Sunday, 9 October 2016

MODEL RESPONSE "SING TO THE DAWN"



SING TO THE DAWN : GENDER INEQUALITY/DISCRIMINATION/BIASED

Gender inequality is a serious issue in the novel.  Her parents think that it is wasteful and foolish for girls to attend school. She is given the chance to attend school only because her brother Kwai, had insisted that she be allowed to study along with him.  In her community, girls are expected to stay at home and help with the housework and when they are older, get married and have a family of their own to take care of. Young girls such as Dawan are deprived of their basic rights. Many of them have to resign to their fate. Hence, Dawan refuses to give up on her dreams. She is expected to follow such traditional biased custom. However, she fights for her right for education.  There are many situations where she fights for her right for education in the novel such as the arguments with her Father, her brother , Kwai and the head monk.

Gender discrimination is a norm in Dawn’s village. Dawn’s parents are poor and conservative. This is shown in the novel when her father pressured her to give up the scholarship to Kwai. He was disappointed when Dawan won the scholarship. He had hoped that Kwai would study in the city and help him and the villagers. He believed that she cannot do anything by studying more. He demanded to know why she should study more as she will end up to be a housewife just like her mother. Dawan bravely met with the disapproval of his father when she told him that she wanted to pursue her studies in the city school. Dawan wanted her father to be fair and kind to her as his flesh and blood. She pleaded with her father to give her a chance and believe in her dreams. Her father asked her probing and challenging questions to be convinced that he is sending the right person to the City to study. She convinced him that she too can help the people in the village and perhaps her country. Although, her father is autocratic, he listened to her explanation and finally gave in and to Dawan wishes and let her study in the City.

Dawan and her brother Kwai have similar ambitious plans to improve life in the village. In fact, both of them hope to win the scholarship which will be a stepping stone to their dreams. He discriminates her as he was not happy that Dawan won the scholarship. This is shown in the novel when he talked about his dreams and desires without thinking of her sister feelings. He assumed that Dawan did not want to go to the City to study. Kwai accused her sister of trying to get Noi on her sides to convince their father to let her go. He was unsympathetic when told her sister that he still had the chance to go as he was second in the test. He also said that she has no leadership qualities to make changes and in the village and lead the villagers. He repeated that more studying is useless as Dawan will end up being a housewife. He told her that a girl cannot fight, argue and make the village a better place to live after studying in the city like him. When his father eventually relented to Dawan, he hid his hurt and sorrow. His teardrops fell on the floorboard but he quickly covered it with is toes.  On the contrary, Dawan listened patiently to him when he talked about his plans and dreams. Dawan told him that she was also confused and scared to go to the city to study. She pleaded with him not to make things difficult for her. Kwai was upset because things would be better for her and he would be lonely and things would change when she came back. Kwai felt ashamed that he caused his sister troubles. He sister was concerned about his health and even gave him her umbrella that she needed to. He was determined that his sister should go to the city to study. He stood on the bridge and sang their morning song with outstretched arm gesturing to hug her and send her off.

The head monk too discriminates against female. He believes in the old ways and customs and does not want to change the order of things in the society. He discrimates Dawan. This is shown in the novel when he did not think that girls need to be educated. He told Dawan that it was unfortunate that Kwai her brother did not win the scholarship. He refused to help Dawan to persuade her father to let her go to the City school. The head monk discouraged her and told her that she can learn everything she wanted in the temple. He talked about religious and life to Dawan. He told Dawan that nothing last in the world. He told her that not to waste time dreaming of useless ambitions because she cannot achieve anything as a mere school girl. The monk told her if it was Kwai her brother then there would be no problem. Dawan was angry at the injustice towards her.  She told the monk that he did not live with the pain of the world outside the temple. He lives in the monastery and everything was provided for him. Dawan told the monk off when he told her not to waster her time dreaming. She angrily retorted that he was unfair and left the temple feeling angry, bitter, hopeless and heart-broken.

A MORE HUMANISTIC APPROACH ...HOPE IT HELPS!

Diskrimanasi terhadap jantina  adalah satu isu yang serius dalam novel ini. Ibu bapa Dawan  berfikir bahawa  adalah membazir dan kerja bodoh untuk membenarkan anak perempuan ke sekolah. Dia diberi peluang untuk menghadiri sekolah hanya kerana Kwai, telah menegaskan bahawa dia mesti dibenarkan untuk belajar bersama-sama dengannya. Dalam komuniti mereka, gadis akan hanya tinggal di rumah dan membantu dengan kerja-kerja rumah dan apabila mereka menginjak dewasa, berkahwin dan mempunyai keluarga mereka sendiri untuk dijaga. Gadis-gadis muda seperti Dawan dinafikan hak-hak asas mereka. Ramai daripada mereka perlu berserah kepada takdir mereka. Namun, Dawan enggan menyerah kalah pada impiannya. Dia tidak mahu  mengikuti adat tradisional yang berat sebelah. Oleh itu, dia memperjuangkan haknya untuk mendapat pendidikan. Terdapat banyak keadaan di mana dia memperjuangkan haknya untuk pendidikan dalam novel ini seperti berhujah dengan bapanya, abangnya, Kwai dan ketua sami.

Diskriminasi terhadap jantina adalah satu perkara biasa di kampung Dawan.  Ibu bapa Dawan hidup dalam keadaan  miskin dan konservatif. Ini terbukti  dalam novel ini apabila bapanya memberi tekanan kepadanya agar dia  melepaskan biasiswa tersebut kepada  Kwai. Bapanya   kecewa apabila Dawan memenangi biasiswa tersebut.  Dia amat berharap Kwai akan belajar di bandar dan membantu beliau dan penduduk kampung. Bapanya  percaya bahawa Dawan tidak boleh berbuat apa-apa dengan pendidikan yang tinggi. Bapanya mempersoalkan dan ingin tahu mengapa Dawan  perlu belajar di peringkat yang lebih tinggi  kerana dia akhirnya akan   menjadi seorang suri rumah sama seperti ibunya. Dawan berani bersemuka  dengan persoalan  bapanya apabila dia memberitahu bahawa dia mahu meneruskan pelajaran di sekolah bandar. Dawan mahu ayahnya berlaku adil dan baik kepadanya sebagai  darah dagingnya. Dia merayu bapanya untuk memberi dia peluang dan percaya kepada  impiannya. Bapanya menyoal Dawan dengan pelbagai persoalan bertubi-tubi dan ini mencabar Dawan. Ini adalah  untuk meyakinkannya  bahawa dia memilih orang yang tepat ke Bandar untuk belajar. Dawan begitu  yakin bahawa dia juga boleh membantu masyarakat di kampung dan mungkin negaranya. Walaupun, ayahnya adalah autokratik, dia mendengar penjelasan Dawan dan akhirnya mengalah dengan   hasrat Dawan dan membenarkan Dawan meneruskan pengajiannya  di Bandar.

Dawan dan  Kwai mempunyai cita-cita yang sama untuk memperbaiki kehidupan di kampung. Malah, kedua-dua mereka berharap untuk memenangi biasiswa yang akan menjadi batu loncatan kepada impian mereka. Namun berlaku diskriminasi kerana dia tidak gembira dan iri hati  apabila Dawan memenangi biasiswa tersebut. Ini jelas  dalam novel ini apabila dia bercakap tentang impian dan keinginan tanpa memikirkan perasaan kakaknya. Dia beranggapan  Dawan tidak sepatutnya pergi ke bandar  untuk belajar. Kwai menuduh kakaknya cuba untuk membuat Noi memihak kepadanya untuk meyakinkan bapa mereka untuk membenarkan dia pergi. Kwai  berasa simpati apabila diberitahu kakaknya bahawa dia masih mempunyai peluang untuk pergi kerana dia adalah yang kedua dalam ujian. Namun Kwai telah  berkata bahawa Dawan tidak mempunyai kualiti kepimpinan untuk membuat perubahan  untuk kampung mereka dan menjadi ketua bagi penduduk kampong mereka. Kwai juga berpendapat   dan mengulangi bahawa  adalah sia-sia untuk Dawan belajar kerana Dawan akan  menjadi seorang suri rumah akhirnya. Dia memberitahunya bahawa seorang wanita tidak boleh berlawan, berhujah dan menjadikan kampung itu tempat yang lebih baik untuk kehidupan mereka selepas belajar di bandar seperti dia. Ketika ayahnya akhirnya mengalah kepada Dawan, dia menyembunyikan luka dan kesedihan. Air matanya jatuh ke lantai  tetapi dia cepat menutupinya dengan jari kaknyai. Sebaliknya, Dawan mendengar dengan sabar apabila dia bercakap tentang rancangan dan impiannya. Dawan memberitahunya bahawa dia juga keliru dan takut untuk pergi ke bandar untuk belajar. Dia memohon kepada Kwai  untuk tidak membuat perkara tersebut menjadi sukar untuk dia. Kwai kecewa kerana ini hanya  akan menjadi lebih baik untuk Dawan tetapi  dia akan menjadi sunyi  di kampong dan keadaan akan berubah apabila Dawan kembali dari bandar. Kwai berasa malu pada dirinya sendiri  kerana dia telah mendatangkan masalah kepada kakaknya. Dia tersentuh bila kakaknya bimbang tentang kesihatannya dan juga memberinya payung yang juga diperlukan kakaknya. Dia  bertekad menyokong kakaknya pergi ke bandar untuk belajar. Dia pada mulanya enggan mengucapkan selamat jalan kepada kakaknya. Dawan menjadi sangat sedih dan kecewa. Namun akhirnya Kwai berdiri di atas jambatan dan menyanyikan lagu pagi mereka dengan tangan yang terdepa sebagai isyarat pelukan dan Dawan tahu Kwai  telah  menerimanya semula.

Ketua sami juga  terlalu mendiskriminasi wanita. Dia hanya  percaya pada  cara lama dan adat dan tidak mahu menukar perkara-perkara biasa dalam masyarakat. Dia tidak adil terhadap Dawan. Ini ditunjukkan dalam novel ini apabila dia beranggapan kanak-kanak perempuan tidak perlu diberi pelajaran. Dia memberitahu Dawan bahawa adalah malang bahawa Kwai  tidak memenangi biasiswa tersebut. Dia enggan membantu Dawan memujuk bapanya untuk membiarkannya  pergi ke sekolah di Bandar. Ketua sami  tidak menggalakan  dan memberitahunya bahawa dia boleh belajar semua perkara  yang dia mahu di kuil. Dia bercakap tentang agama dan kehidupan kepada Dawan. Dia memberitahu Dawan tidak ada yang kekal di dunia. Dia memberitahu Dawan untuk  tidak membuang masa bermimpi dan menyimpan  cita-cita tidak berguna kerana dia tidak boleh mencapai apa-apa memandangkan Dawan hanyalah gadis sekolah semata-mata. Sami itu memberitahunya jika Kwai memenangi biasiswa tersebut  maka tidak akan ada masalah yang timbul. Dawan marah pada ketidakadilan terhadapnya.  Dawan memberitahu sami tersebut bahawa dia tidak tinggal di luar kuil dan mengalami keperitan kehidupan di  dunia  luar  kuil tersebut. Dia tinggal di biara dan segala-galanya tersedia untuknya. Dawan  memberitahu sami tersebut agar jangan campur tangan dalam impiannya apabila dia memberitahu Dawan untuk tidak membuang masanya  bermimpi. Dawan sempat memarahi dan  menyatakan bahawa sami  itu  tidak adil dan meninggalkannya kuil tersebut dengan perasaan marah, geram, putus asa dan patah hati.



DESCRIBE THE IRONICAL SITUATIONS THAT MAKE THE STORY INTERESTING

            The novel Sing to The Dawn by Minfong Ho tells of Dawan, a young village girl who lives in Thailand, wins a scholarship to study in the city school. Her brother, Kwai places second and initially jealous, causing a rift between the two previously close siblings. This hostility is further exacerbated by Dawan’s father, who feels that the city is no place for a female. Dawan faces obstacles and proves to herself and to others that she is fully capable of handling the scholarship and the responsibility it entails. So, the ironical situations that make the story interesting is gender discrimination.
            First and foremost, girls and Dawan are discriminated against and denied the right to education. The men have the primitive thinking that a girl’s place is at home and they are  disallowed  to go to school. Her parents only allow her to go to school after her brother, Kwai, persuaded them. Thus, she is in the same class as Kwai. Later, when Dawan wins the scholarship and tells her father about it, pleading to let her studies, he asks why she should keep studying. He also unfairly compares and favours Kwai ove his daughter. He thinks it is not right for a “mere girl” to go in Kwai’s place to the city. Ruthlessly, he even wants to exercise his power to forbid her from going as more education is wasted on a girl. Dawan never give up on her dreams. She fights for her rights. The arguments with her father and brother make her a determined girl.  After failing many times, eventually, she manages to convince him  to believe in her dreams and gives her a chance.
            Next, gender discrimination is shown by the monk. This is proven when Dawan seeks the monks help with high hopes because he is influential. But he too refuses to persuade her father to let her go because he does not want to change the norms of the society. He disapproves and discourages her from studying in the city by talking about religion and life. Like the other men, he also discriminates and tells her not to waste time dreaming “futile dreams” because she cannot achieve anything as a “mere schoolgirl”. If Kwai had won the scholarship, he wouldn’t face any oppositions from anyone. Dawan is angry and bitter at all these injustices towards her. She speaks out her mind by stating that the monk never suffer like the villagers as they never live a life outside the temple. Their needs are fulfilled by the villagers.
            Lastly, Bao’s brother, bullies and discriminates  girls too. He is selfish and fights Bao to get what he wants. He is indeed violent and has no respect for his sister. Even in public, at the market, he slaps and boxes her when he discovers that she has allowed some customers to set his caged sparrows free without collecting any money from them.

            In conclusion, it is clear that gender discrimination plays an important part in the story to make it interesting. Discrimination against girls and women is intolerable and no one has the right to deny them because they suffer and struggle through life in a male-dominated society. If they are defiant and speak up, the men silence them or are violent towards them. Society and education plays and important role to change the perception of these men as a women is like a tea bag; you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.                           
AISYAH KARMILA AZMI
5 SAINS BESTARI


A MORE HUMANISTIC APPROACH ...HOPE IT HELPS!

Novel Sing to The Dawn oleh Minfong Ho menceritakan tentang  Dawan, seorang gadis kampung muda yang tinggal di Thailand, menangi biasiswa untuk belajar di sekolah bandar. Adiknya, Kwai mendapat tempat  kedua dan  mula cemburu, menyebabkan perselisihan faham di antara kedua-dua adik-beradik yang  sebelum ini mereka sangat rapat. Permusuhan ini diburukkan lagi oleh bapa Dawan, yang merasakan bahawa Bandar raya  bukanlah  tempat untuk perempuan. Dawan menghadapi halangan dalam membuktikan kepada dirinya sendiri dan kepada orang lain bahawa dia  mampu mengendalikan biasiswa tersebut  dan memikul tanggungjawab yang akan datng. Jelaslah, keadaan ironi yang membuat cerita ini menarik ialah diskriminasi gender.

Pertama sekali, kanak-kanak perempuan dan Dawan didiskriminasi dan dinafikan hak untuk pendidikan. Orang-orang kampungnya  mempunyai pemikiran primitif bahawa tempat yang gadis itu adalah di rumah dan mereka tidak dibenarkan untuk pergi ke sekolah. Ibu bapanya hanya membenarkan beliau untuk pergi ke sekolah selepas, Kwai, memujuk mereka. Oleh itu, dia berada dalam kelas yang sama dengan Kwai. Kemudian, apabila Dawan memenangi  biasiswa dan memberitahu bapanya tentang hal itu, bapanya memberi tekanan agar Dawan tidak   meneruskan pengajiannya. Bapanya  bertanya mengapa dia perlu menyimpan impian untuk  belajar. Bapanya  juga tidak adil dan melebihkan  Kwai daripada anak perempuannya. Bapanya berpendapat  tidak tepat untuk seorang "gadis semata-mata" untuk belajar di bandar raya itu. Bapanya bersikap kejam dan dia menjalankan kuasanya untuk melarang Dawan  daripada mendapat  pendidikan yang lebih tinggi kerana ianya adalah sia-sia untuk orang perempuan. Dawan tidak pernah berputus asa dengan impiannya. Dawan  memperjuangkan hak-haknya. Hujah-hujah dengan bapa dan abangnya membuat dia akhirnya  berjaya mendapat kebenaran bapanya untuk bersekolah di Bandar. Selepas beberapa kali gagal, akhirnya, dia berjaya meyakinkan bapanya  untuk mempercayai impiannya dan memberikan dia peluang.

Seterusnya, diskriminasi jantina ditunjukkan oleh ketua sami. Ini terbukti apabila Dawan dengan harapan yang tinggi berjumpa sami tersebut dengan tujuan meminta sami tersebut membantu kerana dia berpengaruh. Tetapi dia juga enggan untuk memujuk bapanya untuk membiarkan dia pergi kerana dia tidak mahu mengubah norma-norma masyarakat mereka. Beliau tidak bersetuju dan tidak menggalakkan dia  belajar di bandar dengan bercakap tentang agama dan kehidupan. Seperti orang lain, dia juga mendiskriminasi dan memberitahu Dawan agar  tidak membuang masa bermimpi "impian sia-sia" kerana dia tidak boleh mencapai apa-apa sebagai "murid perempuan sekolah semata-mata". Jika Kwai telah memenangi biasiswa, dia tidak akan menghadapi apa-apa tentangan daripada sesiapa. Dawan marah dan geram  pada semua ketidakadilan ini. Dia berhujah dengan menyatakan bahawa rahib atau sami tersebut tidak pernah mengalami apa yang  penduduk kampung alami kerana mereka tidak pernah menjalani kehidupan yang getir  di luar kuil. Keperluan mereka juga  dipenuhi oleh penduduk kampung.

Akhir sekali, Bao, si pembuli dan mendiskriminasi kanak-kanak perempuan juga. Bao mementingkan diri sendiri dan sanggup bergaduh  untuk mendapatkan apa yang dia mahu. Beliau bersikap ganas dan tidak menghormati kakaknya. Walaupun di khalayak ramai, di pasar, dia menampar kakaknya apabila dia mendapati  kakaknya  telah membenarkan beberapa pelanggan untuk melepaskan burung layang-layang secara  percuma.


Kesimpulannya, adalah jelas bahawa diskriminasi jantina memainkan peranan penting dalam cerita ini untuk menjadikannya menarik. Diskriminasi terhadap gadis dan wanita tidak boleh diterima dan tidak ada yang mempunyai hak untuk menolak mereka kerana mereka juga menderita dan berjuang melalui kehidupan dalam masyarakat yang didominasi lelaki. Jika mereka ingkar dan bersuara, orang-orang menutup mulut mereka atau melakukan tindakan ganas  ke atas  mereka. Masyarakat memainkan  peranan penting dalam pendidikan  untuk mengubah persepsi orang-orang ini yang menganggap wanita adalah seperti beg teh; anda tidak tahu bagaimana kuat dia sehingga anda meletakkan beg the tersebut di dalam air panas. 

TRIAL 2016 (JOHOR):
“A BRAVE MAN IS NOT HE WHO DOESN’T FEEL AFRAID BUT HE WHO CONQUERS THAT FEAR” WITH CLOSE REFERENCE TO THE TEXT, DESCRIBE HOW THIS IS POTRAYED BY ONE OF THE CHARACTER AND EXPLAIN HOW THIS QUALITY WOULD BENEFIT YOU.

Sing to the Dawn by Ming Fong Ho is the novel I learnt. The story is about a young Thai girl called Dawan who wins a scholarship to study in a city school. She faces the disapproval of her father who thinks that studying is not for girls and she should give the scholarship to her brother as he is second in the test. Dawan tries many ways to convince her father to let her pursue her studies. I believe that a brave man is not he who doesn’t feel afraid but he who conquers that fear. One of the character who potrayed this is Dawan. The arguments with her father, her brother Kwai and the head monk prove that Dawan doesn’t feel afraid but conquers her fear.

Firstly, Dawan is not afraid when she  tries to convince her father that he should give her a chance to study. When she approaches her father she keeps on failing but she never gives up. She  continues to do so and succeed in her mission. This is shown in the novel when  she mustered  courage and spoke up bravely to  seek justice from her father. She is feared because her father has the primitive thinking that a girl’s place is in the home and they do not to go to school. He treated his flesh and blood unfairly as he favoured Kwai over Dawan. He told Dawan that more education for a girl will be wasted. Bravely Dawan  told her father that the scholarship is rightfully hers. She aspired to study and find a new system to help the villagers as well. She pleaded and convinced him to believe in her dreams and to give her the chance. She failed many times. Eventually, she managed to convince her father. He relented and let her went to the  City School. It is clearly shown that Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince her father that he should give her a chance to study in the city.

Secondly, Dawan is not afraid when she argues with her brother, Kwai. After the teacher announces the she wins the scholarship, she knows that her brother is angry and unhappy. This is shown in the novel when Kwai demanded to know  why she should pursue her studies as she will end up being a housewife.  He belittled her by saying that she has no leadership quality to make changes and lead the villagers like him. Kwai pushed her and she had a bad cut on her ankle when they argued at the market.  Dawan displayed her braveness after the fight at the market. She talked to her brother because she feared the differences between them to widen. She told her brother him that she wished that both of them could go to the City School. She pleaded that it was her last chance and Kwai still has many chances to apply and go later. She told him that she felt scared about going to the city and pleaded to him not to make it more difficult on her. She was concerned and worried about his health during a heavy downpour at the bridge. She scarificed her comfort for him by giving him the umbrella that she needed too.  She did not want her brother to regret and thought that she forced him later. Kwai realised that her sister was fair to him. Kwai was determined to let her sister go the City as he was very sure about what he wanted. It is as clear as day that Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince her brother  that he should give her a chance to study in the city.
Lastly, Dawan is not afraid when she argues with the old monk. The head monk discriminates against female. He believes in the old ways and customs and does not want to change the order of things in the society. This is shown in the novel when he did not think that girls need to be educated. He told Dawan that it was unfortunate that Kwai her brother did not win the scholarship. He refused to help Dawan to persuade her father to let her go to the City school. The head monk discouraged her and told her that she can learn everything she wanted in the temple. He talked about religious and life to Dawan. He told Dawan that nothing last in the world. He told her that not to waste time dreaming of useless ambitions because she cannot achieve anything as a mere school girl. The monk told her if it was Kwai her brother then there would be no problem. Dawan was angry at the injustice towards her.  She bravely  told the monk that he did not live with the pain of the world outside the temple. He lives in the monastery and everything was provided for him. Dawan told the monk off when he told her not to waster her time dreaming. She bravely retorted that he was unfair and left the temple feeling angry, bitter, hopeless and heart-broken. It is clearly shown that   Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince the monk   that she  should be given her a chance to study in the city.
In conclusion, the arguments with her father, her brother Kwai and the head monk prove that Dawan doesn’t feel afraid but conquers her fear.  Dawan is a brave person. I learnt to be brave from this character. I learn to argue with patience and maturity in any occasion. I learn to forgive and forget. I shall fight for my rights and make my dreams come true.

Writing response without tears:

Thesis statement: The arguments with her father, her brother Kwai and the head monk prove that Dawan doesn’t feel afraid but conquers her fear.

Tpoic sentence : Firstly, Dawan is not afraid when she  tries to convince her father that he should give her a chance to study.

Concluding sentence: It is clearly shown that Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince her father that he should give her a chance to study in the city.

Topic sentence: Secondly, Dawan is not afraid when she argues with her brother, Kwai.

Concluding sentence: It is as clear as day that Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince her brother  that he should give her a chance to study in the city.

Topic sentence: Lastly, Dawan is not afraid when she argues with the old monk.
Concluding sentence: It is clearly shown that   Dawan conquers her fear when she tries to convince the monk   that she  should be given her a chance to study in the city.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the arguments with her father, her brother Kwai and the head monk prove that Dawan doesn’t feel afraid but conquers her fear.  


Useful phrase in giving evidence: This is shown in the novel when…(WRITE OUT YOUR EVIDENCES)


SPM 2008 - Using the detail from the novel that you studied, Describe what happened at the end of the novel. Explain why you find the ending either happy or sad. Support your answer with close reference to the text.

      Sing to the Dawn by Ming Fong Ho is the novel I learnt. The story is about a young Thai girl called Dawan who wins a scholarship to study in a city school. She faces the disapproval of her father who thinks that studying is not for girls and she should give the scholarship to her brother as he is second in the test. Dawan tries many ways to convince her father to let her pursue her studies. The story ends with a happy note with Dawan sitting on the bus going to the city and the beginning of social attitudes changes on gender discrimination in the village and her family.

      Firstly, the change in the social attitude is seen when the villagers gathered around Dawan’s house to say good bye to her. Dawan was tremendously touched with the farewell her grandmother gave to her. This is shown in the novel when grandmother showed tremendous heroin spirit just like Dawan herself. Grandmother taught Dawan an important lesson that she must go to the City School because only then she could realise her potential and live her life to the fullest. Just like a lotus bud, with proper sunlight and good water it will unfold. Even when Dawan was unsure whether she should have the change, the grandmother assured her that there is a beautiful pattern to all this change. Of course Dawan will change. She will have to change to survive in a city world but even then she could still come back to her hometown to be the girl she used to be. She will never behave the same way, but that is the way of life. It is clearly seen that the change is beginning to take place in the village societal values and attitudes, but equal rights must be enforced by laws because individual members of societies will never all think the same.
      Secondly, the change in the social attitude is seen in her family  when her brother  says good bye to her. Dawan was disappointed that Kwai would not come and send her off. This is shown in the novel when her bother sat on the bridge, refusing to send Dawan off on her departure date. The close bond between them further conveys a sense of sadness as the reader knows that these they would not see each other for long time. He was not complaining to Dawan or trying to not let her go, but he was scared, scared of the loneliness, scared of the distance between his sister and himself. Kwai had to face a separation from his sister who used to be his best friend. He did not know how long this separation is going to last. He was simply unprepared. He was scared that they could not ever sit on the bridge and watched the dawn like they used to anymore. As her bus was running fast to leave the village, she saw Kwai standing on the bridge, stretching both arms 'in a gesture meant both to embrace her and to send her off'. He cared for her. Kwai sang the song that they sang every dawn. Then, she sang together with Kwai until she cannot see Kwai anymore. Next, she looked at the lotus flower her grandmother gave her to convince her to go. As she saw it unfolded, she became more convinced that her grandmother was right; she should go to the city, like the lotus unfolding. It is as clear as day that the change is beginning to take place in her family values and attitudes. 


      I am really touched with the ending. The story has highlighted the problem of gender inequality in the village. The phenomenon of leaving the village to enter cities is addressed. Education in a city will change many people's life from bad to good. The life-changing event has affected the mind-set and of Dawan's family members and the villagers.  Maybe this will change her own individual family or the society attitudes. Dawan’s youthful passion of changing the lives of the people in her village begin to unfold as she notices the lotus bud begins to bloom. 

MRSM: SUGGEST ONE CHARACTER IN THE NOVEL THAT YOU HAVE READ WHO YOU THINK HAS ADMIRABLE QUALITIES. DESCRIBE THE CHARACTER AND GIVE REASONS FOR YOUR CHOICE WITH CLOSE REFERENCE TO THE TEXT.
Sing to the Dawn by Ming Fong Ho is the novel I learnt. The story is about a young Thai girl called Dawan who wins a scholarship to study in a city school. She faces the disapproval of her father who thinks that studying is not for girls and she should give the scholarship to her brother as he is second in the test. Dawan tries many ways to convince her father to let her pursue her studies. Dawan has many admirable qualities such as determination and loving and caring.
First of all, Dawan is a determined girl. Her parents think that it is wasteful and foolish for girls to attend school. She is given the chance to attend school only because her brother Kwai had insisted that she be allowed to study along with him. In her community, girls are expected to stay at home and help with the housework and when they are older, get married and have a family of their own to take care of. Young girls such as Dawan are deprived of their basic rights. Many of them have to resign to their fate. Dawan, being a determined girl refused to give up on her dreams. She refused to follow such traditional biased custom. Hence, she fought for her right for education.  There were many situations where determinedly fought for her right for education in the novel such as the arguments with her Father. This is shown in the novel when her father pressured her to give up the scholarship to Kwai. He was disappointed when Dawan won the scholarship. He had hoped that Kwai would study in the city and help him and the villagers. He believed that she cannot do anything by studying more. He demanded to know why she should study more as she will end up to be a housewife just like her mother. Dawan determinedly met with the disapproval of his father when she told him that she wanted to pursue her studies in the city school. Dawan wanted her father to be fair and kind to her as his flesh and blood. She pleaded with her father to give her a chance and believe in her dreams. Her father asked her probing and challenging questions to be convinced that he is sending the right person to the City to study. She convinced him that she too can help the people in the village and perhaps her country. Although, her father is autocratic, seeing her determination, he listened to her explanation and finally gave in to Dawan wishes and let her study in the City. As we can clearly see now Dawan is a determined girl as she refuses to give up on her dreams and fights for her rights.
Dawan is also a loving and caring sister. Dawan and her brother Kwai have similar ambitious plans to improve life in the village. In fact, both of them hope to win the scholarship which will be a stepping stone to their dreams. He discriminates her as he was not happy that Dawan won the scholarship. This is shown in the novel when he talked about his dreams and desires without thinking of her sister feelings. He assumed that Dawan did not want to go to the City to study. Kwai accused her sister of trying to get Noi on her sides to convince their father to let her go. He was unsympathetic when told her sister that he still had the chance to go as he was second in the test. He also said that she has no leadership qualities to make changes and in the village and lead the villagers. He repeated that more studying is useless as Dawan will end up being a housewife. He told her that a girl cannot fight, argue and make the village a better place to live after studying in the city like him. When his father eventually relented to Dawan, he hid his hurt and sorrow. His teardrops fell on the floorboard but he quickly covered it with is toes.  On the contrary, Dawan being a loving and caring sister listened patiently to him when he talked about his plans and dreams. Dawan told him kindly that  she was also confused and scared to go to the city to study. She pleaded with him not to make things difficult for her. She told him kindly that he will have other chances to pursue his studies in the city unlike her. She forgave Kwai and forgets the incident in the market place where she cut her ankle again a sharp wooden splinter as she loved him. Kwai felt ashamed that he caused his sister troubles. Kwai was upset because things would be better for her and he would be lonely and things would change when she came back. He sister was kind, loving and caring and concerned about his health and even gave him her umbrella that she needed to. He was determined that his sister should go to the city to study. He stood on the bridge and sang their morning song with outstretched arm gesturing to hug her and send her off. It is as clear as day that Dawan is a loving and caring sister.

In conclusion, Dawan has many admirable qualities such as determination and loving and caring.  Her determination pays off when her father relents to her dreams to pursue her studies in the city. She loves Kwai dearly. Kwai was deeply touched by her sister’s loves. He tells his father that he has no right to forbid Dawan from studying in the city school. He defies his father and insists that he will not go if he does not Dawan go, so Takchit, who is third will go instead. It is undeniable that being determined and loving and caring are important when one faces challenges and difficulties in life. We should never give up on our dreams.





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