Bulan Bahasa 2020 – Malay Language Month (Take 1)
Jointly reported by:
Ng Ting Hui 16915 Sr2ScF
Liu Zhen Teng 16799 Sr2ScF
Tan Qing Lin 16632 Sr2ScB
On Saturday, 7 March 2020, the school awoke to bustling activity around the compound, with senior students scuttling around like busy ants in their hill. It’s time for the Bulan Bahasa, Malay Language Month, held annually, one of the biggest events in school yet, and despite the ongoing panic about the ever-worsening spread of COVID-19, the virus outbreak emerged in Wuhan, China, students continued to respond enthusiastically.
Amongst the many activities, there was the singing competition held in the hall. Many competitors, armed with angelic voices and fantastic costumes, walked up the stage with their heads held high. They performed a series of songs such as Sahabat Sejiwa, Lagenda and so on.
On the other hand, there were many other activities going on, such as the Congkak competition being held at the Block A Lobby. Congkak is a traditional Malay board game, played by moving marbles from one end to the other end (or rumah, traditionally called).
Alongside that, the Tapak Gajah — a race between students on who can walk faster on coconut shells — was being carried out in the wide parking area at the school frontage. There was excited cheering and shouts of glee from the gathered crowd of junior students, where displays were held by the hosting teachers, especially in the Tapak Gajah competition.
On the Sixth Floor of both Blocks A and B, far away from the ruckus of downstairs, a drawing competition was happening within relatively quiet classrooms. Groups of students huddled around tables pushed together, murmuring over how to express a list of peribahasa (or Malay idioms) all together within a single drawing. The atmosphere was peaceful, calm compared to the excitement of events happening right below them.
There was also the sepak raga— a traditional Malay futsal that was held beside the hall. The teachers and AJK (Ahli Jawatankuasa Kerja, the Committee Members) gave a brief talk on earning points. The ball was made of bamboo straws which students have to kick with all their might as the ball must not fall. It was definitely a hard one as techniques are required to win the game. You could picture Messi playing football by kicking it around his body and we were in awe as some of them were exactly like him. They were all aroused in excitement because it’s a game that they rarely play during free time.
Next on, it will be the poem reciting that was held in Room AV2, a venue located beside the old canteen. Poem, known as sajak, is commonly recited in traditional kampongs, villages where they tell stories of gods. Thus, a good handling of emotion is crucial to make the words alive, the way of expressing their tales is what the judges are seeking for in the competition. As we were taking pictures of the competitors, some of the participants were drenched with sweat as they have stage-fright. However, some of them performed very well where they earned a drumroll of applause. The teachers were delighted to see the student’s enthusiasm where their fingers tinkled with joy when they recorded their performance.
Above the accumulation of joy, pens were rapidly showing off their ink flow to prove that they were capable of making words alive. Yes it is, the essay writing competition where students had to use up every brain neuron to come up with fantastic vocabularies and an in-depth sentence structure. They were given approximately one hour and a half to complete the essay under the surveillance of Special AJKs a.k.a the “one-day-prefects”. It was a big contrast compared to the “festival” below as they furiously grab their pens to earn the champion award. As their class representatives, they were eager to prove their skills whole-heartedly.
Beside the essay writing rooms, students were playing syahibah— Malay scrabble. It is the same as the English scrabble, just that students were tested on their vocabularies. With the square puzzles in their hands, they scratched their heads and took a peek at their opponents to guess their words of choice as it was very hard to win due to Chinese speaking environment we grew up in. Even so, they tried their best and pushed themselves towards the limit with their brain branching with thoughts. We hope that they are able to earn honor for their class with their courage and cleverness.
It was truly a very chaotic day as there were a swarm of activities going on at the same time. Some required intelligence, while some required skills and bravery. All of them in conclusion are very challenging for each of the participants. Another special mention is the behind the scenes assistants who helped the teachers with their enthusiasm which made the activity more successful and meaningful. The Malay language is a language we grew up with, just that we are more used to memorizing it in exams, rather than appreciating the beauty of it. Through the Malay Language Month, we hope that students are able to further their knowledge in Malay, while seeking the true beauty that it brought to our daily lives.
Bulan Bahasa 2020 (Take 2)
~ Singing in Malay Contest (Specially Designed for Senior Students)
Lee Ai Lin 16642 Sr2ScC
The much-awaited annual Malay Language Month is finally here. After the preliminary round a week before, the Malay Songs Singing Contest finals for seniors was held on Saturday, 7 March 2020, after recess. There was a total of fifteen qualified classes, which included Sr1ScA, Sr1ScG, Sr2ScA, Sr2ScC, Sr2ScG, Sr3ScA, Sr1A, Sr2A, Sr2B, Sr3C, Sr1ComF, Sr2ComB, Sr2ComC, Sr2ComD and Sr3ComC. The panel of judges comprised three teachers, namely Cikgu Nor Haslida, Cikgu Mazlina and Mr Sim Wei Yih.
Opening act of the contest was brought by Sr2ComD with the song “Setia” whereby the singer’s beautiful voice touched the hearts of the audience. “Memori Tercipta” was sung by Sr2ScG who incorporated a variety of instruments which are trumpet, guitar, piano and a Cajón. The next performing act was a soloist from Sr1ComF who brought the house down by her impressive high notes. Sr1A presented the song “Sahabat Sejati” showing their close friendship. Next, Sr1ScA soloist passionately performed “Sumpah”. Sr1ScG sang “Si Kasih” with soothing voices blended. The soloist from Sr2A sang emotionally with a sweet voice. Following this, Sr2B’s “Ku Bersuara” made the audience sang along. The Sr2ComB soloist showed her exceptional singing skills through her song. The performance by the first all-male group from Sr2ComC was slightly messy but exciting. Sr2ScA soloist sang “All is Found” with a calming tone. Up next, Sr2ScC sang an acapella to the song “Sayang” accompanied by a guitar and a ukulele. Sr3ScA sang acapella to the song “Ke Tempat Baru” with an angelic voice which delights the audience. The soloist from Sr3ComC gave an uplifting performance. The final participant was Sr3C with the song “Arena Cahaya” who sang with great harmony. The contest ended at 12 noon. Results will soon be announced accordingly.