The Picha Project spent this year’s Valentine’s Day with our Picha Heroes, and it was a greattttt night!
Honestly, after organising a few series of open houses last Raya and Christmas, and doing a number of caterings, we thought that everything would be easy and smooth for this Valentine’s event.
Oh boy, we were so so wrong….
With a team of 6 girls, carrying and setting up everything was a terribly exhausting (and bone-breaking) experience.
For the Valentine’s Dinner, which is also our very first event, The Picha Project decided to bring our open house concept out of the “house” to RUANG by ThinkCity (super thankful towards their support and for believing in what we are doing). Making sure that all our food was served best from each kitchen, suiting up, decorating the place and setting up tables in less than 2 hours was total craziness – and all these couldn’t be done without the last minute help from our Picha families who arrived for the dinner.
An hour before the event, the Picha team was trying to set up the place, but with the lack of man power (no pun intended), we saw the time ticking but there’s still so much to be done. We tried our best not to panic, but we knew that we’re running out of time. The arrival of our Picha families truly saved the night. Once they arrived (and saw the unfinished hall and our tired faces), they immediately started helping out without us asking for it. They folded the napkins, set up the catering tables, placed the plates and helped us in getting the hall ready, including the children. Zaza and his friend even helped Suzanne to fix her broken belt.
I wished everyone could witness the scene in front of me at that time – where everyone from The Picha Project worked together despite language barriers, helping each other to set up the place and get ready to serve our Picha Heroes. Even our 5-year-old little monster helped to move boxes to the holding room. That’s a scene that I’ll never forget.
When we dimmed the lights and turned on all the fairy lights, the place looked so magical – you wouldn’t believe it was just an empty space 2 hours before. Everyone made magic that night.
As the clock struck 7, our guests started arriving, all suited and dressed up for the Valentine’s dinner. We saw married couples, dating couples and even groups of friends entering the hall looking fabulous. Starters were served with fresh vegetables and our special dips from Afghan, Syrian and Rohingya kitchen as our guests exchanged conversations with the others from their tables.
At 8pm, dinner was served from 8 of our Picha kitchens from Syria, Palestine, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Iraq. Everyone loved the food and it’s truly a joy to hear positive feedback from our guests. We served our best and personal favourite dishes to our guests, and it’s no surprise to find that everyone enjoyed the meal.
For every event or gathering like this, it’s important for The Picha Project to end it with a sharing of why we do what we do, and how can the Picha Heroes be a part of this movement to form a community that care. We realize that everyone wants world peace, but as the social issues happening in the world are too overwhelming, everyone seems to give up on the idea of “world peace”. However, in The Picha Project, we believe that with small efforts gathered, we can all achieve it together.
As the Picha heroes and families danced the night away together, we truly witnessed the seed of world peace being sowed. We believe that one day, we will be able to reap the beauty of togetherness, the universal love for humanity, and also..again, world peace.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all.
Kim Lim <3
Photos by: Joe Kit Yong