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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

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The search for a resolution to the perennial problem of children's lack of interest in their mother tongue languges is a continuous process. Hear from our speakers how they have strategised to tackle the problem through the various initiatives they have set up, such as the building of a collection of poetry relatable to children and the creation of new books that utilise digital elements.

Reading for Children and Youths Storytelling Across Digital Mediums

Darran Kuah

Darran Kuah (Singapore)

Darran has always had the love for drawing and he spent his free time busy doodling and reading comics. Darran set up Chips and Toon in 2007 and the team created their first original content Stoneboy and it was acquired by Nickelodeon Asia in 2011. In 2015 Darran produced SharkDog a new animation series and it was acquired by the Nickelodeon U.S. and subsequently by Netflix in 2020. Darran is currently developing his new project, Fox Tales, an original content that focus on Asian culture and mythology.

Mohini Gupta

Mohini Gupta (India/UK)

Mohini is a DPhil candidate at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She was selected as the Charles Wallace India Trust Translator-Writer Fellow in 2017 for creative writing and translation. An alumna of SOAS University of London, she has been a Research Fellow at Sarai, CSDS; and a translator-in-residence at the Sangam House international writers’ residency in Bangalore. She has founded the digital collective 'Mother Tongue Twisters' and writes for publications such as Huffington Post, The Caravan Magazine,, and the WorldKidLit Blog. Her English-Hindi translations have been published by Tulika Publishers.

Razmiah Banu Yacob

Razmiah Banu Yacob (Singapore)

ரஸ்மியா பானு செல்லமே புத்தகங்களின் இணை நிறுவனர் ஆவார். அவர் தாயானபோது, தமிழ் மொழியின் மீதான ஆர்வம் மலர்ந்தது. தன் குழந்தைகளும் அவர்களின் தாய்மொழியான தமிழின் மீது ஆர்வமும் பெருமையும் கொண்டிருக்க வேண்டும் என்று அவர் விரும்பினார். தனது நெருங்கியத்  தோழியான உஷாவுடன் சேர்ந்து,  சிறு பிள்ளைகளைக் கவரும் வகையில் அமைந்திருக்கும்  நல்ல தரமான தமிழ் புத்தகங்களைத் தயாரித்து உலகெங்கிலும் உள்ள தமிழ் குடும்பங்களுக்கும் கொண்டு சேர்க்க வேண்டும் என்ற குறிக்கோளுடன் தற்போது ஈடுபட்டுள்ளார். தனது முழு நேர பணியில், ரஸ்மியா ஒரு தகவல் தொடர்பு நிபுணராக கடந்த 7+ வருடங்களாகப் பணிபுரிகிறார்.

Razmiah is the co-founder of Chellamey Books. As a full-time working mum, venturing into the realm of children’s book publishing in her spare time was an unexpected but fulfilling career shift. Her interest in the Tamil language bloomed when she became a mother. Understanding the importance of raising her children to be kind, confident and proud of their mother tongue, she developed her passion, together with her best friend Usha, to bring good quality, interactive Tamil books to her own children and to Tamil families worldwide. Razmiah is also a communications professional with seven years’ experience in both private and public sector industries.

Shahida Sarhid

Shahida Sarhid (Singapore)

Shahida is a correspondent at Berita Harian. She started off as a lifestyle reporter and was concurrently the editor of Berita Harian’s student publication - i3 (pronounced I-Cube) / GenG (pronounced Gen G). Engaging the young continues to be her passion, and till today, she actively participates in Learning Journey and School Visits to get students excited about journalism and the Malay language. She is currently the co-producer and presenter of BH’s podcast, #NoTapis, and fronts many of BH’s online programmes including its discussions on current issues as well as the newspaper’s Sunday morning infotainment programme - The BM Show.

Usha Kumaran

Usha Kumaran (Singapore)

செல்லமே புத்தகங்களின் இணை நிறுவனரான உஷா குமரன் ஒரு முழு நேர கட்டிட பொறியாளராவார். மாணவராக இருந்த போது எழுத்து தமிழில் தேர்ச்சி அடைந்திருந்தாலும் பேச்சு தமிழ் இயல்பாக வரவில்லையே என்ற வருத்தம் அவளுக்கு இருந்தது. தாயான பின்பு தங்களின் பிள்ளைகளுக்கு தமிழ் இயல்பாக வரவேண்டும் என்ற ஒரே நோக்கம் தான் உஷாவுக்கும் ரஸ்மியாவுக்கும் செல்லமே புத்தகங்கள் என்ற முயற்சியில் ஈடுபடுவதற்கு அடிப்படையாக இருந்ததது. சிறு  பிள்ளைகளின் இலக்கிய சூழலில் போதுமான தொட்டுணரக்கூடிய அம்சங்களை கொண்ட தமிழ் புத்தகங்கள் இல்லை என்பதும் அவர்களுக்கு கூடிய ஊக்கமாக அமைந்தது.

Usha, co-founder of Chellamey Books, is also a full-time practicing engineer. Having been a good Tamil student whose oral skills in the language were always sub-par, becoming a mother made her very determined to ensure that Tamil was as much lingua franca in her household as English was. This inspiration that she shared with her best friend Razmiah led them to the idea of Chellamey books as they felt that there was insufficient quality material in Tamil for young children such as theirs.

Zubaidah Mohsen

Moderator Zubaidah Mohsen (Singapore)

Zubaidah’s career spans three decades of librarianship, managerial roles, and leading projects; heading the first RFID library, setting up the Children’s Services, seeding the Early READ programme and focusing on the professional development of Librarians and Job Redesign project for Library Officers. Zubaidah holds Master of Science Degrees in Information Studies and in Early Childhood Education. Presently Zubaidah oversees the Malay Language Services, responsible for the overall strategic directions and implementation of quality nationwide reading programmes for the Malay Language. Her team works on the development of the Malay physical and digital library collections in the public library network.

All programme dates and times are subject to change and existing COVID measures.

* : Pre-registration is required for in-person events. Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.