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Kampung Pictures Tale in Ten Saya Sayang Chow Kit Kita
Saya Sayang Chow Kit Kita PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 23:57


THE rain stayed away this past Sunday afternoon - to everyone's relief - and in its absence a rainbow spread over the delirious district of Chow Kit. Camped just outside KL Krashpad, a 24-hour youth centre, 10 teenagers presented a sonic, pulse-pumping and visual gift to their neighborhood. The message - togetherness; within all that diversity, togetherness. For us who were there to enjoy the afternoon, we discovered once again that terima kasih is more than mere greeting. That good things do dwell in the exchange of love.

We. Us. Our.

That's Chow Kit Kita.


Sunday's event was the finale to Phase 1 of Chow Kit Kita, a community mapping program catered to teenagers who live in the district. The heart of this program spearheaded by Lew Pik-Svonn and Fahmi Reza lies in the basic belief that the young can change the world. We merely need to allow them.

During the four-month-long first phase, themed Religion and Ethnicity, 10 teenagers were selected to undergo a series of craft workshops during weekends - drawing and mural painting, t-shirt printing, photography, videography, acting and research. These skills were then put to good use in the remaining weeks towards Sunday's show.


And as Sunday dawned, a host of faces captured from the many alleys and bazaars of Chow Kit was slowly hoisted. This among the many fine works the teens produced. There was a video documentary on the different religions that coexisted in the district, and a music video based on Sudirman's hit song, Chow Kit Road.

They painted a map of Chow Kit on a main wall of KL Krashpad.


They made cute little models of the places of worship. And further dug up information on each of these buildings and their services.


All that packaged in a cool little brochure for the visitor to carry around. With a hand-drawn map of the Chow Kit district as a reference, one can easily scoot off on a self-guided tour.


But Sunday is best remembered for the people who came. They came happy. Families, young and old, artists, artisans, conservatives and liberals converged onto the sidewalks already infamous for its diversity. It was here that bakso met ice-cream, bhangra bopped with beatbox, and a dozen loghats and languages were heard wafting between the fat brick pillars of the adjacent five-foot-way.


Makes you wonder aloud, even as policymakers cook up funny plans for the nation on the links of premier golf courses, that a blueprint for national integration was being realised in real time that balmy Sunday afternoon. Howzat for turun padang.

But perhaps just as well that the day's VIPs were the teens themselves and not a YB.


For this day was for the Common.


For those who live in the area to discover more about the streets where they reside. To chatter in delight of new-found knowledge.


For affiliates of the largest Gurdwara in Southeast Asia to come and share a slice of their culture with the folks in their hood.


Yup, there were lots of teeth that day. And eyes that curled from laughter.


We walked around the alley a shophouse away and peeked at new-found camaraderie; stories of innocence shared in true abang-adik style. You just had to sigh.


Three sarong lengths away, public graffiti art was being created on plywood sheets. Dozens would come and leave their mark in a spontaneous and ever-changing story.


For those who wanted a more permanent memo, there was a T-shirt printing station. Message to the eternal cynic: yes, some things in life are free. The buttons cost RM2 though :)


From the hub at KL Krashpad, the festival spiraled out onto the main streets of Chow Kit, where a group of pre-registered visitors were taken on a guided tour of the neighborhood. Here they would learn various trivia about the place and how it attained its physical character over time. The tour was spiced at intervals with true-life stories of Chow Kit residents acted out by the Chow Kit Kita teens.


All those and more were enough to draw teenagers to sign up for Phase 2 which has been planned for early next year. In what shape and form will the next one be? Leave it Pik-Svonn and Fahmi and their crew of motley facilitators. That's a treat we'll have to wait.


And what can one say about the dozens of youthful volunteers who toiled from dawn to dusk - these guys were diesel.

But for now, a parting visual narrative inspired by some of the Chow Kit Kita kids candidly captured while they were acting in the traveling performances...


Come again, we bid you, come again


From all 10 of us at Chow Kit Kita


Our place is pretty cool, we maintain


Don't just believe the bad stuff buta-buta


There's just so much life here no matter sunshine or rain


So feel the love, people, ni bukannya cogankata.

Terimalah kasih.


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Only registered users can write comments!
shaku  - Colour....my Malaysia! |2010-11-30 18:35:17
We don't need figures to define us...no, not even the Number1. We are one motley canvas of beautiful coloured people....called Malaysians and good old Chow Kit embodies that precious and world-wide appeal.

Even the politicians cannot upset that.

Let's hold on to our colour fastness.

As usual....super pics....'Mirror2 on the wall, which is the fairest of them all"?
Glen Thomas  - Great job, great article.. |2011-02-25 11:57:44


Keep up the good work and let me know how i can help for any future programmes or activities.

Cheers guys.

Well Done!
Last Updated on Friday, 26 November 2010 05:06

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