“Free Coffee and Kueh Lapis for You?”
That was the line that Jacqueline and I used when we started our makeshift coffee booth to foster kampong spirit in our neighbourhood two weekends ago.
While some people were appreciative and grateful for the light morning breakfast that we served, there were many others that equally shunned us away and this mini initiative or social experiment made us realise that people today are not as open as before and they tend to be more cautious.
To be honest, we kind of expected such a situation to happen and we were quite prepared for the rejections.
With the rapid development of modern technology, it is a fact that more and more people are interacting less with the people around them and furthermore, in this highly-digitised society that we live in, people are so connected to the Internet that they would rather watch dramas, read the news, surf Facebook and Instagram, than to interact with the person sitting beside them.
No. Just take a train in the morning and observe the commuters.
Hence, it is the reason why both Jacqueline and I decided to set aside a day to do something meaningful for our community. Having heard stories from our elders and parents about their kampong days and how in the past, the doors were always open and the children would go out to play; we wanted to re-ignite this kampong spirit in our modern day neighbourhood.
To step out of our comfort zone and get to know the people staying in our neighbourhood.
After much planning, we decided to set up a makeshift coffee booth where anyone and everyone were welcome to help themselves to some free hot coffee and kueh lapis [layer cakes] two weekends ago. We sent out invitations to our neighbours via WhatsApp and we just crossed our fingers hoping that they would come. We even placed a table and some chairs so that anyone could just sit down, have a cup of coffee and some kueh lapis, and chit-chat with one another.
The makeshift coffee booth was in operation from 9am in the morning till about 11am and despite a number of rejections, the overall turnout was really good.
Although we had to wake up rather early in the morning to do the setup which took us about an hour or so, our effort came to fruition as our neighbours were very sporting and even encouraged us to organise such sessions in future.
Although some neighbours whom were living in the nearby HDB flats came by our booth, they weren’t so keen in accepting our invitation when we tried to approach them. Some of them were even quite wary of us it is as if we were going to sell them some products but really, all we wanted to do was to serve some hot coffee and homemade kueh lapis as a friendly gesture.
Nevertheless, it is through this mini initiative that we had the opportunity to know our neighbours and we are really glad and thankful that NESCAFÉ were very willing to support us in this project to create friendships.
We honestly hope that as Singapore continues to develop, people will not forget the days of old and strive to create a harmonious society where all of us can be inclusive and foster meaningful relationships. After all, we believe that there is power in unity and when all of us unite together with one heart, one mind, and one soul; there’s so much more that we can do to make our community a better place for everyone to live in!
So, how about you? Would you care for some free hot coffee and kueh lapis? 🙂