How do you celebrate Malaysia’s Independence Day with children who are not Malaysians? This was what happened at Kg. Chendering, Kuantan. While Malaysian children in schools were celebrating Independence Day in their respective schools, the children here celebrated this special day by taking a walk around their kampung. They were asked to observe what they could see, hear and smell. They were to look out for the smallest details that made up their village. The clothes that were hanging out to dry, the cat lying lazily on the wooden steps, the smell coming from the kitchen of food stalls, babies crying, the tiny fishes in the ponds and anything else that came to their senses. The purpose? To draw and colour all they could observe on the topic, ‘MY KAMPUNG’.
The village environment is one that is closest to ‘home’ for these children who are growing up in a foreign country. To that, volunteer teacher, Grace Chan taught them to love their village and the people in it. To care for one another, to protect one another and to keep it clean. After the walk, a drawing contest was held, and prizes were given out. The students sang ‘Negara Ku’ together and of course there was makan-makan. Hopefully, they have learned that even in a foreign land, they can still be patriotic.