Thursday, September 07, 2006

Our own culture... no? Really?

Someone important recently made the comment that we will not have our own distinctive culture even in the next few hundred years.

Strange of the person to feel that way cos' I think the general public do have a sense of what is our culture, that is distinctive and identifiable to us. Why do I say that? For many reasons. An example, even on the online world, I could easily detect a fellow resident/citizen (well this distinction is the one that is hard to identify ... now and in future) when we chat using text. When I played my WoW, other players in the same party that we just picked up along the way, could easily identify that I'm a Singaporean. Similarly, I could (almost all the time) tell if another player is a Singaporean. No, it's not just 'from this region' which includes our neighbour to the north, but uniquely us. And more importantly I actually couldn't tell the race but could only identify the nationality. Yah...with the Uniquely Singapore campaign... and now that comment from the top that we would not have our own culture...isn't that a contradiction?

It's not just the online world. Was in Melbourne last November, when a group of us were eating in a big cake shop, that I also immediately could tell if another group at the next table are Singaporean, just from clothings alone. Yah it's that type/style of 'lok lok' worn t-shirts and shorts/bermudas that you see people wearing in our hostels, with certain colour combinations that are quite 'distinctive' from our non-native frens who also stayed in the same hostel. And... their idenities were confirmed the instance they communicated with each other; our distinctive choice of words with 'lor, lah, hor' is quite unique!

So this view that we do not have our distinctive culture may not be right.... true that we will not have our Plato or Lao Zi, but heh... culture is not just about particular individuals from the society but the groups of individuals.... Plato and Lao Zi have groups of individuals who subsequently propagate their views... else Plato and Lao Zi would just be some forgotten individuals in history, no matter how brillant they are... oh well...

1 comment:

Sandra said...

The someone's definition of culture is different from your definition of culture. Your definition of culture may be what you can identify with your fellow other Singaporeans, but for that someone, he wants a unique culture that can be exported out and be adopted on the world platform. But that's juz my opinion. May not be right.

On another note, the funny thing is, when I'm abroad, I'm always on the lookout of fellow Singaporeans, and I'm actually happy to spot one overseas. Ironic ey.

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