The Historians

Monday, March 9, 2015

REFLECTION: On the Oral Interviews at Albert Centre

Madam Chai

Reflections of the two videos:

The moments shown in the two videos reminded me of my experience shopping at the market as a young girl. Hearing what Madam Chai had to say about her experiences in running her shop for about 5 decades was astounding, without considering the fact that her footwear store is the only one left standing after all these years and beating the rest of her competitors. It makes me how I wished I could have asked the shopkeepers about their life working in the market close to my house and probably reveal some of the extraordinary instances they come across over the decades spending almost their entire lives working in the market. If my students were to take their time and hear these stories of the market shopkeepers on their interesting stories, it could probably blow their minds, shedding a new light of life as a market shopkeeper by twofold.

Uncle and Aunty Butcher (forgot to ask their names)

The story told by the butchers had them reminiscences the way life at the market before the renovation. It was more chaotic, small and untidy, definitely, but that rustic charm of that chaos and familiarity can never be revived after the renovations made to Albert Centre. While encounters of visiting old markets that have been renovated hasn’t been new to me, there is a certain rustic charm in older markets that can never been replaced with the tidiness and order in the renovated markets.

The two interviews shows to prove that there are still many more stories to be told by these unsung heroes. Aside hearing stories of notable figures in our history textbooks, stories of the common people is the best way to bridge the gap of history. I believe the students and I can find stories of the everyday men or women more relatable, and that it makes history as a discipline more intriguing than simply reading facts on textbooks. I believe this could also spark students’ curiosity with the discipline, enabling them to find out other narratives on their own and come to a somewhat definite consensus on a topic they find interesting to work on.


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