The Importance of Heritage and Culture through Story Telling in our Tumultuous World Today

The History of Blue Boy Mansion in relation to the discovery of my Family History and the Blue Mansion in Penang built by Cheong Fatt Tze

First, watch this video to set the mood that starts in Penang:

Next watch this video that travels to Medan Indonesia:

Last but not least, watch this video that travels through Time, Places & People

Keep the afternoon time free on Sunday 22 Dec 2019 for a soft pre-launch of my first book on the theme of Human Consciousness, being the 37th Anniversary of my wedding anniversary with my late wife who has inspired me for all that I have achieved in my adult life. This includes amazing results of my past 7-year research to tackle a subject that is most tricky to write about that I feel the world needs to know more about! Geok Lee is the real storyteller who won the hearts of many shared in this journal post of mine.

The importance of Heritage and Culture for the world I believe has been underrated with too much focus on the 'Now' and 'Today' in our news headlines and media  like what is shared below:

Compare the above video to this one found in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia in 2016:

My wife may be the storyteller as shared in the above journal post link but I am the Story Rambler where in my 7-year research, I can justify why it is necessary to reach out to the young today in this manner. I learned it over my lifetime, having the experience of CHI Computer-Human Interaction and WEI Western-Eastern Interaction. The necessity of rambling at the speed of 5G is explained in the video below for those who may need to catch up on how education should be today:

Importance of rambling explained by an American university professor :

Excerpt from a research paper on the importance of storytelling in a city or country to achieve unity
(Brief extract of a research paper)

To revitalize the neighbourhoods and recreate public-spirited areas, the communication between the professionals, the habitants and the stakeholders is essential. It is essential to treat the cultural differences of race and ethnicity, class, economy, aesthetics etc. not only as physical parts of the city, but also as public events, as the nervous system of the urban organism. 

Through storytelling that communication is facilitated because it is an art that cultivates and strengthens the ability to listen to other people’s stories. Listening is irreplaceably necessary for any kind of prosperity and development. Listening empowers people with knowledge and awareness and instils in them empathy and appreciation for diversity. “Bringing together different points of view and trying to create a shared understanding among all stakeholders can lead to new insights, new ideas, and new artefacts” (Fischer et al, 2002:1). Jack Zipes (1995) in Creative Storytelling: Building Community-Changing 
Lives claimed that mythmaking can “create a home or 
community” (7) because “storytellers are not just performers; they may perform, but they are first and foremost listeners and animators; they listen to tales before telling or performing them; they listen to phenomena, experiences, and conditions, and they observe; then they share experiences and animate people to learn something from the shared moment of the telling”. Storytelling can be a valuable engine of city and civic renewal by bringing closer and investing in the participatory creativity of diverse communities and by envisioning new images of the urban life. Open to the public storytelling practices can profit community building and imbue people with a deeper understanding of the creative potential of this city allowing art to better the human condition. 

To better the urban life means to become aware of the identity and structure of the city and to being able to articulate and picture alternative images which train the eye of the observer, stimulate the imagination of the flâneur and secure the imageability of the city which as Kevin Lynch (1960) wrote in The Image of The City “facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the environment” (9) which invite the observer to “absorb new sensuous impact” (10). Creative cities do not just pop out of nowhere. Imagination, dedication and care are as much needed as high-quality designs and fundraising strategies.

The storiness of a communal lived materiality, the consciousness of a multicultural storyboard imbued with meaning and experience ought to be penciled in the design papers.

This research paper opts to have accentuated the significance of storytelling for an all-embracing awareness of the multicultural oral heritage of Thessaloniki and a collective creative response to it through mediation projects. It is strongly recommended to heighten public awareness of these issues providing a deeper sensitivity and a pro-active critical analysis of Interculturalism. It was explored how storytelling empowers social networks in the multicultural city of Thessaloniki; how social psychology, experience, imagination activation and emotions influence the consciousness people have and shape about the urban wide-ranging society; how the co-creation of urban tales weaves the image of the city and how participatory creativity can enliven domesticity and foster intercultural mediation between diverse communities while preserving oral heritage. 

Stories were and are created to represent, make meaning of and convey various sentiments about human nature and culture as well as to represent imaginary worlds and abstract concepts. Stories manage almost unconditionally to bring magic into our lives and carry a dynamism that can set our emotional baggage free and inspire us to revisit our perspective. When it comes to storytelling, there is a lot to be learned, earned and dreamed.

My passion in our own Family History led to my passion in Heritage and Culture of buildings, with people I can help to improve their Consciousness from the knowledge I have acquired in my life experiences and the long research I had undertaken to be qualified to write and publish my first book. Blue Boy Mansion attracted my attention as I couldn't understand why such a problem could exist in the heart of Kuala Lumpur ignored by the government, law enforcement agencies and the owners themselves when laws have changed to give them more rights to act to protect their own properties.

I will need time to follow up on the history of the building and the stories with more research, especially on the pioneer Mr. Lee Tham Yin, known commonly as TY Lee who built the first high rise flat in Kuala Lumpur and possibly the whole country in 1962. The little I have learned is that he came from China with a wife from Hong Kong, qualified to work in the Federation City Council and later came out to work for himself to be a successful businessman. He named the building as 'Blue Boy Mansion' as a Dutchman gave him a sketch/painting of a boy that was all blue in color!

Blue Boy Mansion has caught up with the times where Liberalism has begun since our 14th General Election where we will move forward with change as space and time requires but we must keep our heritage and culture of Malaysia's way of problem-solving that I learned from this recent very modern conference on Liberalism:

Bukit Bintang Foundation and KL Society leaders helping to organize more storytelling events of our culture in Malaysia:

On my left to right : Jack Lim, President of KL Society with Sharizal Shaarani, Trustee of Bukit Bintang Foundation and on the far right Dato' Lim Seng Kok, director of Gamuda GM.

They organized their first Discourse successfully on 11 Dec 2019 with two politicians as guest speakers YBhg Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop and YB Senator Liew Chin Tong, their profiles being shared in the above video.  (Postdated 30 May 2020 article from ex-deputy minister, Mr Liew Chin Tong, introduced in the video above, of what Malaysians need to be aware of for the progress of the country. Click here to read.)

28-29 Feb 2020
International Conference on the Question of Palestine held in Kuala Lumpur

I shared my feelings after being touched by a presentation given by Dr Ang Swee Chai recorded here.

Invitation to the second Discourse was received with the following message:

As I write this, it is 7th day of Chinese New Year and chinese traditions calls today 'renri' which literally means Human Day and is considered to be the birthday of ordinary, or common men. It marks a coming of age of sorts and Malaysia this year celebrates its 63rd Independence day and 57th Malaysia Day.

Education has been a driver for anyone to come of age in today’s modern era and this human right has been a victim to a myriad of issues: quality of education, constitutional rights given to minorities, politics, a perceived "social contract", national unity; and the debate continues along the lines of legality versus morality. 

What are we to stand for when it comes to education, the rights to it and what it stands for in the national context?

To explore the above, Bukit Bintang Foundation and KL Society is happy to organise our second discourse series "The Vernacular Vortex - Do we need a new 'Social Contract'?"

Our panelist will be once again led by the esteemed Eddin Khoo and will consist of a prominent line up with YBhg Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi , YBrs Shahril Hamdan (UMNO Deputy Youth Chief), YB Senator Dato' Sri Ti Lian Ker (MCA Vice President) and YB Puan Wong Shu Qi (DAP MP from Kluang)

As we ponder deeper over the weekend what are our respective positions on the issue, perhaps we too can ponder what should be the position for Malaysia and all Malaysians and bring this to the event next week.

To register please use the NUSA special code "KLSOCBBCS" at the event page

Hope to see you then.

Bukit Bintang Foundation


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