we would so call “die” and that is quite true. As some people these few days are very “money-faced”, always wanting the job that pays more so that their future is so called “secured”. Many people around the world are poor and lack proper care, food and homes hence suffer a lot and may even experience death.

(If you want to read the full poem here is the link: http://www.todayonline.com/blogs/forartssake/winning-poems-1st-migrant-workers-poetry-competition?page=2 )

The second poem is also written by a man, named Mohor Khan and the poem is entitled “Lamp Post”. I quote part of the poem

“Have I forgotten

My mother, my motherland?

My wife waiting for me all this time?

The child who will carry the flag of my family

Have I forgotten him too?

Every night, sleepless in the same dream

The underground train of dreams moves relentlessly

And the greed of money blurs my destination

At the delta of my dreams

I am as lonely as a sodium lamp post

Slowly in the dim light of my dreams

enters the miserable cry of my son

In my loneliness I can hear him say:

Father, when will I go to Prince Bazaar

holding your hand?

The dream of reaching the sky

riding on your shoulders is over

I have learnt to walk, run

Father, I have grown up

I have learnt to forget your dear existence

Father, I have grown up” (Mohor Khan)

The reason why I like this poem is that it really speaks out to you. It tells you how these migrant workers actually feel when they are away from their families and it is really heartbreaking especially the line ” Father, I have grown up, I have learnt to forget your dear existence “. This makes me truly understand how these migrant workers feel being away from their family and having to work in another country so that they are able to provide for them and most of the time being treated disrespectfully in the foreign land.

(If you want to read the full poem here is the link: http://www.singaporeworkerpoetry.com/#!poets/jg0k8)

In conclusion,  I am really glad Singapore is having this competition as it really lets the workers prove that they are so much more than just construction workers or domestic workers. It provides a place for them to show their creativity and allows them to express themselves.

 

Reflection (Week 6) #weekly

What if Singapore doesn’t have any foreign domestic workers or foreign construction workers? What will happen? Write a story ( or a blog entry )

If Singapore did not have any foreign domestic workers or foreign construction workers we would not be where we are today. All the buildings, HDB flats we see today are mostly built by the foreign construction workers. Without them there would be nothing. Singaporeans would also not be willing to do these kind of jobs as they feel it’s dirty and low class. If there were no foreign construction workers Singaporeans would be forced to work in that sector as there would definitely be a lacking of manpower and hence Singapore would develop slower. This applies the same for foreign domestic workers. Most of them are from other countries like the Indonesia, Cambodia and etc. Most Singaporeans houses have at least one domestic helper. This is because Singaporeans are so busy with their jobs they don’t have time to take care of their children and clean the house etc. Hence they rely heavily on these domestic helpers to take care of their children and cook and clean for them. Without them most Singaporean families would definitely be struggling and some parents will have to quit their jobs so they can take care of their family. This would lead to a shortage of manpower in the job sector. I feel that Singaporeans depend heavily on the foreign domestic workers and foreign construction workers a lot and they don’t realize it. This makes them unappreciative of them and I think it’s very unfair to the foreign workers as they have to be separated from their family and come to another country to work so that they are able to feed their family back home but end up getting treated lowly.

Reflection (week 5) #weekly

What is a “good country” to me? Do I consider Singapore a good country?

A good country to me is one that is safe from threats, natural disasters, violence and crimes. Also one where people live in harmony and everyone is happy. Life is not that stressful for example education and work-wise.

On Singapore being a good country I’m in between. Singapore is good in its safety, absence of natural disasters. Singapore also has the least number of violence and crimes in my opinion. People also generally live in harmony and we are a multi racial society. Apparently Singapore has one of highest ranking in happiness. For me this is not true as I am not happy. The reason is because the education in Singapore is very stressful and some of my classmates can definitely agree with me. This is probably the only reason why I do not consider Singapore a good country. Also everything is so fast paced in Singapore people don’t really have time to do things. Everyone is constantly on their phones and they have no time to do things and everyone is so busy with work and school. In conclusion, I would think say Singapore is a good country because other than the education and work system Singapore is quite a good country.

RSAF Reflection (week 5) #weekly

AEC – Guided Reflection on a Learning Journey

 

Sem: 1   AY: 16/17

 

 

 

 

Name: Ha Kai Li, Kelly                                   Adm No.: 1637438               Class: JP01/06

 

 

 

Q1. What are some background information you discovered as part of your planning for the visit?

 

I know that the RSAF are the one’s responsible for protecting the skies of Singapore and they wear the blue coloured army uniforms. They have many different kinds of aeroplanes and helicopters that are used. It was established in September 1968 and was known as the SADC. There are around 5 airbases in Singapore and we were going to visit the Paya Lebar airbase.

 

Q2. Discuss in your opinion, some of the key issues related to this visit.  (role of NS, duration of NS, defence strategy, defence policy, total defence, ladies in NS, NS Safety, NS Careers etc.)

 

The role of NS is to equip the guys in Singapore with the necessary skills so when there are threats they would be ready and know what to do as we can’t depend on the older generation that is why NS is necessary and compulsory for all the guys in Singapore. This trip is also to educate the Singaporeans more about NS and air force so that when those man who has finished NS have an alternative choice to go if they want to. During NS they will be sorted into different categories for example land, air or sea. The defence strategy of the RSAF is very well planned out and they are able to properly and smoothly complete the given missions. Military defence is one of the 5 pillars of total defence and it is the one which Singapore does best in. Singapore has very strong military defence and is strong in all categories of it for example land, sea and air. During the visit I saw a lot of woman around wearing the RSAF uniform. I feel that it was a good thing as woman are as strong as men and they are capable of a lot of things. There were even some woman pilots among them. There are many careers available at the RSAF for example the enhanced officers scheme, enhanced warrant officers scheme and the military domain experts scheme. In my opinion I think it is great they offer careers in NS.

 

Q3. After this visit, what do you see as your role/responsibility as an individual to the community?

 

I feel that my role as an individual is to help make sure Singapore is safe and free from threats for example when I see any suspicious person I should not keep quiet about it and should call the necessary hotlines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection (Week 4) #weekly

Do I have stories of migration to share (personal, from friends, family, own reading, etc.)? What is that story and what are my thoughts?

One of my friends in secondary school had migrated from Thailand and had been studying in Singapore for a few years from primary school and to Secondary 2. She was staying in a rented flat with a guardian and with other people who had also migrated to Singapore to study. She migrated again to New Zealand after completing secondary 2. The reason why she migrated was because the education in Singapore was better than in Thailand and also the fact that her family was rich. My thoughts on this is that indeed I have to agree that the Singapore education system is quite good however very stressful at the same time. Migration is also a good thing as it helps develop a person as an individual. By having to manage all her money, work and life alone my friend managed to be a more independent individual.