Of Chinese New Year/Valentine’s Day Celebrations and Bollywood Dancing

What an extremely busy, fun week it has been for all of us at the Jakarta Center!

We kicked off the week with a festive spirit. It was Chinese New Year and our Chinese volunteer Dolores got all interested kids (and volunteers) to do some beautiful Chinese calligraphy/art work to commemorate the occasion. The kids got so creative with their water colours that we now have an extremely bright, colourful wall to welcome all IHF guests at the entrance!

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Ayu and I also had a chance to go to the oldest China town in the country, Glodok to experience the festival in its most traditional element. The hustle bustle of China town’s busy alley was even more festive that day with the red lanterns, Gong Xi Fa Cai souvenirs on sale all around, large incense candles with distinct fragrances and ofcourse people of Chinese origin from all walks of life coming together to the historic, stunning Jin De Yuan Temple in Petak Sembilan. What struck me the most about this particular temple was its warm welcome to people from all religions and nationalities to pray for health, wealth and good fortune. Of course no trip to any China town is complete without succumbing to amazing culinary temptations, which we totally did on the way back from the Temple!

This week was also a week to give thanks to the very individuals who make IHF a functional organisation – its sponsors – both class/individual sponsors. The kids spent a lot of time putting together notes with colourful posters to express their gratitude to those people who ensure that all IHF classes are never interrupted, financially!

We then made our way into the day of LOVE….many exercises/learning on this day was driven by the theme of ‘love’. Most of the kids from all age groups learned the importance of relationships with family and showed keen interest to ‘express’ love for their family – so my students decided to make ‘love bug’ Valentine’s Day cards for their families! How cute and touching indeed! 

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It was also a long week of spreadsheets and brain storming on how to streamline some of our data collection formats – whether it was locally in Jakarta on some key indicators or sitting with Tess on how relationships are identified and maintained with Universities across the world, we spent a considerable amount of time overhauling our current reporting formats to make it more efficient and user-friendly.

However, the highlight of my week was undoubtedly the craze and the love for Bollywood and specifically Shah Rukh Khan. On popular demand, I had to start a ‘Bollywood Dance’ hobby class that had these girls so earnestly attend! These girls are such quick learners and definitely heart warming to see the talent that exists in these kids and the penetration of Shah Rukh’s fan following to these small neighbourhoods in East Jakarta is definitely something to mull over!


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Photo video…on it’s way J …until the next week…Adios!

Rasika

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