Tuesday, February 1, 2011

go click the image up there to enlarge the post angelia wrote on her blog regarding national identity . or you can click here to read it first before coming back here (: i thought it was a rather good topic to discuss and since we're doing singapore history in history lessons right now , it wouldn't hurt to think about it . no harm intended . if it is offensive , please tell me and i'll change it or something . it's all in the name of identifying certain issues (: right , so this is my take on it :

What is Singapore's national identity ? Do we even have one ? I am sure that many people have heard of the not-so-recent-but-still-ongoing issue regarding the national costume Miss Singapore Universes have to wear to the international competition . We do not have a proper national costume like how other countries do , for example Malaysia's a baju kurong and Indonesia has the kebaya .

What about Singapore ? Honestly , there's no denying that we do not have a national costume that immediately identifies with our country , and there was a huge debate going on a while back about how we do not have a national identity that was brought up due to the national costume issue . Also , Angelia pointed out that with the large influx of foreigners , our national identity might be slowly eroding away and whether or not we even had a national identity .

Right , I disagree with the point that we do not have a national identity . National Identity does not equal to a symbol ( a national costume in this case ) that is synonymous to the country . Rather , it is a behavior or a special character we have that defines who we are as a nation . I believe that all countries have an identity because every country has their own special way of life , and of course , Singapore is no exception .

So , in my opinion , our National Identity is our diverse range of people living here . Since the 19th century , Singapore has been a place where foreigners come and make a living and build a career . Therefore , I object to the rhetorical question Angelia's posed regarding our fading national identity due to the many foreigners coming here . Because they are actually the ones that contribute to the uniqueness of what Singapore is today - a country with races living together . Personally , Singapore's diverse range of ethic groups and the fact that we are able to live together is actually something that makes me really proud of . And a National Identity is something that citizens should be proud of .

Some might argue that the 19th century immigrants cannot be compared to the foreigners flocking in now as last time , Singapore had no identity , no characteristic that defined us and was just a place people could come and work and make a living . It was not a home for most immigrants . But now , there are true Singaporeans born in Singapore . However I feel that there is no difference , no difference at all . The foreigners that come in this modern day might chose to settle down and have Singaporean babies . They would integrate into our society and will contribute even more to the already wide diversity of people living in Singapore .

And that leads me to my next point . Diversity . Are the different races truly living in harmony here ? In actual fact , no . We may appear to , with no racial riots happening as did in the past . But there is a certain extent of discrimination or on a lighter note , differentiation . Not guilty of such an act ? Think again . Think about how you used to tell racist jokes at a point of time when you were in primary school . No harm is done , everyone forgets about it with a little laugh , sometimes quite hysterical , but the point is that no one sees the severity of such things .

It goes to show that people do have an issue with the colour of the skin or the language one speaks . Everyone is human , of the same class . However, there is still quite an obvious difference and we cannot deny it . We can attempt to ignore this fact but it is very difficult . If Singapore is able to maintain her current state of racial harmony , then i think it would be quite a good thing already . I belong to the majority race in Singapore and do not know how it feels like to be in the minority ethic groups . However , what i know is that what we really need to do now is to open our arms and extend it to foreigners who come here to make a living .

okay ! i guess that ends my discussion with myself on singapore's national identity and diversity . i'm not very pleased with myself because i think i went quite off topic but yeah . currently i'm reading UNCLE TOM'S CABIN , in which abraham lincoln said to the author " So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war ! " . the book refers to the book i'm currently reading and the great war refers to no , not world war two but the Civil War , which is the war that happened in America regarding namely the blacks and the whites .

it's quite an interesting book , charting the progress from slavery to freedom of fugitives who escape the chains of American chattel slavery and other stuff . i'm not done with reading it yet but i can already feel the discrimination and anguish the African Americans feel . it's truly quite saddening .

on a lighter note , there's no school tomorrow ! (: going back to hips yay ;DD

love ,
liyin .

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