Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MJS RHD Celebrations 2014 - the best by far

After months of preparation - from planning of menu (Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian food) to the conceptualization of decors, to putting the concept into creative works of art, and finally, to the actual day itself - we have recently concluded the Racial Harmony Day (RHD) celebrations cum food fair at Montfort Junior School (MJS). 

Joint effort of dedicated parent volunteers, teachers, and P4 boys made this year's RHD preparations and actual day a success. The school canteen was transformed by parent volunteers into Kampung Montfort decorated with traditional stuff like handmade kampong windows, old wash boards, batik clothes, nipa hut-like roofs, personal items of cultural significance and symbolism, as well as several artworks done by the boys. This brought the boys back into the kampung days their parents and grandparents have experienced and enjoyed. To add to the ambiance, there was a variety of traditional food items to choose from - chicken rice, huat kueh, ang ku kueh, curry puff, nonya kueh, satay, otah, kacang puteh, murukku, putu mayam, sugee cake, koh suih, chicken pie, and the block buster popcorn. There were also Hari Raya Feast boxes for our Muslim teachers and students to bring home.

Other activities like henna tattoo (done by very talented parent volunteers), digital art appreciation (by senior citizens in the community with P4 boys), trishaw rides and a photo booth (where boys got to dress up have their photos taken with a polaroid camera) added to the funfair.

Apart from the kampung experience, delectable food and a myriad of other activities throughout the week, what made the RHD celebrations a great experience to take part in was the friendship we cultivated in the process. Parents volunteers from different races and nationalities came together to do the preparations as well as the much-appreciated leg work during the event. And we all had fun in the process - it brought out the kids in us. Some of the new parent volunteers said they had a great experience and were eager to participate in more school events in the future. What better way to get more PVs involved than to let them have a taste of what it was like to "work" as a parent volunteer.We also got to team up with dedicated teachers and got to know them outside the classroom (they can be funny, too!).

We were all in agreement that this was the BEST RHD food fair ever and I'm so proud to be a part of the team that made this all possible - the group of parent volunteers, the teachers and the P4 boys who were given the chance this year to play an active role in the RHD celebrations.

It's going to be a big challenge to top this one off, but I'm sure the school committee and parent volunteers can think of something for next year :)

Here were some of the photos taken during the event... 

the team of Parent Volunteers

Montfortians in their traditional costumes

 me with parent volunteers in the Eurasian sugee cake stall

 happy to be in the chicken rice stall

 our kacang puteh parent volunteer invading the library to sell to the boys

 PVs in the Indian stall with Mrs Bala (teacher-in-charge) 
and Cynthia (PV creative director cum life of the party)

PV Pacino helping trishaw uncle to drive the boys around the foyer

 henna tattoo expert PV Razia 

the henna tattoo PVs 

my son Ira (right) with his buddy Ian,
at the library for the digital art exhibit 
where they helped senior citizens in the community to create digital art
for the past few weeks

the main wall of the kampung

 preparing the chicken rice before the stalls open

 PVs in the Indian stall selling kacang puteh, putu mayam and murukku

 getting the satay on display at the Malay stall

 our bubbly Cynthia being herself

 parent volunteers and P4 boys working hand in hand at this chicken rice stall

 took advantage of the time when my son and his friends were at the canteen

our couple parent volunteers

 caught my son again for another photo op

 parent volunteers at the huat kueh and ang ku kueh stalls

 MJPC chairman Patrick making sure the boys follow the entrance and exit rules

 Hari Raya Feast box PVs

 parent volunteers selling nonya kueh and curry puff

 parent volunteer tandem selling chicken pies at the Eurasian Stall

 boys enjoying good food
 photo op with our ticket seller before the crowd goes wild

 kacang puteh choices - sugar coated or salty peanuts?

 Ira and friend Marcus the day before the actual event


thanks to partners Cynthia (top) and Annie (bottom). It's been a pleasure working with these 2 wonderful ladies not only in this event, but several other events throughout the year. 

Cheers to all the PARENT VOLUNTEERS who have given their support, artistic talents, selling / marketing prowess, sweat, arms and legs into making each and every event a success. I'm so blessed to be in your company.

** photos courtesy of Andrew Teoh, Lynn Tessa Tay - thanks for capturing such wonderful photos - and myself

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