Village Singapura: Team Building Activities in Singapore for Yusen Logistics
On 6 August 2015, participants from Yusen Logistics were thoroughly absorbed in a jam-packed Village Singapura experience, held at their home ground, which was marvellously converted into a scene akin to that in the 1890s. While being brought back in time to the 1890s Singapore, participants not only enjoyed themselves, they gained a better understanding of one another, and deeper relationships were fostered in the process.
You can be an Indian trader too!
In 15th century England, spices are extremely valuable and were so luxurious that even gold was cheaper. Middle Eastern traders sold these highly-coveted spices so expensively to the British, that the Queen decided to bypass them and sent troops to Asia to obtain them instead. As a result, Singapore was chosen to be the port for this spice trade and prospered as one.
Back then, Indian traders brought in a variety of Indian spices such as cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and other spices that were highly sought-after. Even today, these aromatic spices are still commonly used in Indian cuisines such as curry and biryani for their distinctive flavour and fragrance.
During the Indian Spice mission, Villagers were given the opportunity to have a first-hand feel of all the different spices, smelling and learning the names of the spices along the way. After the Villagers had familiarised themselves with the different kinds of spices, they were given a simple recipe of a traditional Indian dish, and were told to memorise both the ingredients involved, as well as the steps to making the dish. Thereafter, Villagers had to assemble whatever information they could remember solely based on their memory to create the dish. This was where Villagers demonstrated exemplary teamwork where they tried to piece together whatever information each Villager has remembered to produce the best Indian dish!
Keep twirling the Chinese Malt Candy Stick!
More commonly known as Beh Leh Koh in Hokkien, the Chinese Malt Candy stick is a classic lollipop-like candy that is consumed after being twirled around a pair of wooden chopsticks after many rounds. It is a very popular snack back in the 1960s, and is said to symbolise wealth and prosperity.
At this station, Villagers were handed a pair of wooden chopsticks each and were taught how to skilfully scoop and twirl the caramelised malt from a tub, and gently rolling it up into a caramalised malt “lollipop”, imitating the actions of an expert malt candy stick maker in olden days Singapore.
Master the techniques of Tehtarik making!
TehTarik, which translates into “pulled tea”, is a hot beverage very popular among Singaporeans. It is created by repeatedly pulling and pouring the beverage back and forth to thoroughly mix its contents and cool it to an ideal temperature for consumption, and also to form its signature thick frothy top. In this challenge, Villagers were taught how to create this hot favourite among Singaporeans!
Villagers were taught the basic pulling and pouring skills needed to make a cup of perfect frothy tehtarik. Villagers found this experience extremely interesting especially since they only drank tehtarik, but have never tried making them before. These perfectly coordinated movements of pulling and pouring have to be executed with utmost precision to prevent spillage, which really required intense concentration of the Villagers in order for them to emerge as a true-blue tehtarik master!
Keep the Chapteh from the ground and be a Chapteh champion!
Chapteh, which is alike to Jianzi (毽子) in China, was traditionally used to train soldiers in the army and toughen the skills of Shaolin monks in ancient China. The chapteh is commonly made from a rubber disc with rooster feathers stuck on top and the game involves keeping the chapteh above the ground for as long as possible by constantly kicking it.
Locallly, the name “Chapteh” is believed to be either of Malay or Hokkien origins. It can also be referred to “Sepak Bulu Ayam”, meaning “Chicken Feather Football” in English.
To kick-start this chapteh challenge, Villagers first observed how to correctly kick the chapteh. After which, they tried out kicking the chapteh continuously using the kicking techniques they just saw, trying hard not to let the chapteh land on the ground. Villagers relished many fond childhood memories from all that kicking, which progressively became more addictive and fun once they got the hang of it.
Express good hopes and well-wishes with Chinese Paper Cutting!
Jianzhi (剪纸), also known as Chinese Paper Cutting, is an imperative part of Chinese culture which is used extensively in various occasions like Chinese New Year, weddings or childbirths. Paper-cutting signifies joy and prosperity, and is sometimes referred to as “chuang hua (窗花)”, translating into “Window Flower” in English as they are usually seen on windows.
Extremely delicate patterns of different designs could be created with simply just a pair of scissors and a piece of red paper!
It was really heartening to see how Villagers patiently help and guide one another to complete the mission. A lot of concentration was needed to carefully cut out the intricate patterns on the paper, and at the same time produce the most attractive paper-cuttings.
Be a Malay Kompang Superstar!
The Kompang is a traditional musical instrument among the Malays which originated from Arab and brought to the Malay region by Muslim Indian traders. They are traditionally used to welcome Prophet Mohammad and boosting morale before Malay soldiers go to war. Kompangs are made from dried wood of the balau tree or nangka (jackfruit) covered with a cow or goat skin hide, and played in a group either sitting crossed-legged or while standing. Today, Kompangs are still commonly used during traditional Malay festivals and weddings.
Mimicking a real-life Kompang performance troupe, each Village was tasked to carry out a synchronized performance. Villagers were taught basic interlocking beats known as the Nyalu and Selang beats, and had to learn how to maintain this beat throughout.
Initially, Villagers faced difficulties playing the instrument on the same beat but however through sheer determination, they soon got the hang of it after strategising and listening to one another. Eventually, the Village that could put up the most harmonised Kompang performance emerged as the Village Kompang Superstar!
VILLAGE DRAMA MAMA
During the much-raved about segment of Drama Mama, Villagers came together as one and cracked their heads to come up with a 1-2 minute skit, fighting to be the most creative one. Villagers were presented with a chance to act as well-respected famous historical characters like modern Singapore founder, Sir Stamford Raffles and martyr Major-General Lim Bo Seng to re-enact scenes from the past but with a modern twist after their creative touches. Information cards with Singapore’s past were handed out to Villagers so that they will be well-versed about Singapore’s history to aid the smooth facilitation of creating their skit. Also, props were available and absolutely necessary for Villagers, for them to make their stories more realistic. It was comforting to see Villagers so immersed in their characters, having fun creating stories and dressing each other up amidst bouts of laughter. It was definitely an engaging and memorable experience for the participants!
Portrait of Sir Stamford Raffles
Martyr Major-General Lim Bo Seng
As this remarkable journey draws to an end, participants were drawn closer to one another during the interactions and strong bonds were forged through this exclusive Village Singapura experience. It’s definitely an unique experience like no other!
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