This morning, we had our project monthly meeting, and for this month, I was nominated as the emcee! I was only given two days notice, and unfortunately due to other business priorities, I couldn't spend much time planning for the meeting. So at 430pm yesterday, I sat and brainstormed with a colleague on how to make the meeting more interesting.
This month's meeting agenda is quite unique, as we are not only going to gather for updates on the project, but to also celebrate Hari Raya and 395 Goal Zero Days (170,000 safe man-hours) to date. So there I was cracking my head on how to make this meeting interesting...
I mentioned to my colleague, that besides these two themes, we could also celebrate the Tanglung festival and also Hari 1Malaysia. It was then that he suggested we play a game called cāidēngmí. Traditionally, during the mooncake festival, Chinese family members and friends will gather and carry brighly lit lanterns or hang lanterns around their house. To play this game, Chinese riddles will be written on pieces of paper which are then hung under these lanterns, and children would usually gather around the lanterns to try and solve these riddles.
I was lucky that he had a stash of lanterns in his house so he volunteered to bring them to the office. I then spent the whole evening researching riddles and composing questions on the three cultural themes - Hari Raya, Pesta Tanglung and Hari 1Malaysia.
The next morning was spent printing the questions, making answer sheets and hanging the lanterns all over the meeting room (we even had to use a ladder!). Makes you wonder how much actual work we actually get done in a day, eh?
So this was how the meeting room looked like.
Everyone who came to the meeting room was so impressed with how it looked. Honestly, I had a lot of help, from friends who supplied lanterns, to friends who made up questions, to friends who helped carry everything to the meeting room, even to tall friends who helped me to hang the lanterns from the ceiling.
I kicked off the meeting to a good start, everyone was laughing at my jokes (which is a sure sign that the crowd is actually listening to you), and after the welcome note we dispersed for lunch and game. The team was tasked to answer the riddles during lunch, the person with the most correct answer and fastest submission would win. So while the team went around the room, I started with the food! We had nyummy traditional Hari Raya food - rendang, nasi impit, satay and also the normal lunch spread like ayam masak merah, sayur campur, fish curry... I was really impressed with the catering!
And the thing about having such good friends in the office, is that they wouldn't be segan silu in playing a prank on you. While going around the room to solve riddles, they came up with this:
This is during the meeting. I was making my round to check whether anyone was asleep.
The stash of prizes.
In between presentations from various colleagues, I tortured the newcomers into giving a few words about themselves and gave away the prizes for the game we had earlier. (Second prize winner was actually our Project Manager and I heard people yelling "Conspiracy!!" in the background!) I also had a pop quiz on Malaysia, to test whether the expats knew how many stripes we have on our Malaysian flags, and whether our locals knew what sea lies in between Malaysia and Singapore.
I certainly had fun emceeing, I wouldn't mind doing it again!