Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kuala Lumpur Fun Night

On behalf of the ToastMasters from Sri Lanka, I am glad that you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. For most of us, it was the first time we enjoyed a fellowship with two international communities. Hopefully next time we can organize an event of a longer duration.

The team from our end that was involved in organizing the event was me, Arshad Mohideen and Trishma Pinto. We would be delighted in getting involved in whatever capacity as Toastmasters united, wherever we are in the world and whatever background we come from.

Please do keep in touch and I hope you will at some time in the future have the opportunity to visit our country, which to us is Paradise.

Warm regards

- Ajit De Soyza

Toastmasters - What expectation did you have when you booked your flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August? Myself, as a repeat attendee, I looked forward to the very last event of the Convention, tension running high with excitement and thrills when the winners' calls melt the silence into a roaring applause. The crowning of the 2014 World Championship of Public Speaking!

Secondly, be involved personally in the Board Member election campaign. I wore a Sri Lanka "Balraj" Button the day I arrived. He won and, coincidentally, Sri Lanka became the 2014 world champion.

Third, become friends and hobnob with Toastmasters from around the world. I was to meet a Canadian couple, introduced by my Canadian friend by names only. When I made my registration, I asked the registration staff if there is any way to locate them and, if at all possible, at which hotel they were staying. Their answer was not very promising with such a flood of travelers. The suggestion they made was to use the open message board on the 2nd floor. I posted my message but had doubts how effective it would be. Then I heard each regional conference was scheduled on the last day, and 'bingo', I found a way and we connected.

I wish to report one hell of a fun night I enjoyed, which combined the above 2 and 3 expectations. At the KL hotel where I stayed, I bumped into my fellow DTM Tamura, ex D76-DG, who invited me to join their Fun Night Bout. I joined him without knowing any details, but it was quite an event over and beyond my expectation. If anyone plans similar bouts in the future, this will be a great precedent to follow.

From L to R: Tamura, Floy and Ajit
When Tamura made his business trip late last year to Sri Lanka, he met Balraj Arunasalam who was running for 2nd VP at the KL Conference and he offered to help. What popped up during their conversation was a joint meeting of their respective home TM clubs with details to be worked out between Ajit De Soyza on the Sri Lanka side and Tamura on the Japanese side. Making a long story short, this idea developed into the Aug 22 "Fun Night", unknown unfortunately, to other Toastmasters.

The event was held at a hotel in Bukit Bintang, near Pudu Sentral (formerly Pudraya) where about 60 Toastmasters assembled. Basically there were 25 Japanese (from Kansai area, a dozen women who were clad in Kimono), 25 Sri Lankan and 10 Malaysian Toastmaster volunteers eager to meet, dine and enjoy each others company. Expenses were split: dinners (boxed Bento catered by the KL "Isetan" Japanese Department Store) borne by the Japanese; venue and drinks borne by Sri Lankans and Malaysians.

Dinner started with mingling and chatting. Toastmaster of the Fun Night was personable Trishma Pinto, the right person at the right place. Greetings and speeches were exchanged to cheers and chanting of Balraj.

Soon Tamura led a bell chime rhythm along with taped music and the Japanese Awa Dance theme featuring "Dancers are fools, Watchers are fools, if both are fools alike, why not dance" - started in a circle. Encouraged by this theme, Sri Lankans, Malaysians and even hotel restaurant workers all jumped into the dancing circle and danced for many, many rounds.

Then Sri Lankans and Malaysians answered the Awa Dance with their wonderful Group Chorus, including the local "Baila" song. It was a marvelous "Fun" night to remember for all Toastmasters who participated.

I wish to recognize preparation/coordination efforts of each group as per the following list given by Tamura. Thank you all very much.

Sri Lanka Coordinators:
Ajit De Soyza
Arshad Mohideen
Trishma Pinto
Malaysia Coordinator:
G. Subramaniam
(friend of Kenshi Suzuki, Osaka)
Japanese Coordinators:
Kay & Minoru Tamura
Kenshi Suzuki

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