Saturday, 15 November 2008

Of Puppet-Shows and Missing-Teeth Smiles...



As some of you know, I've been involved with a puppet troupe here in Canada. Our 'job' involves travelling to nearby towns and communities and performing for the schools, community centres, children's libraries etc. Topics covered include health, bullying (various forms, like how to report, what bullying is, types of bullying etc), epilepsy, divorce in parents etc...



I've attended a few shows already, and last week, we travelled to an elementary school in a town about an hour away for a performance.




Y.M.C.A...



The school was a small one, and every day, the children, the teachers, staff and principal gather for DPA (Daily Physical Activity), where they exercise together. This is followed by announcements by the principal (she even reads out names of children who are celebrating their birthday for the day!), and the little ones even finish her sentences for her!


Like when she goes: "Remember to..."

They will echo: "Be kind to each other..."



Awww...


I was tickled by their DPA. They were exercising to YMCA and Macarena, and three boys (maybe about 10 years old) were leading the kids on stage.




The puppet-troupe coordinator...



We joined in. It was fun! Even the principal and teachers were all dancing away...During the more popular parts of the song (like Y.M.C.A!), the children were all singing along at the top of their lungs...



Everytime I drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn for a performance, and see my roomie and close friend (who has been bunking with me for the past month) snoozing away happily, I always ask what I got myself into. And I always wish I could go back to sleep too, and not have to walk to the other end of the building to get my cup of coffee to perk me up.


But everytime when I'm actually at the school and see the kids all so thrilled by the puppets, and enjoying the performances, and looking at you and bursting into missing-teeth grins and giving you the thumbs-up (the coordinator introduces us (the student volunteers) and tells the kids we take time off university to perform for them), I'm happy I dragged myself out of bed...


Those missing-teeth smiles? Priceless!



Note: Sorry guys, due to the confidentiality agreement, I cannot post pictures of the puppets or name the organisation...= (


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

oww daphne! so sad we can't see the puppets!

Pi Bani said...

Oh, reading the title of this posting, I thought the missing-teeth smiles were yours... ;)

WP said...

Aw...so cute!!
(oh, to be a kid again...)

Akmal said...

Daphne,
I guess you are born for this daph :)
Just do it daph. We highly doubt that you will regret what you're doing :D

Zawi said...

Daph,
You should have taken some 'wayang kulit puppets' and improvise a show with a story suitable for them. I think it would be a hit among those cute children.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

hey, i wish i could dance to the tune of YMCA...and i'd be dressing like the indian chief...hehehehe...

Bitta said...

.. wah that's look like fun.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 22:05,

Thank you for your comment. I really am very sorry that I am unable to share a picture of the puppets. I wish I could too, because they are so cute!

You are welcome to google puppet programs here in Peterborough (and you will actually get to see the puppets!), but I cannot directly tell you which organisations I am in!

;)

I think you get the hint...

Daphne Ling said...

Hello Kak Pi,

Lar, what lar I did until gigi menghilang? Scary lar wei...

After all the susah-payahness of wearing braces, now gigi hilang?

*Shudder*

;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi WP,

Yeap, it is very cute! I learnt we can never be a kid again, but there's nothing stopping us from being child-like (not childish, ar)!

Playing with puppets and enjoying them, is definitely childlike in my books, especially when you can help communicate with so many children...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Akmal,

I doubt I would ever regret doing them too! I might groan about having to wake up so early, but I know the experience is just so amazing and I will have learnt so much by the end of my term...

Definitely worth looking back on one day!

Thanks...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Pak Zawi,

I love the wayang kulit, but I don't think it would really be that much of a hit, in terms of effectiveness.

The aim of the puppets is to have the children identify with them. That's why the puppets are life-size, and look like the different children here (mat salleh, african-american, asian etc).

The puppets are supposed to be the childrens' friends, so they would listen to the puppets' advice!

Chances here, children here wouldn't have ever heard of wayang kulit, so no go there!

But thanks for the advice anyhow...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Haha! ButI must ask, why Indian Chief?

You could always do YMCA sitting down! The schools I've been visiting all have special needs children. Pretty cool!

I saw a boy with Down Syndrome in one of the schools, happily enjoying the show, and another young girl in a wheelchair...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Bitta!

Hey, hey! How've you been? Long time no see...

And yes, it WAS fun! It IS fun! =)

Enjoying myself eventhough the puppets are so heavy, they make my arms very sore...