Woodlands residents digest diabetes message while making rice ketupat

SINGAPORE - Residents of all races gathered at the Woodlands Galaxy Community Club at 5.30pm on Thursday (June 22) to cook ketupat for the underprivileged while digesting a health message.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin, who initiated the event, said: "During the festive season, we can use less oil, less sugar for the dishes. Let it be a habit so that Singaporeans can live life free from diabetes."

Ketupat is traditionally eaten during Hari Raya Puasa which falls on June 25.

About 800 residents participated in the event. They were given the opportunity to weave their own ketupat, a Malay dish that consists of rice packed inside a tightly-wound container made from palm leaf.

However, instead of using white rice, residents used brown rice to create a healthier version of the traditional lontong dish.

Representatives from the Health Promotion Board were also present to raise awareness of diabetes and advise participants on healthier ways of preparing food, especially during the Ramadan period.

The ketupat, along with other traditional Malay foods like chicken rendang and serunding (fried coconut flakes) were then distributed to both the needy and others living in the area.

Participant and resident Nur Fatin Nordin, 21, said: "Woodlands is traditionally more of a Malay area, so it's nice to see people of all races coming down and helping out for this event."