Well, this weekend has certainly been illuminating, to say the least. I was down for an LP yesterday at Woodlands Bazaar (the heat and humidity almost killed me. I gulped 3 cups of water when it was iftar) seeking people’s feedback on the EP.
One of the questions was about having a woman candidate. I thought Singapore has progressed a lot on this front, and while the majority of people I approached were, it was startling to find some people still having very conservative views. One of them even justified that only males are capable to “lead” the country because Singapore has the lion as an icon. And that lions are males only. I mean – wow. I didn’t know how to respond to that but I just had to “plasticly” smile and nod like I agree with his view. I felt a bit of myself dying away cries. I mean this isn’t even for the PM position which is the real leader of the country. I almost wanted to shake the guy even though he’s a head taller than me.
Fast-forward to today where I watched Hidden Figures. This is part of my new weekly project – to watch at least a movie per weekend. Last week, I started with Me Before You (which made me cry my eyes out). Anyway, Hidden Figures was really good. It never really dawned on me how bad the segregation of blacks and whites were till I’ve watched the movie. I mean having separate bathrooms and coffee pots?? With the hindsight that we have now, it does look very, very ridiculous. I wonder what would look ridiculous 10 or 20 years down the road.
I just can’t believe it. How is this reality? How did humanity get to this point? HOW DID THE ORANGE MAN WIN THE KEYS TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
This post will mostly be a ramble of words cos my mind still has not fully wrapped itself around the idea of a Trump presidency. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.
It’s scary to think that a nation voted for one of the most slimiest person alive to become their president. He’s not a good citizen or a person and now he’s president of one of the powerful states in the world? Was this how Hitler came into power?
I feel so sorry for all minorities living in the US. They must feel so scared and uncertain of the future in their own country. Heck, I feel scared and I’m several timezones away. Sure, Clinton had her share of scandals but couldn’t the Americans see that she was the lesser of two evils? Plus, she’s QUALIFIED for the job. Oh my goodness. I can’t comprehend the stupidity.
This is truly the darkest timeline.
Came across this in my Youtube subscriptions page today and I’m very impressed on how informative it is! It’s only an 8 min video so obviously they can’t fit the whole messy and complicated issue within that time frame but I feel like they did a really good job on explaining the situation since the end of WWII. I’ve always been fascinated with the topic but I didn’t know where to start or which sources to refer to (bias tends to prevail with such a contested subject at hand).
I’m looking forward to the other videos in the series. Give Vox a follow if you haven’t – they create great content.
Also, I love this. Sharing of articles/videos/current affairs topics. I might do it regularly if the urge to share hits me.
I woke up this morning at 9 to watch Joseph Schooling swim in the 100m Butterfly Finals at the Rio Olympics (link here, for copyright reasons). This was already a momentous moment since it’s the first time that a Singaporean or a Southeast Asian earned their place in an Olympic swimming final.
And it was such a great race! Schooling was leading from the get-go and maintained his position throughout the race. WE WON GOLD. We, a nation, that haven’t won any gold medals before in our 51 years as an independent nation. It was such a great feeling.
It’s funny how international events like these make us feel so patriotic and proud to be citizens of a country. I teared up during the Medal Ceremony; hearing Majulah Singapura for the first time in the Summer Olympics. My Facebook feed is full of posts congratulating Schooling and #TeamSG on this great win.
Some cynics might be like oh you weren’t there from the start why are you congratulating him now and I just think that’s the wrong way to go about it here. Why is it wrong to congratulate someone on their win and feel so happy for them and the country at large? I believe these instances of patriotism are good for everyone. Schooling managed to unite the whole country with his win – no matter how long this may last. For a moment, we took our minds off our personal problems and just celebrated as a nation. Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t it be encouraged?
Schooling’s win is already inspiring other young Singaporeans to take up the sport, or any other sport, as it shows that even if you don’t have the height or build of other international athletes, if you put in the effort and believe in your dreams (no matter how cheesy that sounds cos it’s true), you can achieve great things.
Congrats Schooling. Enjoy today; it’s yours.
Recently, I can’t go on Facebook without seeing posts or be asked in real life by family and friends about the whole sexualised/risque nature of NUS uni camps. (For more info: see here).
Now, while I don’t agree with the blanket ban on all orientation activities – I think it sets a dangerous precedent but hey this is Singapore – I find it troubling to see numerous posts on Facebook from acquaintances defending these camps to the core. You would think it was their religion or something when you read some of them. I know standing up for your beliefs is important and all but guys, pick your battles. Life is too short to be arguing constantly. Most of these posts are saying oh these things didn’t happen in MY camp in which I was part of the ExCo so of course it doesn’t happen in the whole of NUS (which consists of numerous departments and faculties). Just because it didn’t happen in your camp doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen at all. This all feels eerily similar to victim-blaming of those that were sexually assaulted or harassed tbh. It’s not helping to solve the problem of sexualised forfeits in camps.
While the camps that I attended freshman year were not as horrible as those mentioned in the media or those that I heard stories of from my friends, I remember having a cultural shock when OGLs brief us the games and the possible forfeits that we have to go through. Even the most memorable and enjoyable one – Tembusu Orientation Camp – was not spared. There was a game where teams have to go through an obstacle course made of ropes where it inevitably ended in members being transported from one point to another by other members – basically strangers met just hours ago – and having no control over where they’re being touched. I was so nervous once I saw what I had to go through but I just kept quiet and braced myself. Looking back, I know I should have spoken up and said I was not comfortable but I guess I just wanted to fit in. Everything was so new to me back then and so different. There was also a Blind Date night game where everyone is blindfolded and the OGLs match us up and bring us to different parts of UTown. Thankfully, I was paired with someone nice (in fact, someone I was crushing on) but still.
Overseas readers might think, ah this sounds very tame actually, but you have to understand that Singapore is pretty conservative. Being brought up in such an environment, I consider myself pretty conservative as well. We didn’t have such games throughout our entire 18 years of education so seeing all these games once we entered uni, I can understand why many freshmen and parents were shocked.
Another thing I’d like to add before ending my response is that many posts I’ve seen have said how orientation camps were how they forged friendships. While that is true, the way they say it seems to imply that these camps are the only way to make friends in uni. That once school starts, it’s oops you missed your chance be a loner the next 4 years. That is just preposterous. Only 350+ FASS students out of an assumed 1000 attend such camps each year. Does that mean the majority of students go on their uni life without making friends? Please. Camps may be the stepping stone to creating friendships but taking similar classes and going through the struggle of studying and earning that degree is also another great way to make friends. In fact, most of my uni friendships were made with people I wasn’t close to/hadn’t met in camps. So please, stop the exaggeration. I know you’re upset with the blanket ban (and rightfully so) but do not make the situation worse with dramatic statements. It doesn’t help your cause nor the university’s.
The Brussels attacks were yesterday. It was very scary to see as it all unfold. Ironically, I was in my EU Foreign Policy class as it happened. ISIS has claimed credit for the event, in retaliation for the arrest of Saleh Abdesalam a couple of days ago. 30 people have died and several hundreds are injured. It is a tragic event, no doubt about that.
But what I can’t wrap my head around is the media coverage over it all. How the media is so biased towards Western/white countries. It happened in the Paris attacks, it’s happening again now. Literally days before Brussels, Turkey was also rocked by a series of explosions in its biggest cities – Ankara and Istanbul. But mainstream media barely covered it. No Instagram/insert-your-social-media posts offering solidarity and support. I think out of all the celebrities I follow on IG, only Mesut Ozil (the Arsenal footballer) posted something about it. And that’s because he is of Turkish descent (I’m not sure if he’s actually Turkish but I don’t think so).
I’m not saying that Turkey bears a heavier woe than Brussels. Both events are very tragic and shouldn’t have happened. It’s just that it’s very saddening and disappointing to see that even in the age of globalised networks and social media where news spreads quickly, we still see very apparent media bias.
I’m not sure what I can do to remove or alleviate this. I am, after all, just a single individual. But I felt like I had to write about this. It’s not just Western countries that’s being attacked for being unIslamic. Going by that logic, Turkey shouldn’t have been attacked at all. These extremists are clearly not Muslims as they are not following Islam – a religion that literally means peace. Media coverage is thus very important to remove any stereotype anyone might have about Islam. It goes a long way. And I hope that by writing this post, it’ll at least be one step in doing so.