During the first term of Kahaani we had to do all the preliminary planning to ensure that as we get closer to the show day we have no hiccups. However, for the second term we have much more we need to focus on that will ensure the actual beauty of the show. Such as: getting decorations, costumes, seeing whether the dances are on track, as well as editing all the music and making it easier for the tech coordinator.
As we inch closer to the actual show date it starts to get more stressful as we have to keep everything in check and everything needs to start adding up. There were a few hiccups along the way such as, team members not completing working on time, miscommunication between team members but, as we work together and more efficiently we will be able to pull off a show that is good
Culturama 2018 has come to a close and I really believe that the show went off without a hitch, our dance was energetic and full of life and I am so proud of what we achieved during the final shows. I was really nervous to perform considering I was at the front of the stage for a lot of the performance and I was scared to miss a step or a beat but, luckily I was able to do the dance in the way I wanted to and I achieved my goal of ridding myself of the stage fright I originally feared I would have. As this is my last culturama I have really seen growth in myself throughout the past 3 years in terms of my confidence, I remember during my first culturama I was not confident dancing on the big stage as it meant there were over 500 people watching but, now after 3 years of doing culturama I have now mastered the art of being in the moment on stage. Realising that once you are on stage it really doesn’t matter if there are 500 people or just 10 you just do the dance and focus on the dance and it’ll be fine. If we hadn’t worked together as a team the show would not have been as good, we organised many outside school practices to help us master the steps and be the best we could on stage. Culturama comes down to the effort we all put in and if each of us had not put in the effort we did in the practices the show would not have been the hit that it was. I am very proud of what we achieved as Culturama India 2018.
This year will be my 3rd and final Culturama. Culturama is a show that aims to be inclusive allowing students to take part in dances that are representations of their own culture and one’s representative of other cultures. The idea behind Culturama stems from the mission of uniting people but, in this case through dance.
I will be taking part in India (Garba) as the culture that I represent. Culturama has always been an event I love taking part in every year, and I am very glad that I am able to return to it this year. Being my final year I would really like to go on stage with absolutely no stress and stage fright and enjoy myself as a way to assess the growth I have had through my years doing Culturama. Stage fright has always been a weakness for me and I hope that with the experience I have had for the past 3 years I will be able to just purely enjoy myself without the worry of forgetting steps and missing counts. We will go through countless hours of practice and try and perfect our dance. This will be a big commitment on my part which means I have to stay on top of my work and other activities in order to be present for all practices. Therefore, I will have to play to my strengths of being organised and try my best to not be bombarded with too much work in our final Culturama week.
I am really looking forward to my final year of Culturama as it has been almost a tradition for me for the past 3 years. I would really like to remember my final year of doing this dance show as being the best one.
Initiative for Peace is a once in a lifetime experience, the lessons you learn during that week are some of the most important lessons you can ever learn. After coming back from this conference I feel like a new and improved version of myself and I have made friends from across South East Asia who I will never forget. If you are signing up to do IFP you must be sure to be fully committed to it.
These are the top 3 ethical considerations to bear in mind before joining IFP: you should know to be someone who is not patronising, be someone who is aware of what these delegates have been through, as well as this you need to be someone who cares enough to not let go of the friendships you make during this week log conference. The last ethical consideration you must bear in mind is the way you act with your fellow facilitators, you shouldn’t leave the delegates out, most of them travel hours and hours to see you so please ensure that you make them feel included at all times.
Through IFP I was able to identify my strength in leadership, this evolved over the course of the year. I noticed this during my time in IFP, before arriving at the conference when we had to present at school, I would always shake and stutter when asked to present. However, upon reaching the conference something within me changed. I was able to speak confidently in front of all 80 people, as time went on at the conference I found it easier and easier to speak in front of larger groups of people. As well as this I got more confident in giving simplified instructions.
You would’ve seen my commitment to IFP when we were doing our outside of school sessions, we did the Peace by Piece conference, through these many different IFP activities I was able to show that I would be able to commit my time to the conference. As well as this during the entirety of the conference there was never an occasion where my energy wavered, I knew that these delegates spent hours and hours getting here and it was not right of me to ever act low or detached from them. I made sure to make them feel as welcome as possible. Not only this but, even months after the conference came to a close I am still in contact with delegates who were a part of the conference on social media.
IFP cannot happen without a strong belief in the power of collaboration. The three moments which best demonstrated our ability to improve as a collaborative team were when one of the groups was struggling to stick with the time allocated to them, we found a way to work out ways to include the activities they wanted into the timetable of the conference. This meant compromises from the other groups but, we worked together to come up with the best possible outcome for the conference. As well as this we also worked together in a less direct sense, what I mean by this is that we worked together to make sure all the delegates felt welcome and felt like they belonged. We would split up and sit with a variety of delegates and made sure none of them were ever alone.
The one most significant thing that I learned through IFP was that the world is in need of a lot more positivity, the amount of positivity I experienced in IFP is indescribable, we supported each other throughout the conference, we overcame our differences and learnt to just accept and love. As well as this I learnt that it is up to us, our generation to make a difference whether it is small or big is not the point, I was able to access this learning by speaking to many of the delegates. Through them I was able to learn that I have what it takes to make a difference, I have what it takes to do more than just a desk job. They taught me that I can do something and that what I do can have an impact because I impacted them.
IFP is an experience that can never be replaced in my mind, it is something I will never forget. Whenever I feel down I know that the thought of what I learnt in IFP will take over and make me determined and hopeful again. So, if you are joining IFP be sure to be very committed to it because it is truly an experience you will never forget.”
Project week is a key part of learning at UWC, we learn to plan an entire trip with at least 2 of the elements of CAS, we are told to plan everything all by ourselves. In a sense project week is the first step to growing up.
The planning stages of Project Week have been very difficult, a major problem we faced was our service, when we found a service that was close to where we were doing our activity we had a complication, this was that there was another group at UWC aiming to do that exact same service. Both of our groups wanted to do the same service and unfortunately there was a regulation that no two groups can stay at the same accommodation at the same time therefore, we had to figure out a way for both groups to do the service whilst not staying at the accommodation they provided at the same time, this service was in a province that didn’t have many hotels and the service provider provided us with accommodation if we were doing service there.
This was one of the major issues we faced in relation to the planning process as it was very difficult to find dates that suited both groups. Luckily we figured out a way for the other group to go before us and for us to go after them allowing us to both do the service whilst not staying at the same accommodation.
For the past 2 years I have been a member of Kokata GC, our GC works looks at working with the NGO, Voice Of World in Kolkata, India. Voice of World aims to support individuals who are visually impaired or disabled. Every year we hold an event called Kahaani in efforts to raise funds for the Pratyasha home in Kolkata, Kahaani is a show that portrays a story through a variety of different Indian dances. They use the funds we provide them with to empower girls in the Pratyasha Home through various activities and programs.
This year I have gained the experience of being the chair of the GC alongside two other co-chairs. Last year I was in the media team for the GC and I did have much to do but, I noticed that Kolkata GC is a really inclusive job and everybody always feels as though they have done something and contributed in some way. I really liked the feel of the GC which is the main reason i applied to be chair. Not only would I gain the experience of being a chair of a global concern but I would learn skills that would not be able to learn elsewhere. As chair of the GC I have to be able to allocate jobs for everybody else in the group and see if everything is on track , not only that but, I much oversee the behind the scenes work that must get done for the show to be a success.
Planning the show, Kahaani takes a lot of effort and hard work, and there is a lot of small things that must get done. To make sure we finished all the small things and didn’t fall behind, my co-chair and I would meet up during our free and for those 80 minutes we would finish everything we needed to do before the next week. Throughout the first term, there was a lot of preliminary planning that went into doing the show such as : booking the venue, planning the plot of the show, choosing songs, choosing dance leaders, sending out logistics forms to the service office and many many more.
While we have done so much in the first term there is still a lot to come. I am excited to finish the process of planning and executing Kahaani,
Where is your learning going? How will you apply skills, qualities you’ve developed outside of IFP?
I believe the things learnt in IFP are very relevant to what is going on in the world right now. We have learnt not only about the different types of conflict and what they mean and the ways we must address them, we also found out more about ourselves and our importance in a team and the ways in which we can be useful. This relates to the sessions we had about positive peace and negative peace, most conflict resolutions should aim to be positive peace as positive peace attacks the deep and underlying problem and can potentially end the conflict and prevent it from occurring again. We recently had a session about the ways to have a proper conversation and the ways to know that the conversation is either one sided or non directional. We learnt the many characteristics of a good conversation, how we should make someone feel as though they are being heard. The way I see the skills and knowledge I have gained from IFP going is, in the case that I see a conflict going on I know how to address the issue without making the person I am talking to feel as though their issue is any less than what it is.
What have you learned about collaboration? Have you learned to be more effective when working with others? What’s your biggest obstacle when asked to contribute to a team?
I have learnt that when collaborating with someone you should never listen to answer, you should listen with the intent to listen and only to listen so that the person who is talking to you does not feel as though they aren’t being heard. This relates to collaboration because when you are working with someone you should talk to them as well as listen to them with the intent to hear their ideas and potentially implement them. I feel that the most effective way to work with others is to actually listen to the ideas they are talking about and show interest but, also to give critical feedback so that you show that you understand what they are saying but feel like it could use more work because IFP is also about learning from each other.
In what ways have you been a mentor to others this year? Where and when have you shown initiative?
I feel as though during the Joint Training Session I was able to conduct most of the session or if the session was not productive I was the one who would try to get people to work again and get the session going again. I feel as though I showed initiative during the Joint Training Session as I eel as though I gave a lot of ideas to the group and I tried my best to keep our group on track and I tried my best to keep al of the ideas we had on the issue related to IFP and though provoking. I feel as though after the Joint Training Session I got a much better understanding about what I will be doing during the actual conferences we facilitate.
Which session has done the most to address your areas for improvement as a peace builder? How did that session encourage growth?
What has your engagement in IFP looked like your peers? What makes you say so?
I feel as though my engagement in IFP is shown through my multiple posts as well as the amount I contribute during sessions. I also think that others can notice that I am passionate about IFP and the sessions that happen during IFP. I always have engaging conversations with everybody who is in my group. Every time I exit an IFP session it is very apparent that I have come out with something new I have learnt, something that interests me enough to go home and tell my family, enough for me to speak to my classmates, my teachers, and my friends about. I always feel rewarded after an IFP session and I know what Ive learnt in IFP will go with my to college as well as life in general.
After going to Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for almost 5 years I finally successfully finished the Junior and Secondary arts programme. Completing this programme has shown me the different skills I have in relation to art. I have always deemed myself quite good at art. However, upon doing this programme I have come to realise that there are certain mediums and certain concepts that I am able to draw well. When it comes to drawing humans and faces I am really not that skilled, but, when it comes to drawing flowers and landscapes I believe I am quite skilled and I am able to draw such things quite well.
In terms of mediums that I am good at working with, I believe I am good at working with watercolour as well as acrylic and oil. What I have realised is nobody is good at doing art with every medium, everybody is more skilled at one medium than another. This has made me more likely to do watercolours and acrylic painting rather than making sculptures or doing print work. From time to time I enjoy doing paper-mache but, if I am bored and feel like doing art I would preferably do watercolour painting or acrylic and oil painting.
This does not mean that I will not work with any other medium than the ones I am relatively better at working with, at any chance I get I will try to further develop my skills in sculpting and print making. I only wish to explore more mediums and different artistic concepts to allow myself to further my knowledge of art as an expression.
Boxing/Muay Thai happens every Friday from 3- 4:30pm, we usually start off with a warm up, either running, or a warm up in place that the instructors give us. After that we go into technique, we figure out how to properly do certain moves without injuring ourselves. Once our instructor feels as though we have got the technique down and our muscles are all warmed up we go down to the stairs. During our stairs routine we have to run up the stairs do a circuit of moves and then run back down. If we are not doing the stairs routine we will go down to the large area in the basement and do circuits with our partners, often these circuits are given to us by our instructor however, these past 2 weeks the instructors have handed it over to us and asked us to create the circuits ourselves.
I have now completed almost half a year of boxing and I could not be prouder of myself. I can feel myself getting stronger and better at the boxing technique. The best part about boxing is once you are done you feel satisfied, you feel as though you’ve worked every muscle in your body. As a first timer to boxing there were many instances where it got too hard and I felt like quitting the activity, there are times when you just cant do anymore and you’re weak. However, these instances are what show you that you are getting stronger, these are the indications that you are working and that you are not lazing around.
Whenever I feel like quitting I tend to think of the feeling I will have once the session is over, it motivates me to continue and not give up. I would like to continue boxing as it not only makes me feel fit, and makes me fit in itself but, it is also fun and engaging to learn the new moves and learn the techniques. Boxing is a useful tool when it comes to self defence, and it is always useful to know a few moves to defend yourselves in a time of need.