9 Aug 2017

Ramblings on a 9th of August

Wow am I bad at keeping committed to this blog. Frankly it seems this kind of "long blogging" has made way for micro blogging/vlogging. So many people using Snapchat/Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr for fast bursts of musing nowadays. I still kinda like just sitting down, pouring more thought into a post. Sure I have Twitter and Instagram, but those aren't built for penning down longer strings of thoughts.

So. Quite a bit of crazy stuff happened between now and the last post. Too much to mention. Personally though I think I have a somewhat clearer direction in terms of what to pursue for the next few semesters. Oh also that collaboration I was involved in with NUS Synergy was really something special. But I've already talked about that elsewhere online.

For now I kinda just wanna talk about another kind of commitment. A commitment to Singapore.

Touchy subject, innit? But seemed appropriate given all the hype around National Day celebrations, and the whole hoopla around Lee shenanigans and presidency problems. Those aren't the main points though, and I steer pretty far away from politics whenever possible. Anyway all this kinda brought up some reflective mood of sorts. And this blog seems the proper avenue for personal reflection.

First thing to get out of the way: not a fan of pledging allegiance, especially not unconditionally. If I played Pokemon Go I wouldn't join any of the teams. So of course me reciting the pledge and singing the national anthem are really just rituals to me, rather than reinforcements of national pride. I tend to sympathize with the solo adventurer, honestly, not being tied down by coerced loyalty to your faction, instead being free to experience the world beyond boundaries. Not that I could actually do that any time soon, but I do feel the need to enrich myself as much as I can with my experiences and interactions with the world. And along the way I could give back to the world and humanity as a whole. Basically I feel more like a citizen of Earth than a citizen of Singapore.

This urge to discover what the world has to offer does include uncovering what Singapore has though. Cutting away the usual NE fluff, Singapore has interesting cultural makeup due to special circumstances. We do have the potential to expand upon our culture, but a lot of times the efforts devolve to showcases of "four ethnic groups", which is quite sweeping. Or they end up involving a lot of awkward shoehorning of current local trends and lingo. So a part of me wants to look for more intimate cultural "pockets" and unearth them to the public, at least to reveal more facets of Singapore's image than the templates show. Even if the facets aren't too pretty. Actually it might be better if they weren't pretty, because that brings more attention to otherwise overlooked societal issues.

What about physically staying in Singapore? This one's a mixed bag. On one hand I like the physical convenience, everywhere being reachable within a few hours. Physical security's a plus too. Food variety's a big bonus. On the other hand, I understand when people who've emigrated complained about getting away from the crowd. And several aspects of living costs are iffy. Plus some great job opportunities may only come about from moving abroad. And this is just a fragment of the long list of pros and cons I constantly hold in my head. So I kinda want to find a way to remedy some of the flaws that might be within my capability, but I also kinda want to find possible alternative places to stay for if the shortcomings become overwhelming. Not sure if the two options are necessarily mutually exclusive.

Ah well. Point is I want to see Singapore reap more success, not just economically but across several domains (especially culture), but not at the expense of giving up the opportunity to seek out enriching experiences. And I think quite a number of other Singaporeans feel that way too?

I really should unload my thoughts here more often.