With the support of the Centre for Language Studies and Generic Development (PBI) University Malaysia Kelantan, UMK Mandarin Unit and UMK Mandarin Society had successfully organised a Tionghua Culture Learning Camp on 18 to 20 January 2013 at Sri Nipah Resort, Bachok. The objectives of the camp were to unite UMK students and to improve their personality through the learning of Tionghua Culture and also to enhance students’ appreciation of Tionghua Arts.
There were a total of 50 participants and 30 committees. The participants were among the UMK Chinese students and Non-Chinese students who took Mandarin as their third language. The committee members were formed by the members of Mandarin Society from Jeli Campus and City Campus. Besides, there were 3 lecturers from PBI who accompanied us throughout the camp; Miss Lee Hui Ling, Madam Julia Tan Yin Yin and Mr. Hassan Muhammad Maliwu.
The activities during the camp
The committees departed to City Campus one day before the camp for the final preparation. The committees went to the campsite on the next day. The participants reached the resort at about 12.30pm. The opening ceremony was officiated by Associate Professor Hajah Yah Binti Awang Nik. The ceremony ended with the sign language performance with the camp theme song, “Tuan Yuan” by the committee.
The first activity was lecture session. The students were divided into two groups, namely Chinese and Non-Chinese according to the language the lecture was delivered. For the Chinese students, Mr. Cheung Wei Chee, lecturer from Danjiang Education Centre, conducted a lecture on “Analects of Confucius”. The lecture reminded us that the term “Luan Lun” does not only refer to chaotic relationships between people, but anything that may have negative effects to others. Meanwhile, the lecture for Non-Chinese students was conducted by Mr. Hassan Muhammad Maliwu on the topic of Chinese Characters Introduction. He introduced some basics and theories on how the Chinese characters were formed and what were the logics used in them. Both lectures ended at about 4.30 pm. The activity was then followed by the ice breaking session. The participants were again divided into groups. Then they were asked to create a group name and to act out their group name using body language.
The second lecture session began at 8.00pm. For Chinese participants, they were exposed to paper cutting lesson by Miss Lee Hui Ling. While, for Non-Chinese participants, a lesson on Tionghua bowknot making was conducted by the bowknot making committee.Day 1 ended with the last activity which was the group discussion for their Tionghua Culture Performance Competition. Each group was given a Tionghua musical instrument and they were instructed to create a traditional song using that instrument and perform the song.
Day 2 started with the morning aerobic dance led in groups. After having their breakfast, they went for the first lecture session of the day. For Non-Chinese participants, Madam Julia Tan Yin Yin conducted a lecture on the topic Chinese Culture and Etiquette, in which all the participants were taught some basic concepts of Chinese culture including the symbolic items, do’s and don’ts. On the other hand, Mr. Hassan Mohammad Maliwu conducted a lecturer on The Religious Spirit in Chinese Traditional Culture for the Chinese Participant which brought us to look through the history of the religious development in Tionghua Culture.
After that, the participants were gathered at the hall to practice the camp sign language theme song, “Tuan Yuan” led by the performance team. It was then followed by the fourth lecture session. For the Chinese participants, a lecture on China Music Theory was conducted by Miss Lee Hui Ling while the Non-Chinese participants were exposed to Chinese Calligraphy conducted by Mr. Hassan Mohammad Maliwu. Then, they participated in explore race to nurture the team spirit between the participants. There were tasks to be completed in each checkpoint and the fastest group to finish will be announced as the winner. Although the activity was tiring the participants seemed to enjoy it.
The camp was cherished with a surprise visit by the Director of Centre for Language Studies and Generic Development, Prof. Dr. Farok Bin Zakaria. Due to some unavoidable reasons, he couldn’t attend the closing ceremony. Thus, he intended to pay us an early visit to deliver his opinion towards this camp and officially closed the camp. Prof. Dr Farok shared his experiences of his recent trip to Chinaand felt that this camp was very meaningful. He hoped that it can be conducted as one of the annual event for Mandarin Society. After that, the camp was continued with the last lecture session. For this session, the Chinese participants were exposed to Tionghua bowknot making lesson. Meanwhile, the Non-Chinese participants were exposed to paper cutting lesson. The day was once again ended with the group discussion and preparation for the performance on the next day.
Just like yesterday, day 3 also started with the kick start of the day. Then, the participants were told to pack their luggage and clean up the camping area to smoothen the check out process later. The last program of the camp started at 9.30am. It was the Tionghua Culture Performance Competition. The performances were judged based on 4 different aspects namely; creativity, language, theme and completeness. The closing ceremony was held after all the groups showed their talents. There were total of 4 awards. The best team was won by the Winter Team, the best performance was won by Live Team and the best male and female camper was won by Vincent Kho and Aishah Binti Miur Zaibidin respectively. The closing speech was given by Miss Lee Hui Ling. In her speech, she appreciated the hard work of the committee members and the support from the participants. She also hoped that all of us enjoyed the camp and hoped to see us again next year. Participants and committees departed to the respective campuses with the UMK buses.
Feedback from the committee:
“Most of the people think that scoring in academic is the most important thing for a student. However, for me, a student’s life has to be substantial by joining society in university and by organizing activities. As a Chinese, Tionghua Culture is more than just important to use. Therefore, we should do whatever we can to promote this culture and enhance the appreciation of the public towards this culture”
- Ng Kei Vinn
“I felt very happy to have the chance to serve as part of the committee. The experience gained from the preparation will be useful in the future. Most of the Chinese cultures seem to be forgotten by most of the Chinese for several reasons. Therefore, by bringing up such a meaningful camp, it actually creates the awareness to the Chinese. Meanwhile, by sharing it with other races, it could actually creates mutual interaction between culture and promote our country with “One Malaysia” concept.
- Yip Hon Lean
Feedback from the participant:
"Culture is the spirit of the race. Through culture we can actually gain more knowledge and use it in the future"
- Yew Soon Keat
"I learnt a lot from this camp, everything is like a whole new experience for me"
- Siti Aishah Mohamad Aini
" Tionghua culture has been passed from one generation to another since thousand year ago, we must protect it so that such knowledge won't disappear "
- Lam Chin Jack
" TiongHua culture is very unique, I want to explore more about the spirit of Tionghua culture"
- Amalina Bt Ahmad
Prepared by : Yip Hon Lean and Chen Sye Jinn (Admin Department of Tionghua Camp)
Edited by: Ms. Lee Hui Ling (Teacher advisor of Mandarin Society)