(PERAK, Kuala Kangsar 8 Feb) A different Chinese New Year for SJK (C) Liman where all pupils from three main ethnic groups are practising filial piety!
A conventional way of celebrating Chinese New Year in Chinese Primary School would be distributing angpows to pupils. But SJK (C) Liman pupils deliver the message of respecting senior citizen by cleaning up and decorate the homes of poor families before Chinese New Year. While practising filial piety, the poor old citizens get to celebrate Chinese New Year in a clean home.
Teachers and pupils carry out the activities on Saturday to help the senior citizens who are old. They learn about caring the weaker group in the society outside the classroom.
Apart from spring cleaning, each year the school would hold a reception before Chinese New Year for senior citizens. The pupils would be serving them food.
Retired school worker moved to tears
The first target for pupils to visit this round is the retired worker of the school Ahmad Tawawi. He suffered from diabetic and both legs were amputated. Ahmad, who was on wheelchair, was moved to tears when more than 10 pupils made up of Chinese, Malay and Indian visited him.
In 1957, Ahmad said he once met Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan. The road to independence was not easy and it was achieved with the unity of three major ethnic groups. Most of the houses were made of attap and roads were muddy then.
“I hope Malaysians treasure the hard-earned independence where all races continue to live in harmony and create a better tomorrow.”
Pupils also helped 80-year-old Nagama and Dong Zhao, another 80-year-old couple to clean their homes and put up Chinese New Year decoration, caring for the senior citizens regardless of the skin colour.
Pupils taught to be grateful
Headmistress Lu Cui Shan said the aim of the activities are mainly inculcating primary pupils to respect the elders and be filial to their parents. When they grow up, they should be grateful and reward the society.
Chairman of the school board Yan Jian Yuan told Sin Chew Daily that despite prices of rubber remained low for the entire year where income of small plantation owners were significantly reduced, it does not stop the school from continuing with the tradition of hosting ‘respect the elders’ event and nurture children respect the elders and be grateful to their parents.
He said 90 % of residents in Liman are rubber tappers. Last year, majority of them earned an average of RM11, 000. They would have to tighten their belt to live.
The school had organised ‘respect the elders’ event for 10 years. Each year, pupils and teachers in the school would take the initiative to visit the poor and senior citizens in the village to help them clean up. This year is most special as pupils visited a Malay family and an Indian family for non-Chinese to share the joyous spirit for Chinese New year too.
Yan said the three ethnic groups live in harmony in the village. Chinese, Malay and Indian can be sitting together in wet market for a cup of tea. However, Chinese would not be sitting with Malays if they are taking non-halal food as mark of respect.
“Newspapers used to report on cases of politicians who intentionally touch on sensitive racial issues. Outsiders think that our country is not in harmony. In fact, besides Liman Kati, the three main ethnic groups in other villages also live in harmony. Non-Chinese students celebrate Chinese New Year with Chinese students in SJK (C) Liman every year. The purpose is to foster unity among the races.”