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Sunday August 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 1:27:08 PM
by royce t.g. tan
A CARNIVAL powered by teenage creativity, that’s bound to get the teens all hyped up. And it did.
The first national carnival for teens saw more than 3,000 visitors showing up at the Malaysia Teen Carnival 2013 in Sentul Park.
Organised by Ace EdVenture group and Sri Emas International School, event organiser Tam Hao Jin said they wanted to provide an avenue for young people to express their creativity.
“We advocate that it is by teens, for teens,” said Tam.
It took six months and the collaborative effort of over 500 students and 20 teachers to realise the event.
Tam also explained the attractions for teens such as an outdoor street bazaar, cosplay contest, music talent search, gladiator joust challenge, sport competitions and performance arts.
Team captain Mohd Asyraf Mahdzir said his team Zanonkill won RM1,000 as champions of extreme dodgeball in the teen category.
“I had good team support and the money we won will pay for our team’s new set of personalised jerseys,” said Mohd Asyraf with satisfaction. He described how his six-member team scored 3-0 during the final match.
Team co-captain Davithran Sanasi said he was excited to have won considering that it was the first time they had joined the competition.
While the basketball and dodgeball teams competed for athletic supremacy, the more comedic sumo wrestling had participants rolling around in oversized body suits, causing onlookers to burst out in laughter.
Outside the outdoor arena was an array of colourful booths laden with handicrafts and snack items.
Teens had to learn to manage their own booths which offered goods for sale in exchange for coupons purchased from the entrance counter.
“I learnt teamwork while preparing for the carnival. It was a fun experience selling things and I’ve even earned a little pocket money,” said Sri Emas International School student Jeannie Tan.
Teacher Jens Christian Schottmann said he was proud of his students for having successfully pitched their ideas to Wrigley’s 5 Gum and 20th Century Fox.
The students secured sponsorships for their own marketing initiative, The Wolverine project, where two high school teams competed to promote the popular X-Men movie franchise.
All about character
Meanwhile, the indoors section saw a crowd dressed in elaborate costumes to impress the contest judges. Some even sported colourful wigs!
Supported by event partners Animangaki, cosplay contestants dressed and presented themselves as characters from their favourite animation or manga (comic) series.
Animangaki event director Lim Jo Lynn said the subculture has a strong following as it provides a safe place for fans to be whoever they want to be.
One contestant with emerald eyes said it was her first time competing and she usually enjoys the activity with her friends.
Wanting to be known only as cosplayer Poppyrae, she said: “I’m dressed as Yukinokouji Nobara from my favourite anime. I didn’t win but it is a really good experience.”
Results were based on individual costumes, creativity, likeness and ability to complete the “bonus feat”.
Judges explained that the “bonus feat” required contestants to act out their character’s response to hypothetical situations like “escaping a dark room” or “escaping a building on fire”.
The top three winning characters were Cloud from Final Fantasy VII in third place, Kagura from the anime Gintama in second place, and taking home the top prize was Grell Sutcliff from the animation series Black Butler.
The judges said that the champion cosplayer always stayed in character and was believable in portraying his evil and psychotic personality. The champion won RM800 cash prize while the first runner-up received RM500 and the second runner-up won RM300. They were also each awarded with a polaroid camera.
Mad about theatre
The production A Mask Fantasia saw 131 students acting out a patchwork of five different storylines in a single theatre performance.
Ace EdVenture group academic director Erica Tham Chu Teng said the students practised every week over six months to internalise their roles.
“I’m happy that our students had a chance to express themselves and bond over this experience,” she said.
Tham explained that the five shows titled Still Life, Madness, Beyond, Contrast and Fracture were written by her students, with each of the five classes delivering a unique view of the theme. Tickets to the performance were sold out to parents and supporters.
“I really enjoyed the whole process,” said Caleb Fong Ju-Xin, 14. Caleb acted in the lead role of Madness and said his hardest challenge was “to express my transformation into a mannequin”.
In conjunction with the carnival, Ace EdVenture group founder Anne Tham greeted her past and present students at the first official alumni gathering for Ace EdVenture centres.
Anne, who is also managing director of the group, said the gathering of her past students was meant to train them on networking skills and expand their entrepreneurial contacts.
About 150 alumni from the group’s subsidiaries also attended the function. Overall, the amount of coupons sold raked up a grand total of RM40,850 in sales.
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