“Flying with SQ gives you huge exposure to different cultures,” Karin Choo explains. “It’s great that we get to interact with passengers, I always want to learn more.”
Indeed, a specific interest in arts and culture has been something she has been able to pursue during the nine years Karin has been flying with SIA. That’s especially true on her regular trips to New York when she was an operating crew of the A340-500 aircraft.
One of her favourite spots to frequent in the Big Apple is the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). “After a busy flight, I prefer to have some ‘me time’ and the museum gives me the space for that,” says the 31-year-old. “It provides a place of respite – filling my mind with art, and learning how people are translating and sharing their thoughts through this avenue.”
That open mindset clearly placed her in good stead for her Discover Singapore journey, which saw her travelling around Singapore with fellow cabin crew Haikal Tan and award-winning playwright Haresh Sharma to meet people from the different creative fields of music, art and theatre. Along the way she took part in improv routines, art workshops and sound recording sessions. She also got to put together her own performance at the end of the experience.
“Breaking down the senses in this journey really helped me be more sensitive towards the needs of others and better predict their needs,” says Karin of the workshops she took part in. Karin adds that she also saw a different side to the island. “It really surprised me that there were so many independent art centres and all these inspiring independent artists in Singapore,” she admits.
Karin is also part of a group of cabin crew members that represents SIA at different events. She loves how this gives her a chance to interact with colleagues working on the ground and helps her develop a deeper insight into other departments operate and their areas of expertise.
She points to an assignment trip to Cape Town as a great example of this. “I didn’t know the city very well, but the company of local SIA colleagues helped ease me into the culture and acquainted me with the new environment.”
It’s also clearly a great source of pride to Karin that she gets to be an ambassador for the brand, and to don the famous sarong kebaya.
“For me it symbolises Singapore. Even when I am thousands of miles from home, my uniform identifies me with my home country and becomes a constant reminder of my representation of her,” she says, smiling broadly.
Click here to watch the video which follows playwright Haresh Sharma, as well as cabin crew members Haikal and Karin, as they journey around Singapore discovering the island’s art and culture scene.
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