Zoey Celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival

Zoey is Ling Ling’s new classmate. She came from America to Singapore because her parents had a strong liking for Singapore. They felt that Singapore is a beautiful garden city. Zoey came to Singapore about a month ago. She rented a HDB flat in Bedok South Road. Zoey is in Haig Girls’ School. Her class is 2 Charity. She was shy and nervous on her first day of school. She was also surprised to see so many pupils from different races studying together.

That month, Ling Ling invited Zoey and her family to her house for Mid-Autumn Festival. Ling Ling and her parents taught Zoey and her family how to make lanterns before going to the park and play with the lanterns that they had made.

Ling Ling’s mother served several types of mooncakes such as Snow Skin, Red Bean and Salted Egg mooncakes. They also ate roasted duck, pumpkin, pomelo and grapes. Zoey and her family enjoyed drinking the warm Chinese tea that mother had prepared for them.

At the park, Zoey and Ling Ling had so much fun playing with the lanterns. They saw lanterns in different shapes and sizes such as fish lanterns, dragon lanterns and many more. “It’s so cool!” said Zoey in her American slang. Zoey and her family were grateful to be able to learn more about Mid-Autumn festival from Ling Ling and her family. “Thank you Ling Ling for inviting me and my family!” said Zoey.

Before parting, they snapped a photo together. Zoey and her family invited Ling Ling and her family over to their house for Christmas celebration in December. Ling Ling and her family accepted the invitation and told them that they would come over for the celebration.

Done by:
Group 1 – Sophie Ann, Inez, Zainab, Ayda and Kelly

Aruksa Celebrated Christmas

Aruksa is a new student in my class. She was from Japan. She moved to Singapore to join her cousins and their families who have been staying here for the past few years. Aruksa was nervous on her first day of school. She was also surprised to see Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian students studying together.

On Christmas eve, I invited Aruksa and her family to my house for Christmas celebration. She was surprised to see me and my family in different costumes such as Santa, elf and reindeer costumes. Aruksa’s mother was delighted when my mother shared the recipe for gingerbread man cookies with her. My father explained to Aruksa and her family that we spring-cleaned the house and decorated the Christmas tree a few days before Christmas. My parents also explained that they also bought the Christmas gifts for everyone in the family before Christmas.

At the dining table, Aruksa was thrilled as it was her first time eating a roasted turkey and a log cake. Aruksa and her younger brother also enjoyed eating the candy canes and gingerbread man cookies.

Before leaving my house, Aruksa’s parents said, “Thank you so much for having us here.” We took a photo together before Aruksa headed home with her family. Aruksa and I were as happy as larks because we had a great time bonding with each other’s family.

When I met her in school, Aruksa told me that exchanging presents during Christmas is fun and joyful.

Done by:
Group 2 – Alya, Vihana, Alexa, Zahara and Rakshana

Chiemalu Celebrated Hari Raya

There was a new girl in my class. Her name is Chiemalu. She and her family left Africa and moved to Singapore as an earthquake had destroyed her house in a small town in Porto-Novo.

Chiemalu was very shy and nervous on her first day of school. Our teacher, Mdm Shakila introduced her to the class and told everyone to introduce ourselves to her. I sat next to Chiemalu in class and helped her out whenever she needed help during class work. During recess, I showed her the places around the school. She enjoyed going to the library. She said our school is very big and modern, unlike the schools in Africa. As days passed by, Chiemalu and I grew closer as we enjoyed learning more about each other’s culture. I even invited Chiemalu and her family to my house during Hari Raya celebration.

Chiemalu and her family were amazed when they saw me and my family in our traditional costume ‘baju kurung’. They felt the sense of unity when they saw our costumes having the same colour and design. Chiemalu’s father was over the moon when my father gave him a ‘songkok’ or a traditional hat.
Chiemalu and her siblings enjoyed eating Hari Raya goodies such as pineapple tarts, ‘kueh lapis’ and they also enjoyed drinking ‘Bandung’ drinks that my mother had prepared. They praised my mother’s cooking when they feasted on the Hari Raya dishes such as ‘ketupat’, ‘lontong’ and chicken ‘rendang’. Chiemalu and her parents were thrilled as they learnt how to weave a ‘ketupat’ from my parents.

Chiemalu and her siblings were overjoyed when they received green packets from my parents. My parents explained that it is a Malay tradition to give green packets which contain some money to children or elderlies during Hari Raya celebration. Chiemalu and her family thanked me and my family for the wonderful time they had at my place. We were overwhelmed with joy as we took a picture together before Chiemalu and her family left.

Done by:
Group 3 – Nicole, Ping Shu, Amany, Fatima Zahra, Alyssa Yap and Capucine

Suki Celebrated Chinese New Year

Suki is my new classmate from Japan. Her family moved to Singapore as her parents had a strong liking for Singapore. They felt that Singapore is a safe country to live in. Her mother registered her in Haig Girls’ School. On the first day of school, she felt nervous and scared. Unlike in Japan, she was surprised to see students of different races studying harmoniously together in Haig Girls’ School.

During Chinese New Year celebration, I invited Suki and her family to my house. They were impressed to see me and my family in our traditional costumes, ‘cheongsam’ and ‘samfoo’. Suki brought along some homemade sushi for my family. We served them a variety of food such as sweet rice cakes or ‘nian gao’, barbecued pork or ‘bak kwa’, pineapple tarts and love letters. Suki and her family enjoyed eating ‘Yusheng’ also known as ‘Lo hei’ or Prosperity Toss, a Cantonese-style raw fish salad mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments. We also offered mandarin oranges to Suki and her family and explained to them the oranges symbolise good luck, happiness and abundance.

Suki and her family were curious when they saw the Chinese New Year couplets or ‘chun lian’ that were hung on the main doorway of my house. My father explained that the couplets are on red strips as red means luck and the calligraphy words are gold in colour as they symbolise wealth.

Suki and her siblings were thrilled to receive red packets from my parents. My parents explained that the red packets symbolise good luck and to ward off evil spirits. Suki and her family thanked me and my family for giving them the opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture and traditions. It was an unforgettable day for Suki and me.

Done by:
Group 4 – Xuan Ling, Alyssa Le Xuan, Araina, Sophie Grotowski and Caitlyn

Nagayo Celebrated Deepavali

Nagayo is my new classmate from Japan. She and her family decided to move to Singapore as her neighbourhood was terribly destroyed in a tsunami. Her parents also felt that Singapore is a safe and peaceful country to live in. When they first arrived in Singapore, they rented a condominium and their unit was on the twenty-fifth floor. They were thrilled to stay on such a high floor, unlike in Japan.

Nagayo was excited on her first day of school as her twin sister, Akari would also be in the same class as her. Their teacher, Mrs Yong introduced them to the class. My friends and I were impressed to see how polite they were as they bowed respectfully to teachers when they greeted them.

During recess, I ate and played with the twin sisters. They brought some homemade sushi to school and shared some of them with me. I brought some ‘muruku’ and shared with them. They said that it was their first time eating ‘muruku’. As Deepavali was approaching, I invited them to my house so that they could try more Indian delicacies. They were delighted and came to my house with their parents on the second day of Deepavali.

Nagayo and Akari were amazed when they saw me and my mother dressed up in our bright and twinkling ‘saree’. They were even more thrilled when they tried on some of my ‘sarees’. My mother even braided their long hair. They looked beautiful when my mother put some fresh flowers on their braided hair. As all of us looked gorgeous in our ‘sarees’, my father took some pictures of us together.

When it was time to eat, Nagayo and Akari had fun eating the feast that my mother had prepared with their right hand. They said that the mutton ‘briyani’ was scrumptious but they were not used to the spicy taste. They preferred the traditional Indian sweets that mother served them such as ‘kulfi’, ‘halwa’ and ‘jalebi’.

After eating, Nagayo and Akari learnt how to make a ‘kolam’ or ‘rangoli’ with coloured rice at the entrance of my home. My mother explained to them that the Hindus believe that the ‘kolam’ or ‘rangoli’ can drive away evil spirits.

Before going home, Nagayo and Akari thanked me and my family for the wonderful time they had in my house. We hugged one another before waving goodbye .

Done by:
Group 5 – Avneet, Aevia, Akansha, Amber, Joan and Casandra