Block parties to bring neighbours together

Harmony Packs for the block parties will contain fun items like postcards and notes with which to greet neighbours on special festivals, as well as useful guides on community emergency information and terrorism.
Harmony Packs for the block parties will contain fun items like postcards and notes with which to greet neighbours on special festivals, as well as useful guides on community emergency information and terrorism.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

From tomorrow, 17 HDB precincts will hold 'Our Block Rocks' events with food and music

Starting tomorrow, residents of 17 HDB precincts will see functional void decks transform into lively places where - for a couple of days - they can enjoy a party.

These block parties - called "Our Block Rocks" - will bring neighbours together over food and music, while allowing members of different races to get to know more about each other.

Each chosen precinct will host a party over two days, giving the residents time to get to know each other better.

The block parties are a brainchild of the Community Emergency and Engagement Council Exco and The New Paper (TNP).

They are supported by the People's Association and Panel of Activists for Community Engagement.

The first party will kick off tomorrow in the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang division. It will take place over two days between 11am and 7pm. Other venues include the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol and Yew Tee divisions.

Harmony Packs for the block parties will contain fun items like postcards and notes with which to greet neighbours on special festivals, as well as useful guides on community emergency information and terrorism.
Harmony Packs for the block parties will contain fun items like postcards and notes with which to greet neighbours on special festivals, as well as useful guides on community emergency information and terrorism. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

TNP will bring in food vendors such as Momolato and ColdShave and leather-craft vendors like J Artisans to set up stalls at the party.

Food will go hand-in-hand with music as there will be an open mike session for residents to showcase their talents.

TNP Creative Editor Ken Jalleh Junior said the "informal gatherings, spiced with activities Singaporeans are passionate about, such as food, shopping and fun, would foster greater bonding".

Residents can also experience activities such as batik painting, paper quilling, calligraphy and guitar playing.

On a more serious note, they can also pick up emergency skills and learn about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

The first 100 residents who complete the programmes will be awarded a harmony pack, which contains a community emergency guide and flyer on terrorism.

The pack also contains a "harmony passport", a booklet with tips on traditions and practices of different races.

The parties are just the beginning of residents getting to know each other better.

They will also be given postcards and notes with which to greet one another on their special festivals and to invite each other home - where, hopefully, the party will continue.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2016, with the headline 'Block parties to bring neighbours together'. Print Edition | Subscribe