20 OCT 2015

Trick or treat

Q : What do you do when 50 zombies surround your house?

A : You hope it’s Halloween!

Boo! It’s the time of the year when the spirits roam freely in our world. It’s Halloween! To those of you who are still clueless about Halloween, here’s what Halloween is all about:
  • Halloween, or Hallowe'en is derived from the word of All Hallows’ Evening or also known as All Halloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve.
  • A celebration observed in many countries on the 31st of October, which is the eve of All Hallows’ Day.
  • The origin of this festival is highly disputed; some believe it to have originated from the Celtic pagan festival called Samhain, which means ‘Summer’s End’ which marked the end of the harvest season. This transition between the seasons was also considered as a bridge to the world of the dead.
  • The Christian origin of the holiday is that it falls on the days before the feast of All Hallows, which was set in the eighth century to attempt to stamp out pagan celebrations. Christians would honour saints and pray for souls who have not yet reached heaven.
  • People nowadays celebrate Halloween by wearing scary costumes, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns, and going trick-or-treating.

The Story of the Jack-o’-Lantern

Every October, you can see carved pumpkins peek out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. If you happen to find yourself finding gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles, those are a sure sign of the Halloween season.

The name “jack-o’-lanterns” comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack, which originated in Ireland. Originally, large turnips, potatoes or beets served as an early canvas for the jack-o’-lanterns. This tradition is believed to have been brought to America by the Irish immigrants and it became an important part of Halloween festivities.

The Story of the Stingy Jack

The practice of making jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween is believed to have originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Living up to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks.

Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.

The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such a disreputable figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since.

The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

Tan Sri Halim Saad’s Birthday Bash and KYS-YSFH Exchange Programme.

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 11am.

On the 20th of October 2015, Kolej Yayasan Saad Melaka and KYS International School held a birthday lunch for the school’s founder, Tan Sri Halim Saad. The celebration was attended by his friends, the school’s Board of Directors, Board of Governors, teachers and students from KYSIS and KYSM.

The mood was heightened even more with the presence of the cheerful and energetic students from Yokohama Science Frontier High School, Japan. They attended the event as they were participating in the Kolej Yayasan Saad - Yokohama Science Frontier High School Annual Student Exchange Programme.

The event began at 11.45 a.m with the arrival of the honoured guests; Tan Sri himself, Mr Rozalli Noordin, Chairman of Board of Governors and members of Boards of Directors. After all the guest have settled in, the ceremony started with the MCs giving a glimpse of Tan Sri Halim Saad’s life.

He was from Kangar, Perlis and had received his secondary education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. He then continued his education at Victoria University of Wellington in accounting. Tan Sri Halim Saad was awarded Friend of New Zealand Award at the World Class New Zealand Awards ceremony for his achievements in building closer business and educational ties between New Zealand and Malaysia, making him the first Malaysian to receive the honour.
After this short introduction the head boy of KYS International School, Wan Muhd Aiman, delivered his speech. He spoke about what he had learned from his time in KYSIS to date. He mentioned the importance of social etiquette as preparation to become leaders of tomorrow. He also expressed his gratitude towards Tan Sri for investing in the student’s future. Next, the MCs invited the celebrant, Tan Sri Halim to the podium to give his speech. In his speech Tan Sri reminisced on the image of KYS in its infancy stage. He joked about how back then, most of the senior teachers were young and now they have grey hair. Tan Sri also expressed his vision in making Kolej Yayasan Saad the best school, not only in Malaysia but also in ASEAN. Which was received very well by both staff and students.

After lunch, it was time to cut the cake. The students and teachers sang happy birthday to Tan Sri accompanied by the KYSM Orchestra. The students then presented a special surprise for Tan Sri. All the students in the hall got up from their seats and tied a Japanese headband or Hachimaki around their head and proclaimed “KYS Ichiban!” which means “KYS is Number One!” three times. It was indeed an unexpected surprise. The lunch ended with a photography session with Tan Sri Halim Saad and honoured guests.

At two in the evening, the students gathered in KYS Great Hall to watch performances from the Yokohama Science Frontier High School Students and the KYS Orchestra. The students of Yokohama Science Frontier High School performed a drama about their school and its facilities. It was really an interesting plot where at the beginning of the drama, a boy acted as a samurai from the Edo period who had been killed and suddenly awoke to find himself in the 21st century. While he was lost and mesmerized in the 21st century world, he met a student from Yokohama Science Frontier High School. The samurai was then brought to the school and given a tour. During the school tour, he was introduced to Japanese’s traditional games, which were surprisingly quite similar to Malaysia’s traditional games. The performance that captured the audience’s attention the most was when the student played a yo-yo trick with kendama, a Japanese traditional toy. The Japanese students then performed an energetic and spectacular traditional bon dance accompanied by a song titled Soran Bushi which is about fisherman.

After the performance by the Japanese students, KYS orchestra took the stage with a One Direction song. Needless to say all One Direction fans were over the moon to hear their favourite band during school hours. The highlight of the performances was when the Yokohama students joined the KYS orchestra to performed Rasa Sayang. The performance gave a great sense of comradery between KYS students and the students of Yokohama Science Frontier High School.

The event concluded with Kolej Yayasan Saad and Yokohama Science Frontiers High School exchanging gifts and souvenirs. The YSFH gave KYS a Daruma doll which is a traditional handmade Japanese wishing doll. “You must paint one of its eyes to set your wish. After your wish has come true, you paint his other eye as a symbol of thank you” explained one of YSFH teachers.

Lastly, we from the KYSIS Newsletter club would like to wish Tan Sri Halim Saad a Happy Birthday and may Allah bless you with greater success and wonderful times ahead.