Saturday, July 22, 2006

More poems - has a barrier been broken?

More bad poety,

inspired by Spawnius Croakius' posting on "Narrow minded Singaporeans"
with additional verses.
'tis a paradox,
when we accept all as equal in our philosophy of laws,
but choose to limit,
or deny, through those laws,
the equality of all.

'tis a hypocrisy,
when we profess love for all things homo sapiens,
but practice, indifference for people not like us.

'tis a necessity,
for a society's evolution,
to consider and accept,
all things homo sapiens as
family, in the pursuit of
individual happiness.

'tis time not, for Singaporeans,
to stay, frogs in their well.
and wait, for the well's owner
to decide on improvements to
their society.

'tis time, to wake up, and
accept, truly, our fellow Singaporeans
as family.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Hamster evolution....

Found on mollymeek that inspired a poem as an answer to what our representatives see their constituents as:

Good analysis. Ah well, the MIW have always stuck to the divide and rule axiom. What do the MIW think Singaporeans are? Chattel?

(Reply to this) (Thread)

What does Singapore Inc see its inhabitants as? Hamsters!
2006-07-21 04:45 pm UTC (link)

Run. Run. Run faster. Keep the wheels turning.
Run. Run. Run smarter. Use your brain and make every step most efficient.
Run. Run. Run without rest. Produce, and you will enjoy at 55.
Run. Run. Run with more zest. 55 has moved on to 65. Your time will come.
Run. Run. Run no more. Pasture awaits, in lands across water.

The hamster is awakening...


options abound...


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Letterbox Activism

Driving through the English countryside, I noticed signs promoting political positions.

"Say NO to European Union"
('nuff said, The brits are euro-skeptics afterall)

"Say No to park n ride"
(residents do not want the added traffic jams that come as a result of increased traffic due to a 'park the car and ride the train' scheme being proposed.)

Do we in Singapore ever say NO to anything? Or is our default mode "yes unless you say no" (also known as "opt-out")

Do Singaporeans express their opinions? verbally-very often. Visually in print? maybe in inane bumper stickers. Apartment living means that even if you did have a sign outside your window, nobody can read it! (its too high!).

But there is a solution. The letterbox bank! Every apartment block has a letterbox bank. If you disagree with building management decision, you could put your message up on the letter box, and the whole building will know about it!

Imagine, true politics of organizing around common purposes in Singapore, starting from the humble letterbox bank. Put up stickers, state your opinion, all through the letterbox.

What a relevation. The End is not yet near.

[someone better check who actually 'owns' the letterbox. hahahaha. typical Singaporean reaction]

<5 months away, yet, what will have changed?

- Game over.

10 1/2 hours to takeoff.

Time's up in observing the western world and how interesting its evolution and current status.

back to the well that is Singapore.

What will have changed? What is now better? what is worse? Thanks to the internet, one can stay updated. But what is the 'mood'? Have SG been "re-browned" now that the party has 'won' the right to govern for another 4 years?

Once i believed only in objective facts. Now, I realize that subjectivity and intepretation plays a more important role in life than just 'facts'. Can I still be 'me' in "stuffy Singapore"?

Time will tell.


Singlish - the evolution to being a proper language

Derived from Wikipedia's entry from multilingualism

Bilingualism - can be rigidly defined as being native-like in two languages. It could also be loosely defined as being less than native-like but still able to communicate in two.

Being a POSES (Product Of the Singapore Education System), I have to agree that our education system has not quite delivered a bilingual education as promised. By the rigid definition - I am a "factory reject". By the loose definition - I am. But am I bilingual thanks to being a POSES, or bilingual thanks to a far-sighted policy my parents adopted from birth?

Reading further down the wikipedia entry,

Multilingual speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during childhood, the so-called first language (L1). First languages (sometimes also referred to as mother tongue) are acquired without formal education, by mechanisms heavily disputed. Children acquiring two first languages since birth are called simultaneous bilinguals. Even in the case of simultaneous bilinguals one language usually dominates over the other.
My parent decided - the father would speak to the children in proper Mandarin, and the mother would use proper English. No Singlish (didn't really exist as a classification then either!)

The choice of language was probably forced upon by the limits of their own ability and training. However, it did lead me to grow up in a family of 2 languages. In terms of family policy, now that was a SMART policy. I am a "simultaneous bilingual" by the definition above - however, one language does dominate - English.

If the experts are right, and bilingualism or multi-lingualism is learnt outside formal education, then, maybe we are bashing the wrong target for failing to provide a bilingual education. The unevenness of language evolution within Singapore, and our attempts to educate using English (economically sensible decision), we now have a generation growing up in an environment of mixed languages - Manglish, Chinglish, Singlish, watever.

Take a walk around any hawker centre, or any public space, and try listening in to the language used in daily communication in families - Singlish dominates. Often, it may be eager parents, trying to help their children learn English vocabulary, but if we learn grammatical rules by osmosis and practice, then this ernest parenting actually detracts from learning English grammar, but does wonders for learning Singlish grammar.

I didn't know Singlish had its own grammar structure, but take a look at the Wiki entry for Singlish, and most Singaporeans will probably recognize that they didn't have to go to class to learn it. We chose English as our "1st language" in education policy. However, societally, we have chosen "Singlish as our 1st language".

Maybe its time to start treating the teaching of English as a "2nd language", ranked equal to other language classes such as Mandarin, Malay, French, or even Spanish. Go back to teaching English as a "learned language" rather than one that is treats all its students as 'native'.

Our native tongue is Singlish. Its not ENGLISH.

Evolve, or ossify.