Dec
27
2012

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012

Program Sentuhan Kasih is a PETRONAS festive CSI programme piloted in 2005 in preparation to celebrate major festivities in Malaysia. Initiated to communicate the ‘human’ side of PETRONAS where staff are given the opportunity to share the spirit of togetherness and share the festive joy with the underprivileged community.

Over the years, the programme has become one of PETRONAS’ signature sustainable community outreach programmes designed and implemented to benefit the less privileged groups wherever PETRONAS operates as part of its larger corporate social responsibility commitment.

This year, we bloggers got to be part of this heart-warming Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali project. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_1

We assembled at Petronas Suria KLCC at 6am. It was a cold and wet morning but I went under my umbrella to take this shot of the magnificent Twin Towers. I just can’t miss it for the world as I’ve never been here this early in my life! :P

We boarded the bus shortly before 7am to start our journey to Ayer Tawar, Perak. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_2

We passed this paddy field. I can’t help but to marvel at how serene and beautiful it is. We don’t see such thing in the city, do we? 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_3

Three hours later we arrived safely at our destination – Kampung Wellington, Ayer Tawar, Perak.

Here’s a little fact about Kampung Wellington:

There are about 500 villagers here in Kampung Wellington. 80% of the villagers are Indians while the remaining are Malay and Chinese. More than 90% of the villagers are poor with household income of lesser than RM700 and some are single mothers with many schooling children. Most of the villagers work at the palm estate and being paid on a daily basis which results in non-fixed monthly income. Most of the families have six to eight schooling children. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_4

Since we already had our breakfast in the bus, we got to work immediately. We were broken into two groups and briefed on which area to cover for our ‘gotong-royong’ task. We were also given a pair of gloves to protect our hands :)

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_6

That is me and Usheer, a 9 year old boy who tagged along with our group. We fondly called him Usher! Hehe.. He was extremely enthusiastic about the ‘gotong-royong’ and helped out as much as he can!

Shortly at 10.45am, YBhg Dato Medan and YBhg Datuk Rahim arrived on location.

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_7

YBhg Dato Medan was given a henna hand art by one of the children of Kampung Wellington.

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_8

YBhg Dato Medan also went through a health check. Here he is seen getting his blood pressure taken. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_9

YBhg Dato Medan (and also YBgh Datuk Rahim later) then tried his hands in making and frying kuih vadeh.

Vadeh is a simple Indian kuih made of dhal, onions, curry leaves, dried chilies and fried till golden brown. Dato Medan and Datuk Rahim did a great job shaping the vadeh and placing them into the huge wok of hot oil! One look at the hot oil and I’m afraid already!

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_91

YBhg Dato Medan and YBhg Datuk Rahim enjoying the fruits of their labour – the kuih vadeh :)

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After having their snacks, YBhg Dato Medan and YBhg Datuk Rahim proceeded to paint the wall of the MIC hall. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_93

It was almost noon by now and the sun is scorching hot yet there they are, these two Datuks, painting the entire wall yellow. Dato Medan jokingly said, “You know you’ve done a great job when you see the whites turn to yellow!”

Once they are done, they went and clean-up and were ushered into the stage area.

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Pegawai Daerah Manjung giving his speech.

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YBhg Dato Medan giving his speech to the villagers. 

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Every year, the underprivileged from various locations were invited to participate in various activities prepared for the programme and received festive hampers, ‘ang pows’ and ‘duit raya’. It was no different this time around with 142 families receiving money packets from both Dato Medan and Datuk Rahim.

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The 142 families on stage for a group picture. 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_991

We were then entertained by UTP Performance & Arts students. They performed a beautiful and mesmerizing Indian dance.

One of the student/dancer told me that this is a great learning opportunity. He said here he is, learning from a real village about the traditional arts and dance shared by the villagers. “Learning the dance is one thing, experiencing their life is the REAL thing,” he said.

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_992

The crowd were then served lunch by student volunteers from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_993

I on the other hand, tried making and frying kuih vadeh! Haha.. You know me, I love getting my hands-on experience and I think I was the only blogger who tried making and frying this! I guess the rest are just too afraid of the huge wok of hot oil!

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012 vadeh

My kuih vadeh, fried to perfection! 

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012_99

I also got my right hand decorated with henna art by one of the children of Kampung Wellington. I was shocked when she told me that she attended Chinese school when she was in primary school hence her ability to converse in Mandarin yet there I was, dumb-founded as I don’t speak Mandarin! @_@

Petronas Sentuhan Kasih Deepavali 2012 handart

A simple flower motive on my hand :)

I joined the villagers for lunch before bidding farewell to them. One fellow villager whom I called ‘Uncle’ and chatted with during lunch asked me if we do this every year. I answered, “Yes, Petronas gives back to society every year but this is my first time joining them. If given a chance, I’d like to participate again in the future”. That Uncle patted me on my shoulder and said, “Good job my child. For a low income earner like me, this money packet means a lot and the presence of all of you here today shows your sincerity”.

Humanity restored. I felt warm all over. A little deed goes a long way.

group pic

A group picture of us bloggers before we board the bus back to KL. Photo credit to Sky Arts.

It was a fun and fruitful trip. Thank you Petronas for letting us be part of this meaningful campaign. I do look forward for more! It is nice to be able to give back to society :)

This video tells it all. I spotted myself frying vadeh in there :P

11 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    From your photo, u lookslike “throwing” the vadeh into the wok lol

    [Reply]

    Merryn Reply:

    I was sliding it into the wok lah.. haha.

    [Reply]

  • //

    Deepavali? That was ages ago! Love the apron – wish I could have one….

    [Reply]

  • //

    A wonderful and meaningful program.

    [Reply]

  • //

    This must be a meaningful event!

    [Reply]

  • //

    Wah must be a tiring day for you to do so many things! :D

    [Reply]

  • //

    Interesting! So now you know how to make vadeh? Can do it at home? LOL!

    [Reply]

  • //

    Lok.. saw your face here… awesome projects … Happy Deepavali =D

    [Reply]

  • //

    Geng o…. featured in the paper.. :)

    [Reply]

  • //

    Wahhh!!!u also joined the program ye merryn… with all the top bloggers…

    [Reply]

  • //

    Did they try to promote BN? lol. Upside Down movie review

    [Reply]

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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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