If I have to choose three places that I would like to bring my children the age of 5 and 8, I will choose places that I feel will have a great impact and beneficial to them during their growing up years. After thinking deeply, my husband agrees with me on what I have decided that bring them for an oversea trip to visit Golden Temple, Amritsar which is located in India, while the other two places will be in my country which are Pahang National Park, Kuala Tanah in Malaysia and Dutch Square located in Malacca City, Malaysia. Hopefully visiting these places will give the basic foundation to build their cognition, emotion, self-value and family life.
I will bring my children for an oversea trip to visit a religious place by spending a week at The Golden Temple also known as Sri Hamandir Sahib the most spiritual temple for Sikhs located in Amritsar, India. People from all over the world visit this place because it is a spiritual and a historical place. The design was done by Guru Arjan Sahib who is the fifth Guru with the help of Guru Amardas Sahib the fourth Guru (Rogers, 2018). Besides that, the temple is an inspiration to architects as the temple was built by incorporating influences from other religions such as Muslim, Hindu and European. The unique thing about the temple is there are four sides of doors where anyone regardless of caste, sex and religion can enter this holy place (KnowIndia: National Portal of India, n.d.).
Being a Sikh, visiting this place will allow my children to gain a better understanding of the scarifies of the gurus and the Sikh religion. This experience will help them to think about Sikhism and the rituals that are carried out daily in the temple thus changing their cognitive flexibility about the religion. I want it to be their routine prayers once they are at home. They will also learn more about the root of the religion by visiting a few historical places which are a stone’s throw away from the temple. Next, my children will know how to control their emotions in a proper way when they are at this harmonious place. The feeling of peace will arise in them when they are surrounded by hymns and religious prayers which are ongoing from early dawn until night. If any time my children are on their own and if they face any emotional problems arise throughout their growing years, I want them to use prayers as an outlet to solve their problems. I do not want them to have negative thoughts or feel depressed about themselves until they have a suicidal tendency to solve their problems as some teenagers nowadays feel it is the only outlet as they have no one to talk to. I want to instil in my children that God loves them and they can always turn to prayers as a source of strength for them. During the prayers at this temple, my children will be praying together with other pilgrims and people from all over the world where they have to sit down quietly without distracting anyone (Suneja, 2018). This will be a good example for them to follow as it will train them to behave well when they are anywhere. Above all, they will experience the direct connection with the gurus intensifying the spiritual feeling and divine force which sometimes leads to internal bliss. Besides that, my children will learn good values at the temple which will make them become good human beings. They learn how to cooperate by joining other people in carrying out voluntary work that is by offering their services which are known as sewa. For example, help to prepare and serve the meals for free to everyone at the temple which is also known as langgar. These voluntary chores will teach them to look after mankind regardless of their caste, sex and religion (Incredible India, n.d.). In this temple, there are always people donating either to the temple or the less fortunate who stay in the temple. This will be a good example for my children to follow as I want them to be kind and not self-centered. So by seeing these by themselves they can follow these steps in the future. There is a saying the more you give the more you receive which I have always wanted to instil this value in them. My children will also have the experience of sitting on the floor and having the same simple meal as others at the temple without making a fuss over meals (Wayne, 2018). This experience will indirectly teach my children to appreciate the value of food given to them. I want them to appreciate whatever little they have and to be grateful for what is given to them compared to those who are in worse condition. Moreover, this temple is a perfect place for family bonding due to the presence of divine prayers which will help to strengthen our family relationship and have an impact on them. Lots of families who had been to this temple claimed the power and the presence of the Gurus can be felt like their prayers for their family are fulfilled and they never left empty-handed. I hope this visit will make my children learn to always love each other more, look out for each other and stick together despite any problems during difficult times. Doing prayers together as a family can help us to be more united, positive and happy. There is a saying by Niecy Nash “a family that prays together, stays together” (Niecy Nash Quotes, 2020). By doing meditation it can help the family to more be united, positive and happy.
The next place is to visit a place in my country that is Pahang National Park also known as Taman Negara, Kuala Tahan, Malaysia. It is the largest national park in Malaysia managed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks or PERHILITAN. Gunung Tahan is situated here which has the highest peak in Malaysia. Gua Daun Menari, Gua Kepayang Besar and Gua Kepayang Kecil are situated in this park which is known as limestone caves. Also, Jerang Derar is situated here which are the Orang Asli settlements. This park is known as the richest and largest for its flora and fauna. For flora, there are more than 3000 species of plants found here while for fauna there are more than 900 species of animals found here such as mammals, birds, fishes and so on (UNESCO, 2014). There are a variety of activities available here such as canopy walk, swimming, picnic and so on.
By visiting the park, I will plan to stay three days two nights at the campsite so that my children can have the opportunity to experience and explore most of the places which are provided in the park. My children can observe and learn about the species of animals which they cannot see or visualize the fauna from books. They will get to learn hands on and all this knowledge will be reinforced when they learn again in school. They will get a chance to see the species of mammals that they have not seen before in their natural environment. For example, the Malayan tiger, white-handed gibbon, barking deer and so on. They will get the opportunity to watch some types of species of the birds that are one of the important places in this park such as mountain peacock pheasant, changeable hawk-eagle, southern pied parakeet and so on. This will strengthen their cognitive knowledge. Besides, my children will get a chance to study the different species of each plant belongs to that are found at this park too (JungleBoy, 2017). This experience will be captured in their mind and will come handy when they learn in school. Thus they can apply it in their studies too. This will be the best way to learn about the flora and fauna which is valuable and abundant in the park thus they will be able to sustain what they have seen as through visual learning they will be able to absorb information better. Furthermore, my children will learn about the formation of the limestone during their exploration in the caves and they can see for themselves the scientific reason for the formation of the limestone. They can also visit and see the culture and lifestyles of the indigenous minority at the Orang Asli settlement (Pahang National Park, Kuala Tahan, n.d.). This will satisfy their curiosity and make them think more about how people survive in the jungle. What is more, my children can also show their creativity by helping us during preparation of meals. They can share their views with their cousins or friends in school who might not have a chance or understanding of what can be found in the jungle. They can compute all these experiences throughout their life. Emotionally, my children will not feel bored and will be excited as they will busy learning and exploring new things that they had not tried in their daily routine. As children, their curiosity would be further enhanced if they do things hands-on. They will feel at peace as they are surrounded by the greenery and the beauty of the environment around them. Also, this will allow them to distress themselves and they can enjoy doing the activities freely without any fear as they will be guided. For example, going for a canopy walkway (Workman, 2016). They will learn nothing is impossible if they overcome their fear. On the other hand, my children’s self-esteem and sense of importance will increase further if they are given duties during this trip whereby they are given charge of doing the chores individually. They will be more responsible if they are taught to keep the park clean during their exploration. Indirectly, my children will learn the importance to love mother nature and save the environment from activities that will harm the environment such as littering, hunting of wild animals or polluting the rivers. By bringing them for bird watching it will build up their patience level as they need to be silent if they want to watch the birds at close range. They will also learn pitching the tent requires teamwork and with the cooperation they will have fewer problems and they can apply this knowledge in their everyday life. They also will learn how to appreciate nature. My children will also learn to be more discipline like staying in groups when going about the activities as they will learn if they do not abide by the jungle rules they will face problems such as getting lost. Equally important, doing the activities together at the park will help to maintain a healthy family relationship. Some of the activities which are strenuous and challenging will make them realise certain activities cannot be done alone and if everyone pitches in they will be able to do it together. For example, setting up the camp or cooking. There is a saying by John Heywood “many hands make light work” (John Heywood Quotes, 2020). My children will enjoy swimming and having a picnic together with the family which in return helps to strengthen the family relationship. Activities like collecting the seashells and building a sandcastle together are enjoyable which will also indirectly help with their sibling’s bonding. It is very relaxing and an opportunity for us as parents to let our hair down and behave like a child again which is something my children have not seen us doing that at home. They will have fond memories of us having fun together with them. Spending quality time together without any technology distractions will lay the foundation of happy family.
I will also bring my children to the historical city of Malacca, Malaysia as I want them to have in-depth knowledge of some history of Malaysia. The Dutch Square which is located at the center of Malacca City is one such place full of history. It is also known as Malacca Town Square or Red Square. It was built during the British rule in 1660 and 1700. The special quality of this place has a combination of landmark buildings, landscaped square, paths and history. The Square consists of many colonial buildings such as Stadthuys the oldest building in South East Malaysia, Christ Church the oldest Protestant Church in Malaysia, Malaysia Youth Museum & Art Gallery built-in 1784, Tang Beng Swee Clock tower which was built by a rich Straits Chinese Family in honour of a Chinese merchant Tan Beng Swee and Queen Victoria’s Fountain which is a vintage water fountain built to commemorate the Majesty’s (Anuar, n.d.).
By visiting this place, my children will have first-hand knowledge about the history of the building and the surrounding places which will come handy when they learn history subjects in school. They can get a lot of information by visiting the museum and gallery which will reinforce their critical thinking skill as they look at the archives displayed in the museum and gallery. Whatever questions my children have they can always refer to the information provided with guidance by us or the museum guides. Visiting other historical places will be a learning experience and activate their mind so that they will be able to retain what they have seen in the historical places. They will be able to process the information faster as they are given information on hand. The unique architecture and design which is different from the other surrounding buildings will enable them to learn and absorb about the people and places in other countries without visiting that place. My children will also learn how people live long ago and the influence they have on our society today. When they see the building structure and the things displayed inside the building it will sparkle their imagination and have a lot thought about life in the past. By this, my children will love to learn history as it is a dry subject where they have to memorize and might not understand what they learn. Their experience from visiting all the historical places from this trip will help them to be more confident of the subject. They will also be able to absorb all the information far from the classroom environment which they can use their senses through sight and touch. These sense stimulates their mind faster. Next, my children will also feel excited and not bored as they will have the chance to use the olden way of transport which is the beautifully decorated trishaws to visit all the historical places at the Dutch Square. By visiting the art gallery, it will diminish their fear in trying out new skill or hobby by looking at the different types of painting produced by the artist. The proud feeling will be instilled in them when they see our country is full of historical places and in return, it will instil the feeling of loyalty and love of our country. Also, visiting Stadthuys will allow my children to learn about patience as it took twenty years to complete the building whereby the building materials were brought from the Netherlands. This is in return will make them value and appreciate things. I want them to apply the value of taking care of their possessions at home. They will learn to appreciate the peacefulness that we have achieved in this multiracial country. The historical places especially the museum will teach my children to be disciplined and how to behave when they are in certain public places. They will also learn and respect other religions by visiting religious places such as the church. They will be responsible and law-abiding citizens by not destroying the place which is maintained until now. They will also know the value of time and money spend to preserve all the historical places and indirectly they will use this knowledge by taking care of their things at home. Furthermore, visiting places together will keep the family in harmony as they go around visiting the places and also add excitement as they learn about the places together. My children will learn how to mingle with the other tourists who are also visiting the places with their parent’s guidance. Taking photos of the places they have visited will be something memorable for them when they grow up and recall back the historical places they have visited with their parents. It is said that historical places help to understand and appreciate situations in the past. For example, by visiting the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower which was built by a wealthy family in honour of a rich Chinese merchant. I will instil in my children the importance of respecting us and the elders. We can have quality time together by going on boat rides and trishaw and it will certainly make us more relax and enjoy the slow phase of life.
In conclusion, by bringing my children to all these places I believe and hope they will be a more well-rounded human being when they grow up. The places which I have chosen for them to visit when they are young are what I believe will give them a head start to be religious, loving and loyal to their family by applying all the experiences through their journey in their younger days. I hope they will cherish and see through our eyes what we want the best for them. As they say, these habits should be instilled and reinforce when they are young. I hope these places will have an impact on their cognitive, emotions, self-value and family life.
- Anuar, A. (n.d.). Dutch Square Legibility. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/8737738/DUTCH_SQUARE_LEGIBILITY
- Incredible India. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredible-india-v2/en/destinations/amritsar/golden-temple.html
- John Heywood Quotes. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_heywood_166113
- JungleBoy. (2017). Taman Negara National Park. Retrieved from https://www.rainforestjournal.com/taman-negara-national-park/
- KnowIndia: National Portal of India. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://knowindia.gov.in/culture-and-heritage/monuments/golden-temple.php
- Niecy Nash Quotes. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/niecy_nash_565971
- Pahang National Park, Kuala Tahan. (n.d.). Retrieved from Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Peninsular Malaysia: https://www.wildlife.gov.my/index.php/en/11-info/158-pahang-national-park-kuala-tahan
- Rogers, J. (27 March, 2018). The Sun, A News of UK Company. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5840885/golden-temple-amritsar-sikhism-great-indian-railway-journeys-gurdwara/
- Suneja, P. (19 May, 2018). India Architecture News . Retrieved from https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/ehenp/golden_temple_amritsar_magnificent_and_divine_footprint_of_sikh_architecture.html
- UNESCO, P. D. (2014). National Park (Taman Negara) of Peninsular Malaysia. Retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5927/#:~:text=Since%201938%2F1939%2C%20it%20has,in%20Pahang%2C%20Kelantan%20and%20Terengganu.
- Wayne, I. (2018). International Mission Board. Retrieved from https://www.imb.org/2018/10/12/holy-ground-sikhs-and-the-golden-temple/
- Workman, V. (2016). Canopy Walkway. Retrieved from https://www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/malaysia/peninsular_malaysia/pahang/taman_negara/3543