Youth volunteers pair up with seniors to celebrate CNY

Ms Rahayu Mahzam, MP for Jurong GRC and an adviser to the PA Mesra youth sub-committee, joining in the lo hei session with seniors from Thye Hua Kwan Social Service Hub in Bukit Batok East and the Concern and Care Society during the event at Bukit Ba
Ms Rahayu Mahzam, MP for Jurong GRC and an adviser to the PA Mesra youth sub-committee, joining in the lo hei session with seniors from Thye Hua Kwan Social Service Hub in Bukit Batok East and the Concern and Care Society during the event at Bukit Batok East Community Club on Sunday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Malay and Indian youth brought some early Chinese New Year cheer to senior citizens in Bukit Batok East and Chinatown on Sunday evening.

In two events which also celebrated racial harmony, the youth volunteers from the People's Association (PA) distributed oranges and also learnt about the festivities' customs and practices from the seniors.

A hundred senior citizens from Thye Hua Kwan Social Service Hub in Bukit Batok East and the Concern and Care Society, a charity which takes care of the elderly, paired up with young people from PA's Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra) and Narpani Pearavai, its Indian equivalent, for an evening of craft activities such as making traditional decorative knots and learning more about the upcoming festivities.

At the same time, about 40 youth volunteers distributed 800 bags of oranges and red packets to visitors and residents in Chinatown.

Jurong GRC MP Rahayu Mahzam, who attended both events, also participated in an early lo hei - the tossing of yusheng, or raw fish salad, traditionally done during Chinese New Year - in Bukit Batok.

Ms Rahayu, who advises the Mesra youth sub-committee, said the events were examples of how racial harmony and inter-generational relationships can be strengthened at the same time.

"Building understanding between different groups in Singapore is a never-ending process - it's something we need to keep doing consistently," she told reporters at Bukit Batok East Community Club.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'Youth volunteers pair up with seniors to celebrate CNY'. Print Edition | Subscribe