Photo credit: Wikipedia
Most people would have heard a version of this story before.
A man and a boy were strolling along a beach. There were many starfish stranded helpless on the sand, washed up by the waves. The man picked up a starfish and threw it back into the sea. The boy asked curiously, "Why did you do that? There are too many starfish. You can't help them all. What difference can one starfish make? "
"Well..." the man replied, and as he threw another starfish back into the sea said, "It made all the difference for that one".
Like starfish, there are many street hawkers in the world. Everyday, day or night, rain or shine, street hawkers serve delicious food to people at affordable prices.
Many people depend on street hawkers for their daily meals.
Often street hawkers are also the guardians of our heritage food culture.
Many of our street hawkers have been plying their trade, braving the elements for over 20 years. It is not uncommon to meet hawkers with over 50 years under their belt.
But more often than not, their story remains untold. Their customers do not extend beyond their immediate neighbourhood. Often, for all their hard work, they live a hand to mouth existence.
While the aging hawkers and their food have not changed that much, the world around them has transformed - often in bewildering, incomprehensible ways to them.
One of them is the advent of social media like blogs and Facebook.
Photo credit: Peter Chong
I thought about what I could do for our hawkers and realised that with social media everyone can become like the man who threw starfish back into the sea.
With social media we can help make the story of our hawkers known to a wider audience, global audience even.
Social media platforms cost (close to) nothing to use. It just needs a decision and the commitment to put ideas into action.
One hawker at a time, I intend to put them on the World Wide Web.
In Johor, many hawkers told me that being featured on Johor Kaki blog made a huge difference to their livelihood. They appreciate the recognition and they are seeing new customers from beyond their neighbourhood.
I want to continue my journey to anywhere in the world where there are street hawkers. I want to come and stay a while and share their story and their food with the world.
I also hope more people will join the man who picks starfish up from the sand and flings them into the sea of World Wide Web.
Johor Kaki's mission is to "Put Every Good Hawker on the World Web" one hawker at a time.
It's hard work no doubt but I assure you that it is extremely satisfying.
I need support.
Won't you come along with us?
Contact me at johorkaki
Driven by Passion. Powered by your Support. Keep Johor Kaki blogging.
13 Jan 2014