Let’s talk

by | November 20, 2014

At this year’s SoCh event, seniors shared their past with the students from various schools at the Ageless Online booth.


Seniors share about their past with the students, teachers and parents.

Seniors got to share their past with students, teachers and parents at the Ageless Online booth recently at SoCh, Singapore’s largest showcase of social initiatives by children. This was the second year that Ageless Online was at SoCh.

This year, the event held at Suntec Convention Centre attracted over 1,500 attendees, and the students came from over 30 schools islandwide. Ageless Online had two interactive sessions – “Let’s Talk” where three seniors (Doreen Quek, 63; Grace Ho, 65; and Tan Kim Mui, 65) shared their pictures of their past and “History Lesson” showcasing objects from the past that hold significance.

The latter session were objects (including shaving blade, aerated water bottle, library cards and piggy bank) brought by Tan Peng Ann, 66, who runs Time Traveller (another initiative of Ageless Online) and Grace’s husband Jimmy, 70, also shared about World War II and the sequence of events that took place. At the Let’s Talk session, students were asked after the “talks” to write their comments on Post-It notes. The intention of Ageless Online’s presence was to show that the students and seniors have things in common, and the students should talk more to their grandparents and parents.

Here are some of the comments (some have been edited) by the students:

“After the most productive conversation, I have realised that we will all grow old one day and the aged were once young. Our lives are not much different. Whether we have luxurious items or not, we are the same. And we should talk more to people and know their experiences.”

“The representatives from Ageless Online are very friendly, joyful and overall, very hospitable to visitors. Although they might not be tech-savvy, they hold valuable and ageless information from the past.”

“Spend more time with my grandparents. Ask them to talk about their history.”

Jimmy sharing about WWII.

“The story about Auntie Grace from baby to 16 years was very interesting. I paid my full attention when she told her story. What surprised me the most is she was also a little girl like me!”

“Generations now are always on their phones. And sometimes, interacting with someone in real-life is very hard now as they are always on their phone.”

“I feel that talking to a senior makes me feel happy of the experiences they had before.”

“We spend more time with our friends than with our family.”

“Talking to older people is actually not as boring as some people would say. It’s extremely enjoyable.”

The students wrote their thoughts on the Post-It notes.

“I find that the past was much more peaceful and less stressful than the modern days. Also, it looked like the past was more boring, but fun with the neighbours.”

“I found out that people living in ’60s was not very dependent on technology. They were also very kind and while chatting with Auntie Grace, I didn’t realise a generation gap.”

“I find that during the past, they did not have to lock their doors when they went out.”

“I am very lucky to have everything I need and I learned a lot from Auntie Grace and would now appreciate everything I have.”

“I feel grown up to be having a conversation with an adult.”

“I feel great that we still have elderly telling about their past.”

“I feel good because now I can talk to older people.”

“It’s not that easy to have conversations with elders because they have a different life.”

“I feel that this talk was very important.”

“I now know no matter the age, people have a story and they have an amazing story.”

“I feel that elderlies are very open on what they talk about. However, as the generation gap is very big, youths tend to not talk to elderlies so often.”

“The new generations are taking things for granted.”

Objects from the past like an aerated water bottle, piggy bank, shaver blade and library cards.

“I think we should talk more with our grandparents and other elderlies so that they will feel more wanted and loved. We should do what we want others to do to us. And we will all one day grow old. I will communicate more with them.”

“We should treasure the special moments with our friends. We should always forgive and forget.”

“I think families are important. Compared to the olden days, digital was not there but they still had a happy life.”

“I think that as technology is evolving and progressing, our involvement with elderlies is decreasing.”

“This talk really made me understand our elders more.”

“I really learned to talk more to my grandparents and I will call them.”

“I think that we can learn from our grandparents about our parents when they were both young.”

“I like to play and talk with my grandparents. They make me feel entertained.”

Kudos to Doreen Quek, and husband-and-wife Jimmy and Grace for volunteering their time to share their stories.

“I think it’s very difficult and sometimes uncomfortable to talk to older people.”

“It’s easy to talk to older people. I liked the conversation.”

“I think it was interesting as now I know that we should not take things for granted. I know my grandma had to work very hard in her house with her 11 siblings. I know that I should be grateful.”

“I think that it is very meaningful and it is nice to have someone to talk to. I will talk to my grandparents more often.”

“I think it is easy to talk to older people. I think they would appreciate it.”

“I liked this conversation because olden times is very interesting. Thank you.”

“I feel that talking with your elders can help you learn about your family’s history and history in general.”





1 Comment

  1. June Goh

    Yes, it is good to spend time with grandparents when they are still around. Appreciate them and be in the moment with them. Time lost will never be there again.


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