Tag Archives: Buntong

Soroptimist Ipoh – EDUFUN Centre

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Soroptimist International Ipoh (SI Ipoh) has again launched another worthy project and service to the under-privileged community of Ipoh. Towards the end of 2012, SI Ipoh had the opening of its EDUFUN Learning Centre at the Bekor Flats in Taman Pertama, Buntong, Ipoh. There was an enthusiastic attendance of about 25 underprivileged children aged between 6 and 15.

Soroptimist Ipoh – EDUFUN CentreThe children, with their mothers, were warmly welcomed by the SI members of Ipoh with a sumptuous “high tea” and the children had a lot of fun joining in the games and singing and dancing sessions. The centre has since been open every day from Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm. Most of these children are either non-school going, owing to various social and family problems, or are slow learners who certainly need help and guidance.

Despite the handicaps of coming from problematic families and low-income groups, these children show a keen interest in wanting to learn and better themselves. They are also very well behaved, polite, happy kids who love coming to the centre. One particular 10‑year-old girl told Ipoh Echo that she quickly finishes all her housework in the morning so that she can spend the whole afternoon at the centre doing her homework, playing educational games with other children, having singing and dancing sessions and afternoon tea of Milo and biscuits, which is a treat to them! This centre is also a healthy, happy, educational and fun outlet for them away from their problems at home.

The centre has currently employed a teacher to help out in the running of this programme. Every day, during the holidays the attendance was very encouraging with a minimum of 15 children or more who come to learn and play educational games. Now that school has started, the numbers have maintained, with more requests for acceptance of preschool kids. A slight improvement is already seen in some of these children in the short time of nurturing since its inception.

Volunteers who wish to help make a difference in the lives of these children and the community may contact:    Kuan 012-501 9250, Lanka 012-519 0189 or Jean 012‑588 2313.

Family Celebrates Pongol

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The family of A. Gunasegaran celebrated Pongol at their house in Buntong. Pongol which literally means “boiling over” is celebrated by Tamils across the world to mark the harvesting of the bounteous crops in the fields. Normally referred as Thai Pongol, it is celebrated through the first three days of Thai month which falls during mid-January. 

The day begins with the making of Kolams (ground patterns made out of rice flour) at the entrance of homes preferably before sunrise. Every household prides itself on making the most exquisite kolam. The reason for using rice flour is that insects would feed on it and bless the household.

Sweet rice, known as Pongol is cooked in a new earthenware pot, normally in the porch of the house where poosai or prayer would also be performed. Fresh tumeric, ginger and leaves of mango trees are tied around this pot. A delicious concoction of rice, dhal, unrefined sugar and milk is boiled in the pot on an open fire. Every member of the family adds milk and rice to the pot. The Pongol is allowed to boil over and spill out of the pot. When Pongol starts to boil over, the people shout “pongalo pongal”. The Pongol is offered to God first on a new banana leaf along with traditional delicacies like vadai and payasam and then members of the family eat.

The following day is known as Maattu Pongol or Pongol of the cow, a day dedicated to the revered cow. The third day is called Kaanum Pongol or Visiting Pongol during which day bonds between friends and relatives are re-strengthened by visiting their homes and sharing thoughts of love and care.

AJ