Durian feast with a whiff of kindness

Mr Chris Morris (foreground, right), a 33-year-old IT corporate strategist from the United States, savouring a Mao Shan Wang durian at the Durian Mobilisation event at Hong Lim Park on Saturday.

SINGAPORE - A pungent smell filled Hong Lim Park last night as some 300 diners gathered to feast on a tonne of durians.

But it was all for a good cause.

The three-hour Durian Mobilisation event was the first joint initiative by the Singapore Kindness Movement and celebrity blogger Leslie Tay, who has been organising durian picnics for years.

"What we've done this year is to partner with the Kindness Movement, because it's a good way to get people together," said Dr Tay.

A portion of the $35 cost of each ticket for the feast will go towards providing a durian meal for families in the Prison Fellowship - a cause championed by the Singapore Kindness Movement's general secretary, Dr William Wan.

"I've always had the idea that since this is a community event, we need to also remember those who are less fortunate in the community," said Dr Wan.

Neighbourliness is something that the Singapore Kindness Movement hopes to strengthen.

"We have been trying to remind people through initiatives over the last few years to smile, to be kind," he said. "Now we're trying to bring this to another level... to create opportunities for people to take more time, relating to each other."

Fresh themes for the Singapore Kindness Movement will also be unveiled soon, added Dr Wan.

Aside from driving home the message of kindness, the event also allowed the crowd to walk away with some useful knowledge, said Dr Tay.

"We taught them how to pick durians and what are the different cultivars, so that when they go to the durian seller next time, they'll be well informed," he said.


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