Article by Yuna
Students in ISS participate in CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) activities to gain personal knowledge and develop their social skills. In the preceding term, 5 of my friends and I participated in the Chingay Parade group which was a great experience to have while developing social skills.
Chingay parade is one of the largest street performance and float parade in Asia. Ever since the first kick off in 1973, the annual event has become an iconic event to show Singapore’s rich cultures but also to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In the event, performers wear special costumes that represent their culture and ethnicity. They also display distinctive floats and colourful props to perform. It is now a Singaporean tradition has been a symbol to appreciate cultural diversity.
Every year, ISS students have joined JAS (Japanese Association Singapore) to perform. The theme of this years’ performance was “Dreams Funtasia – Bicentennial Edition” and it depicted the past, present and future. With the help of 4 teachers from JAS, we danced in a unison to the songs that became viral in Japan in the current era called Heisei. We put on traditional costumes such as the kimono and we also wore a wig in the hairstyle of the Edo era. Our performance was loved by everyone who came to watch the performance and it successfully showed the unique Japanese culture of past, present and future.
Participating in this event has helped me to have a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures of Singapore and appreciate it at the same time. We were able to share our Japanese identity through multiple rehearsals and also know about the different cultures from the other group’s participants. During the practice, we were challenged to speak up in an unfamiliar situation. As local people who do not understand Japanese completely also took part in JAS, we had to communicate with them in order to dance in perfect unison. Throughout this experience, we were also able to obtain collaboration skills.
Although we had to put high commitments in the practice sessions that happened every Saturday, we were all satisfied with the outcome in the end and at the most, we enjoyed performing on an actual day. We were definitely able to achieve more than just fulfilling the CAS requirements but to develop our skills and be more open-minded.