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Newsletter: 2019 January

Happy MMXIX!

According to the numeric system created by ancient Rome, MMXIX is 2019! This year, based on the Gregorian calendar, is the 2019th year of the Common Era, but to those who follow a different calendar system, it may not be so. (e.g., according to the Hebrew calendar, it is now the 5,779th year…). Actually, there are a few other civilisations, (e.g., the Mayans and the Chinese) who also think their world is > 5,000 years old.

As we enter into the new year, many congratulations to our chemists and physicists friends (and those who love Chemistry as a subject)! The United Nations has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year for the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, it is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, as well as the recent discoveries of the four superheavy elements!

Therefore, let’s welcome the year by listening to the Song of the Periodic Table!

While you are listening to the song, let’s start 2019 with the photo quiz contest:

Where in the world was the above picture taken?

Result of June’s photo contest:


The photo was taken at Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu), Sabah. Mount Kinabalu is 4,095 meters or 13,438 ft in height, and it is located in one of the UNESCO Heritage sites. Rich in flora and fauna diversity, one can find the infamous gigantic Rafflesia flowers.

Click the links below if you wish to find out more about Mount Kinabalu:

Mount Kinabalu – National Park

Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

A Journey A Month…
Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.

Have you a favourite movie or a book that you have seen or read so many times that you remember the lines by heart? Mine is “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews.

The first time I saw the movie, it was in a small cinema in Malacca with my mother and my brother.

During those days, watching a movie was a big thing for a child, and I could still remember my excitement. My mother was so impressed by Maria’s vocal talent and her use of music to “connect” with the von Trapp children; thus, after the movie, she decided to buy the soundtrack album and all the musical scores. “The Sound of Music” was probably the most played vinyl record in my home, and I was made to play the songs on my piano during my childhood, Today, whenever I hear the music, I will always be happy, and I’ll sing along just like the von Trapps…

For those of you who have watched the movie, you know it ends with the song “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” (click to listen to the song):

Climb ev’ry mountain; Search high and low; Follow ev’ry by-way; Every path you know.
Climb ev’ry mountain; Ford ev’ry stream; Follow ev’ry rainbow; Till you find your dream.
A dream that will need; All the love you can give; Everyday of your life; For as long as you live.
Climb ev’ry mountain; Ford ev’ry stream; Follow ev’ry rainbow; Till you find your dream…

For this new year, let this song be part of my greetings to You!

Looking back at 2018, we saw the passing of many famous people. To name a few:

  • Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientists of our generation;
  • Stan Lee, the comic book icon who gave us our superheroes Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, the Hulk, etc;
  • Politicians such as Senator John McCain and 41st President George H. W. Bush were American heroes for many.
  • Louis Cha or Jin Yong (金庸), the Chinese wuxia (“martial arts and chivalry”) novelist who, through his writing, imparted chivalrous values to so many Chinese speaking youths around the world.

Each of the great people mentioned above had made significant impacts on the world. The list goes on, and in their passings, we pay respects to them and the achievements they’ve made…The ocean is made up of many tiny drops of water, and every one of us is one of those drops. Every one of us has, in our own ways, contributed something to this world, just as every one of us has also benefited from someone else’s contribution.

It is a fact that we will only pass through this world once. We need to ask these questions before it is too late in our lives:

  • What have we done?
  • What else do we want to do?
  • Stop asking too many questions, the life is yours, just get out there and follow your dream!

With that, let me share a quote from the poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce:

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

We will only live through 2019 once, how will we want to spend this precious year? The pages of our 2019 book are blank, what words are we going to put on them? How do we want to have our stories written?

Now that we realise time is irreplaceable. Let’s live every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month in 2019 to the best we can, and to spend it with those we treasure most!

For you who have traveled alongside TCG in 2018, be it a joyous journey or a tedious one, you have made it rich for us – Please accept our thanks…

And for you who are receiving this newsletter for the first time, we wish you an enjoyable journey in 2019. There will be many big projects coming, and we will be delighted to share with you in time to come!

Climb e’vry mountain; Ford ev’ry stream;
Follow ev’ry rainbow; Till you find your dream!”

– Rodgers and Hammerstein –

To learn about other Cultural snippets festivals around the world, you can also subscribe to TCG’s Youth’s Cross Cultural Competency course:

May you find and live your dream, and may the pages in your book be filled with lovely stories in 2019!

“Crossing Cultures – Beyond Boundaries”