Walking with students in George Town

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!

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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.

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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.

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Discussing differences between different Indian communities in George Town.