Neighbourliness Starts with Small Gestures

November 12, 2019 2 min read

Neighbourliness Starts with Small Gestures

Neighbourliness to me is to be compassionate and friendly towards your neighbours. It can be the smallest thing such as holding the lift for your neighbour as they enter or leave the lift, greeting with a smile on their face. In this modern day where the world is moving on a fast pace and everyone is occupied with their work, school and many other things, it is hard to interact with one another. That is why a small gesture could mean everything, e.g. holding the lift for a neighbour who is in a rush, and allowing them to enter first which will make a difference to their day. For me, these small gestures are neighbourliness to me.

Gotong Royong is a phrase originated from Indonesia which means “cooperation in a community” or “communal helping of one another”, but the closet interpretation is perhaps “mutual aid”. Gotong royong involves the spirit of volunteerism, and working together for the benefits of the residents living in the same community. It promotes a selfless approach that provides beneficial to the building up of cultural identity among the people. In the area where I live, we would hold communal functions under the block, and all the neighbours will bring a dish to contribute to the celebration.

When I was young, I was close to the neighbours who used to live a few floors above us. When my parents were away at work, these neighbours would welcome me to their house to play with their children as I was afraid to be at home by myself. Their neighbourly warm gestures were among the happiest memories that I have while growing up. The sense of warmth and security that it gave, knowing that there are neighbours who cares and look out for my well-being.



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