November happenings

Sometimes it’s really difficult to keep this blog up-to-date when I am in transition. November is one of the busiest month in the NUS academic calendar as students rushed to complete assignments, presentations, projects and prepare for the final exams. For final year students, life got doubly tiring as it means we needed to juggle between real school work and research work. I was lucky that I actually found time to get out of the routine on some occasions.

1. Heart of God Church

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Beiyu learnt that the artist for the famous Disney film “Lion King”, Davy Liu, would be giving a speech at the Heart of God Church, one of the more popular churches in Singapore, so I went with her to attend service that afternoon. It was incidentally my first church service and I must say it was really different from what I expected. I expected more quiet moments of reflection, I expected long preaches littered with Biblical quotes, I expected a solemn occasion. Instead, it felt like a mini concert with a live band playing pop-rock Christian songs, people standing up and singing along and a kangaroo mascot appearing on stage. Preaches were awkwardly interjected by the crowd’s enthusiastic “yes” among other one-word sounds. I find it strange how seating arrangement seems to matter somewhat as cell mates reserved seats for the other late-comers. I imagine a big community but it seems more like a gathering of different cliques. For me, to have a religion really means to be part of a community which supports and listens to you. I am not a fan of superficial gatherings. Anyhow, Davy Liu gave a speech and his testimony and drew a huge Lion King on a canvas on the spot. The Lion King painting was later auctioned off and the money raised was directed to help the poorer in the church. Disappointingly, I wasn’t too inspired by his speech because there were too many unsubstantiated claims about societies and cultures. I don’t think everyone who goes through the American system becomes a thinker (cowboy) and certainly not everyone who grows up in an Asian system is an unthinking worker (horse). My question is: where does Europe stand in this generalization? Furthermore, on the level of the individual, everyone needs to be his/ her own cowboy and needs to be his/ her own horse. You need to dream and you need to relentlessly chase it. This is the balance I think everyone, regardless of background/ culture/ gender, needs to strike and such over-generalizations really mislead people into thinking that it is all about culture/ society/ system when it is more about how an individual thinks. In fact, because of globalization, things are no longer black and white and things are changing. We are living in a very exciting time, it’s sad that some people don’t see it. For example, Asians are known to respect authority but see what happened in Cambodia during the last election and what has been happening in Thailand for the last month or so. Asians are questioning the authorities and Asians are fighting for their rights. It’s important, I think, not to generalize a rapidly changing world.

I better stop myself here. Anyhow I think that will be the first and last church service that I attend in my life. I wasn’t impressed.

2. Singapore Hit Awards 2013

Everyone has an idol in life and most people have a singer whom they idolize. For me, my idol is Denise Ho, HOCC, a canto-pop singer. She is quite a character with very strong opinions. In many ways, the things that she say really resonate with me. For example, ““有很多人跟我说,‘如果你不是这样,现在得到的不只这样’,但​要怎么定义‘这样’ ?如果是说奖项和名利,可能我不比其他歌手多,但心灵方面,有达​到我要的。钱是会花掉的,可是内心的收获是永远留存的,不会因为​通畅而流失。” I will probably write a whole blog post dedicated to her when I find time. Anyhow, she was invited by the Singapore Hit Awards 2013 to receive some awards and I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to see her in person. My newly made friend, Veron, and I went close to the red carpet and shook her hand as she walked by. That’s another dream that came true for me.:)DSC_1231

The event was quite typical, people going up and getting their awards before singing a song or two. The Grasshoppers came on stage last to receive their awards and just look at the number of cameras raised. I wonder how many of these people actually are their fans and how many just took photos of them because they are famous.

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