6 Reasons Why You Should Come Join Our Homecoming Event On November 11th

Hi All!

Most of you who would have followed me on my social media would probably have already known by now that something major is coming real soon, like as of the time I'm writing this post out - it's like less than 5 days from now! In fact, right above this post in WUJ's header, there's even a countdown widget just for that very event. So, you might be wondering, why exactly is the event this coming Sunday, November 11th a very big deal?

Well let me tell you 6 reasons why:

1. It's historic!

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Following the eviction back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of these residents had never returned back home on the island. So for the first time in almost three decades, many of these people will be reunited once again with their neighbours, friends and family right back at where they lived a significant part of their lives in!

2. Traditional Games!

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Gasing, congkak, five stones, marbles, chapteh; you name it! These were the games that a majority of us young peeps would have played in our primary or secondary schools when we celebrate our Racial Harmony Day, only for those games to be kept right back on the shelves in your school's Mother Tongue department. But for a majority of our parents and definitely our grandparents, these games were their everyday sources of entertainment! Sure, they're not really Fortnite material, but the physical interaction you put in while getting yourselves involved in these traditional games are really one of a kind; but if you're still into your Fortnite dances, why not do them while keeping a chapteh in the air for a long period of time?

I also had the opportunity to take some time to play gasing and five stones at home once I bought them from a store in Geylang with my mom a few days back, and all I could say is "Good luck trying to play them". You know you're gonna have a hard time when your mom shakes her head in disapproval at how you can't play a simple game and then starts showing off in front of you and the cats how she can finish all six rounds of five stones in under two minutes. At that moment, all you can really say is GGWP.

3. Photo Booth!

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They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so why not take loads of them at our photo booth! Made with simple saris and beautiful cloth, this simple photo booth setup had been generously given by Ria Tan, a very special individual who had been passionate about Pulau Ubin ever since she got to know about it nearly a decade ago.

There are also some sarungs and other kampong attire for you try on for you to take some selfies and wefies together with your friends and family. Grab some props and bring out the fashionista in you! We would also definitely love to see you post your photos online on Instagram or Facebook with #jombalikubin #wansubinjournal #jombalikkamponghalaman

4. Heritage Walk!

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As I've mentioned, Pulau Ubin weren't always trees since the day the earth came into existence. There were various villages scattered all around the island and Kampong Surau was among the most prominent ones; and I'm not saying it because my grandparents lived there. Kampong Surau was the hub for the Malay community there, having once homed over nearly thirty different houses and family, a school that was built on the beach and a small mosque where every Malay/Muslim would head down to perform their prayers. It was where the Ubin Malay community spent a majority of their lives on the island at, where they would gather around together with their friends, family and loved ones. For most of them, Kampong Surau would have been the Geylang Serai of Ubin.

Today, nothing in Kampong Surau stands. But for the former residents there, including Azman himself, the memories remain strong in his mind. He could recall where everything was and had lots of stories to share - which he more than happily shared with me and on this coming November 11th, I am more than happy to share all of his and the other former residents' memories and stories with you as I bring you around Kampong Surau on a heritage walk!

5. It's FREE!

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I mean it's free of charge! No registration required! The only thing we wish from you however, is that you may come and also support Pak Ahmad by purchasing his cold refreshing drinks and fresh coconuts - I totally recommend that you buy our kampong coconuts; which by the way were harvested on Pulau Ubin itself! Every single purchase of his goods would help contribute to him and his wife in earning a living on the island that they proudly call home.

6. The Ubin Community!

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At the end of the day, my intention in organising this homecoming event for the former Malay residents of Pulau Ubin is to simply celebrate and pay homage to the Ubin community as a whole. There has been emphasis in celebrating Ubin as a natural haven, but I'd like to chip in more on the heritage and community of the island, which is rich in all of them, by the way! I personally believed that the people of Ubin were the ones who made Pulau Ubin beautiful and it was time overdue that the community of Ubin thrives once again. I hope that my efforts in organising this simple homecoming event would reignite the kampong spirit; not just in the former residents, but in each and everyone of us.

To end this list off, here's a quick one-minute video announcement I made just for you just in case you're still on the fence!

That's it! How do I get there?!

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Well, first you gotta get a bumboat ride at Changi Point Ferry Terminal. You can get there by Grabbing your way there or you can take buses 2, 29, 59 or 109 to Changi Village Bus Terminal. If all else fails, Google Maps is your best friend!

Pak Ahmad's house is located in Kampong Sungei Durian, but it's not that hard to navigate your way there! Just follow along Jalan Ubin and you'll be there in no time; you may choose to walk there, rent a bicycle at one of our many friendly bicycle rental stalls along Pekan Ubin or even hail a taxi van service with our resident drivers right after walking down the jetty if you're travelling in numbers!

To help you out, here's a map to the celebrations!

Last but not least, on behalf of the residents of Ubin; both former and current and regardless of race, language and religion, we can't wait to see you there and in joining us as we revive our kampong spirit! See you there!


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