Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Jun 4, 2013

Singapore Memory Project - Bonding of Young and Old

Thimbuktu and 106-year-old great grandmother Madam Lim
Madam Lim with fellow Memory Corps volunteer
This intuitive blog to express was inspired by my blogger friend Lam Chun See's latest blog  at "Good Morning Yesterday".  Chun See is the author of the best-selling book of the same title "Good Morning Yesterday" .

Excepted from his blog:
Over the years, I have yet to meet anyone outside of our kampong who knew this name, except perhaps, Freddy Neo. But two days ago, I finally met a 79-year-old gentleman who did. He grew up in a kampong just like ours in neighbouring  Yio Chu Kang. He was being interviewed by a group of Sec 4 students from Nanyang Girls’ School, and I was helping out as an interpreter in case the girls could not understand Chinese dialects. This event was held at the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre @ Blk 150 Mei Ling Street. It was organised by the Singapore Memory Project.
Both Chun See and I are the active Memory Corps volunteers and evangelists of the Singapore Memory Project to encourage Singaporeans to tell our Singapore stories and share fond nostalgic memories of everyone.

In his National Day Rally 2011, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said:
Recently, I attended the launch of Singapore HeritageFest and I made a speech about these human stories and emphasised how important they were. It prompted a response in the TODAY newspaper by a lady, Angeline Koh, who is working on digital storytelling and I think I should read a little bit of what she said because it resonated with her. She said, “What are memories and shared experiences but stories.  And storytelling is what Singapore as a nation needs.  There are unsung heroes in our midst, there are people we meet each day in our homes and in our schools, at work and in play.  Our children need to realise they are heroes in the making.  They have the power to become heroes by the brave and sacrificial choices they make to live well and for the good of others”.  When we talk about history and national education and a sense of belonging, it is not just words and abstract concepts.  It is really the stories of people, real people, what they lived, thought, what it meant for them.

That is why MICA is launching a Singapore Memory Project to capture, preserve and showcase these memories. They hope to collect five million memories by 2015 because that is our 50th anniversary.  The stories can come from anybody, any person, any community, any organisation or institution which has experienced Singapore.  Together all these individual stories will weave the tapestry of our nation. 
Since the launch of Singapore Memory Project (SMP) almost 2 years ago,  Singaporeans from every walk of life are coming forward to share their Singapore memories to enrich our collective experiences and understand how every Singaporean help to weave the tapestry of the history as our nation over four decades.

Whilst Chun See was assigned to help at the Lions Befrienders Senior Activity Centre,  I volunteered to help at the Thye Hua Kwan Activity Centre @ Ang Mo Kio on 25 May 2013.  I was an interpreter to interview a great grandmother, Madam Lim,  who is 106 years old.  I spoke to Madam Lim in Hokkien and the interesting session with her enjoyed with her thoroughly.  The sprightly elderly lady is full of spirit and couldn't believe that she is a Singaporean centenarian.  I jest:  "Ah Chor (great grandmother in Hokkien), I am half your age and this meeting is bonding of young (me) and old (you)".  She laughed heartily and so happily!

The interview of several members at Thye Hua Kwan Activity Centre by the SMP student volunteers of the Nanyang Girls' High School and Memory Corps members to help the interview in Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Hainanese.  The students spoke mainly English and Mandarin and the school's young Malay teacher-in-charge was present during the interview session.  It was indeed a meaningful and educational Singapore Memory Project to learn from the memories of our senior citizens.

Well Done!  Thanks to the SMP student volunteers from Nanyang Girls' High School and their teachers, the Singapore Memory Project Team and the Memory Corps volunteers to help revive Singapore memories to remember the invaluable memories and stories of our elderly Singaporeans.

Please watch out for the Singapore Memory Project's campaign to interview the senior citizens when the assignments of the Nanyang Girls' High School student volunteers and various schools in Singapore are completed.



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