Ashley Chin Li Yi (Sr1ScD)
Ng Choon Hau (Sr1A)
Yee Wen Shuen (Sr1C)
On 5 August 2019, our school proudly invited teachers and students from Tzu Chi Senior High School for an exchange program. After the Sr1 Talk on Gratitude earlier in the day, Jr1B, Jr1C and Sr1ScC students quickly gathered in the auditorium in preparation of this special event. The Tzu Chi teachers and students came in at around 9 a.m., having greeted with thunderous applause, starting the event.
Our Principal, Dr Chua Lee Lee commenced the event with a speech welcoming our guests from Tzu Chi to Kuen Cheng High School. Tzu Chi Principal, Madam Li Ling-Hui was the next to give a speech, expressing her desire to visit all 50 Independent Chinese High Schools in Malaysia and praising Kuen Cheng’s astounding teacher and student quality.
An exchange of souvenirs between the schools took place 30 minutes into the event. Gifts to Tzu Chi included a pennant with the badge of Kuen Cheng, a framed golden congkak board, some baju kurung, traditional Malaysian delights and vege snacks for the students. Our school received souvenirs such as a rose marble souvenir, signifying a long and beautiful relationship between the two schools and an intricate quilt of the Kuen Cheng badge. A group photo was then taken.
This was followed by Mr Yau Chee Bing giving a quick talk on the long history of struggle of Malaysian Independent Chinese Schools and Ngew Ze An, a student from Sr1ScA introducing Tzu Chi students to our school, going from our school’s founding to the school curriculum and co-curricular activities. Then, two representatives from Tzu Chi introduced us to their school, which features a library with over a million books and the only planetarium in eastern Taiwan. Then, a brief intermission took place before the continuation of the exchange.
10:30 a.m. marked the start of one of the highlights of the day – the performances. Our school’s Chinese Folk Dance Club and Chinese Martial Arts Club went first, performing the flashy and technical “Bow Dance”. An award-winning psychedelic interpretive dance by one of Tzu Chi’s students was up next, followed by the Tzu Chi National Martial Arts team performing “Land and Wind”, a Tai chi routine, and the Tzu Chi Dance Club performing “Direction”, another modern dance. Then, the Chinese Orchestra of Kuen Cheng played the flighty and chirpy “You Chase, I Follow”. Afterwards, the quirky Taiwanese childhood favourite “Clinking Coins” and the youthful yet grand “Perfect Conjugal Bliss” were played by the National Orchestra of Tzu Chi. After that, Kuen Cheng Chinese Folk Dance club went up again with three different dances, each showcasing Orang Asli, Chinese and Indian cultures. Tzu Chi’s National Martial Arts Team was next, combining sign language and Chinese martial arts in their acts “The Power of Dreams” and “One Family”. The performances segment closed off with the junior students attending this exchange singing “Let Me Say I Love You through Weathers of Malaysia”.
Lunch was up, and then at 1pm, Robert Boxwell from Sr2A gave a presentation introducing Malaysia. A cultural exchange program took place afterwards, giving Tzu Chi students the opportunity to try out Henna and Indian garb, which proved to be quite an experience for them. Around 1:45 p.m. clubs from both schools indulged in an exchange for forty-five minutes before Tzu Chi students left for tea, ending the main events of the day.
Many Tzu Chi students were quite pleased with the exchange program so far. It proved a great opportunity to share cultures between the two schools. Their general perception towards Malaysia is largely positive, too, with many enjoying the tropical weather and friendly people. The day didn’t stop there, though; find out another highlight of the day – the Brickfields Outing, in the next article!