It’s a Small World After All
And it is getting smaller – we have living proof.
Four Malawian teenagers showed up at Xin Min Secondary School one weekday morning. Up on stage, they looked like typical teenagers in uniform, with baggy t-shirts and loose-fitting trackpants.
“Ni hao, wo shi Friday,” one of the boys started. He introduced himself and when, one by one, each of the four teenagers introduced themselves, there was a stunned silence amongst the students.
These four Malawians who spoke impeccable Mandarin were in Singapore to introduce Malawi and promote the Chinese language. They introduced themselves, recited poetry from the Tang Dynasty and sang a few songs… All in Chinese.
A Chinese Cultural Showcase by Africans
Then, these teenagers took their program to a whole new level when they put on a display of acrobatic wu shu.
You would not believe this video we recorded of their performance:
These were Africans speaking fluent Chinese and performing Chinese kung fu in Singapore. The aim of promoting Chinese in schools was lost on us at GoBeyond.SG because, we suddenly realised how small the world had become.
For those few moments, Singaporean students experienced Chinese culture presented to them by their Malawian counterparts.
Culture Extending Beyond Borders
Kennedy Chitseko, Friday Makandanji, Calvin Murowa and Blessings Scale, are born and bred Malawians aged 17 and 18. They attend Yuan Tong School near Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city, run by the Amitofo Care Centre (ACC) of Malawi. ACC is a humanitarian group directed by Buddhist clergy in Taiwan.
Taiwan, Malawi and Singapore – it could not have gotten much more geographically distant than that. Nor could it be any more mind-blowing.
Their fluent Mandarin and wu shu skills are merely a by-product of their enrolment in Yuan Tong School. There, Chinese language lessons are a daily affair; each lasting an hour, and wu shu is merely one of the many sports offered to students as a physical activity.
Just Your Everyday Teenager
They are even huge fans of Jay Chou! But beyond their exposure to Chinese culture in Africa, these regular teens also adore their Brazilian football heroes and American music.
But these are also homegrown Malawians who are proud of their heritage and country. Find out more about Malawi from the boys as they proudly introduce aspects of the place they love.
An Introduction to Malawi By Malawians in Singapore
In the videos below, three of the boys talk a little about their favorite bits of Malawi. Watch them for a taste of this small southern African nation.
Traditional Dances You Should Try
Places You Need to Visit in Malawi
Local food You Have to Try in Malawi
Visit the country ranked as one of the happiest in the world - more info can be found on Malawi here. Or read one of our other stories of African countries like South Africa, Kenya and Ghana.