It was a cross-cultural exchange of health tips and tricks as students from Republic Polytechnic’s (RP) School of Sports, Health & Leisure (SHL) and Universitas Islam Bandung (UNISBA) worked and learnt together at nutrition workshops.
The programme was part of the Temasek Foundation SCALE VIII (TF SCALE) inbound programme hosted by RP.
One of the challenges required students to create healthy meals fusing Singaporean and Indonesian cuisine. Each dish had to be nutritious and innovative. Adding on to the challenge, the students only had a limited selection of ingredients to use.
The results were experimental but delicious meals!
BONDING OVER A SHARED INTEREST
The activity presented a rare opportunity for the students to learn about the food and traditions of another country.
“Cooking nasi goreng (fried rice) for the cook-off, I learnt how similar and different Indonesian and Singaporean food really is—especially on how different we feel and know about food,” said second-year SHL student Ng Jia Le.
As they bustled away in the kitchen, the learning went beyond the cooking. The Indonesian students learnt Singlish and their Singaporean counterparts grasped a few words and phrases in Bahasa Indonesia and Sundanese.
After the preparation of the dishes, the students gathered for some handicraft work which involved making the all too well known RP bear.
This provided them another opportunity to continue their conversations and get to know one another.
PROMOTING HEALTHY LIVING
Throughout their two weeks in RP, the SHL and UNISBA students worked together in teams to present different proposals on maintaining ‘health domains’: nutrition, mental health and the physical activities one can engage in.
All teams had to come up with activities that could be implemented in both Singapore and Bandung for ages 18 to 59.
“Indonesians still think about the treatment of conditions instead. Many of us do not consider or know about prevention,” says 21-year-old UNISBA student Mochammad Rachmat Deriansyah.
The presentations also featured what they referred to as the three HIGHS -: hypertension, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia. Students came up with different activities and exercises that were meant to help people who have been diagnosed with these conditions.
Hypertension is common in one in three Singapore residents aged 18 to 74 years. Consuming high intake of sodium resulting in high blood pressure could affect an individual’s overall health.
Hyperlipidemiac, which is the increased lipids in the blood, causes obesity. One in ten Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 69 and one in five adults in Indonesia are obese. Glucose or sugar is often stored in the body as fat if high amounts of energy is not burnt off through exercise and physical activity.
After two weeks of collaboration, the students brought the roof down in a colourful and entertaining closing ceremony that highlighted the friendships that were forged during this period.
The students will meet again in March 2023 in Bandung where they will carry on with their bonding and activities.