Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 02/12/2013 01:49 | By Channel NewsAsia

Forging neighbourliness via community events

Forging neighbourliness via community events

Forging neighbourliness via community events

SINGAPORE : Organising events in the neighbourhood is often a fun activity, and organisers of Total Defence Day — which falls on February 15 — have said that such efforts on a larger scale are in line with nation building, as social defence is one of the five Total Defence pillars.

The others four aspects in Total Defence are military, civil, economic and psychological defence.

Mention Tiong Bahru and things such as its rustic charm and good hawker fare come to mind.

Twenty—five—year—old Eileen Nai, who grew up in Tiong Bahru, hopes that flea markets will soon be a feature of the neighbourhood.

She has been a member of the Seng Poh Residents’ Committee for about two years.

Every month, the committee meets to plan activities for residents, which include block parties and educational tours around Singapore.

Last year, Eileen thought it would be a good idea to set up flea markets in the neighbourhood.

She said: "Surprisingly, when they have the stalls, they actually get to know, ’hey, this stall holder is actually my neighbour.’ Because nowadays, they don’t actually knock their neighbours’ doors (to say) ’hi’.

"So, when they had those stalls, they were chit chatting (and realised) ’so you’re my neighbour, you live above or below me’. So, they get to know their neighbours again. Long—time residents get to make new friends also."

Response to her first flea market in June last year turned out well.

Six months later, she organised a bigger one.

Eileen is now hoping to make the flea market a regular activity in the neighbourhood. And she won’t be alone in making this hope come true.

Working closely with her is her dad, 54—year—old Vincent Nai.

Eileen said her inspiration for community work comes from Mr Nai, who has lived in Tiong Bahru all his life.

Mr Nai, auditor of the Seng Poh Residents’ Committee, said: "I try to contribute to the community as much as I can. I have been living here for about 50 years.

"Everyone knows me in this market. Since I have been here for so long, I want to help whoever I can..."

The father and daughter pair hope their contributions can make a difference to the residents living in their neighbourhood.

— CNA/ms

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