We took the students in my Societies and Cultures of Southeast Asia class on a walking tour of George Town last Saturday. "We": me and the guide Kuah Li Feng (a community heritage worker). The students are going to do fieldwork-based research for their term projects this semester; to kick off, I organised the tour to introduce them to the spatial and socio-cultural diversities found in the core heritage zone. I liked Li Feng's tour. The combination of sit-down listen-and-learn, with guided observation exercises and walk-around-and-explore worked much better than the walks you find in standard tourism packages. For superannuated lecturers like me, the walk-look-and-stop pace is also much preferable to having to run from one site to another chasing after energetic students while trying to hear what the guide is saying in front! I can't wait to see what research ideas the students come up with!
At the Francis Light Memorial on the grounds of St. George's Church (mahogany tree in the background). My students had a lucky charm dangling over them, it seems. The church was open early and we were allowed to enter and explore, outside visiting hours.
Again, our timing was just right. We got here, the Goddess of Mercy Temple, just as the food distribution line was forming. A couple of the students are walking around the courtyard: they were told to walk around the temple compound and note down all the activities they saw, the idea being to show them the broader community roles of the temple.
Discussing differences between different Indian communities in George Town.