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Chinese New Year means, among many things, togetherness and unity regardless of race or religion. Just like every major festival celebrated across Malaysia every year, everyone is invited to participate in the festivities and enjoy the merriment and cheer that comes along with it. Young or old, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the love, harmony, and mutual respect we have for one another, despite our differences.
As such, it is absolutely crucial that we nurture our children to understand these values from a very young age, so they can come to appreciate the same sort of beliefs as we do. Well, all talk and no action doesn’t do anybody any good, so one pre-school has decided to make it their aim to instil these values in their young students, in a heartwarming report from FMT.
Organised by Pusat Asuhan Tunas Islam (PASTI) Little Imtiyaz, the teaching faculty started an initiative where they send out their young students around the neighbourhood that their pre-school is located in recently to hand out boxes of cookies to as many of their Chinese neighbours as they can.
Over 62 students were split into groups and were led by one teacher each as they adorably tottered about the streets in their bright green uniforms and skullcaps with boxes of cookies and kuih in hand, ready to greet any Chinese neighbour they saw.
Many of them enthusiastically wished their Chinese neighbours a cheerful “Happy Chinese New Year, auntie, uncle!” as they handed out their treats to surprised residents of the neighbourhood.
According to PASTI manager Farriz Abd Rahman, the initiative was conceived out of a want to teach these children from a young age the importance of community relations and charity, regardless of race or religion. Apparently, these visits from the schoolchildren are common, as they are held during every festive season!
“At the same time, it teaches the children on the rights of their neighbours, regardless of racial or religious differences and the importance of unity in the community.
“When we teach them and ask them to do it (wish and give gifts) they understand quickly how to properly give a gift to their neighbours. If we just tell them without them doing it, they won’t really understand.” he added.
Well, the initiative was so well-received by their fellow neighbours, one of the Chinese residents even stopped by the preschool last year to distribute ang pows to each and every single student! How adorable!
This comes to show that above all else, mutual respect between races definitely goes a long way into creating a better Malaysia for all Malaysians. It isn’t just about tolerance, but acceptance and unity too! Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
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