In order to allow the teenagers of generation Y, whom are mostly exposed to computer gaming and technological devices from young for entertainment, to experience what it was like back in the days where their parents or grandparents were still a child, this group of 35 Damai Secondary School students were tasked to go through this series of traditional games station on the 29th August 2012. This event is organized under the collaboration with the Damai Secondary School and a group of students from Temasek Junior College.
The traditional games that were prepared for the teenagers to experience were Zero point and Seret Upeh. Zero point is a traditional game that is famous among the previous generation, I bet, observed from the excited reaction when I told the teacher-in-charge that the students will be playing this game. Even my mum, who is currently 47 of age, is so excited about this game such that she actually demonstrated to me how to play this game on the spot. Zero Point is actually a traditional game which requires the usage of a rubber rope – interconnected with rubber bands (Refer to Picture 1).
In this game, the students are required to cross over these rubber ropes as it gets inched higher with each round (from the ankles, to knees, then waist, shoulder, ears and over the head). No part of their body is supposed to touch the rope except for their foot. Picture 2 depicts how the students are trying their best to their best to lift up their legs so as to step onto the rope to cross over. Judging from the smiles on the participants’ faces, we, facilitators of the event, are really heartened to see that they are enjoying these simple games despite the fact that they mostly used to playing computer games and surfing the net for entertainment. We facilitators were actually amazed by how the students can so innovative and creative such that they can think out of ‘short-cut’ methods on the spot so that their group can win in this game. In order to suit the event and the target audience, this traditional game is actually a modified form of the actual game.
Next up, the students will go through the traditional game station called Seret Upeh. Seret Upeh is also a modified version of the actual game. In the past, where are hills situated in the kampong areas, the children back then will use leaves, instead of the blue cardboard boxes here (Refer to Picture 3), as ‘rafts’ to slide down the hills. That was their recreation activity back then, where they make use of those simple things for entertainment.
As the saying goes, “A picture speaks a thousand words”, as you can see and observe from the pictures uploaded, the facilitators, and even the students, were enjoying themselves, though they are without their computer games, without their Gameboys or without their PSP, just the simple items like rubber bands and cardboard boxes.
So why should we neglect those simple things we have in our daily life when we can make better use of them? Those childhood memories, or even the people around us, are we only going to cherish them after they are lost, discarded or gone? We need to take action now before it’s too late!