Thursday, November 04, 2010

Kids say the darndest thing

Kids do say the darndest thing.
Recently I joined a volunteery programme to entertain a bunch of school kids in conjunction of Deepavali. The main highlights are tour to Petrosains and Skybridge. Among the unforgettable moments were when..well, to set the actual scene, most of the kids were Indian and as you know, most Indians have long and complicated names. They tend to talked in Tamil most of the time so they are were neither fluent in English nor Malay. So when I tried to call a girl, unfortunately with a wrong name, she said `Kakak, AKU Proscilla, yang itu Abirami'.. I was surprised and tried to hold my laughter at the same time. I was too shocked dia cakap `aku' . Hehe pastu I always need to talk slowly and clearly, and without realising I was speaking alternately in English and Malay. I believe I was confusing them even more when I need to repeat my sentences every now and then. Guess I have to learn little bit of Tamil after this -_-
Another significant observation that came as quite a surprise for me, is I just realised that these kids are not so good in communicating using other languages besides their mother tongue. I mean, I have a mindset that all kids nowadays must be good in English, if not better compared to my days where we learn everything in Malay language. Boy I was wrong! During one of the quiz session, the speaker conveyed easy quizzes in English, hoping for the kids to participate for free chocolates. The first few rounds went without any response.At first I thought they were shy, until one kid from the other table called me and said `Kakak, dia cakap apa?' Hence, I played the role of a translator, I believe other chaperons did the same too. And then only the hall started to go chaotic with their screams and playful acts. This experience really makes me wonder, what happen to the previous education system that promotes English as the main language in school? I knew they've changed that already, but these kids are Year4-6 students. They suppose to be the living result of the English language usage in schools, no?
Besides that, I enjoyed their mischievous behaviour and innocent act. Once there were two boys, saw I was holding my handphone They made a gesture for me to take picture of them with a Kadazan girl from different school. As you may guessed already, this girl is so cute but a bit shy hence she roped her friend in for the photo. Adn eventually, when other kids saw that I was arranging their friends for a photo, they jumped from their seats and joined in! I was impressed that despite the language barrier, they managed to get what they want - th be photographed with a girl that they have a crush on :) That is so sweet and brave of them. Instantly I was reminded of the award-winning PETRONAS ad, Tan Hong Ming.. it was my all-time favourite!
Hence that wraps my Deepavali experience for this year... hope you enjoy yours :)

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