This year we celebrate our 50 years of independence, and the celebration comes in many forms, everywhere, and involves a lot of people at every level.
SSP (where the kids go to school) also has a few programmes lined up to mark this significant event. They are organizing a Merdekathon (a running/jogging event covering some distance which-I-have-no-idea-how-far, BUT, I know that I will definitely not be in it! Hahaha!), a Merdekarama (a Carnival) and a Merdeka Night (Charity Dinner) in August. It is going to be an all weekend affair, meaning we will not be able to go anywhere that weekend, nobody can come over to visit us that weekend, we will not have a quiet relaxing weekend, and we will not be doing any shopping that weekend (Oouuchh!!!). In short- that weekend will not be a weekend...
Anyway, as with all the "thons" you're familiar with, the SSP Merdekathon also involves the school children going around requesting for pledges from the public, in their case to fill up the school's PIBG/PTA fund. But, "public" to the kids (well, at least to MY kids) means only "family members" - their grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins. It doesn't go beyond that.
So, knowing that the usual crowd of uncles and aunties and cousins would be at my sister's place last Saturday (where we normally have our Potluck Saturday night dinner, with our side of the family and my brother-in-law's side of the family), the kids brought with them their orange Merdekathon card, gearing to collect as much money as possible from Mommy's side of the family (having collected the necessary RM from Ayah's side of the family the week before). And when I said the "usual crowd", I meant around 35-40 people (both little people and big people together) depending on if it's a fullhouse or not...
Ayah and I told the kids that they would have to ask their potential donors themselves, without any help from us, and that they should explain the purpose of the Merdekathon, and they should ask them nicely. It was a simple thing to do. If they didn't do it themselves, they would not get the pledges.
The results -
Hanna got the least collection for that night because initially she was busy chatting on the internet with her cousin K.Aliaa, and later that night she was feeling unwell. Only when we were about to leave that she started asking for the pledges.
Hasya managed to collect quite a sum, even though she was very shy to go around asking for money from everyone in the house at first. Only when she saw Hilman bagging some serious amount of buckaroos that she began her collecting mission. Not bad, considering she did it all within half an hour!
And the winner was Hilman.
You all should see him going from one person to another that night.
When Ayah and I taught him on how to ask for donations, i.e., "Excuse me, I am collecting donations for my school Merdekathon to fill up our PIBG fund which will be used to improve the school amenities and facilities. Would you like to donate, please? Thank you", he just looked at us and said - "Oh nooooo.....That's just too long! I don't know how to say it!".
And he started going around asking everybody -
"Excuse me, you got money, or not?", "You have money?", "Can you give me money?", "Have YOU given me money?", How much money do you have in your wallet?", "I want money, please...", "Can you give me X Ringgit, please?". "Have you put your name in my Merdekathon card, or not?", etc.
And he did that even while his "victims" were having their dinner (that was BEFORE he got the "if-looks-could-kill" stare from Mommy that is!). And his victims' ages range from 1 1/2 to 69 years old! Yeap, even his 1 1/2 year old cousin Aariz was not spared!!! At the end of every round, he would check his card to make sure that EVERYBODY has donated. Thank God he did not ask my sister to donate on behalf of the Cat a.k.a Abu a.k.a Lembu (long story....)
Well, I guess the best and most confident (and may I add - muka paling tak malu?! Hahaha!) man (in this case - boy) won.
But, I cringe to think if he ever goes around asking for donations from the REAL public....