culture loss in singapore

I am super bored and my body refuses to study isnt that terrible!

I had to write a short 500 word essay for this pre-U seminar a while back. At that time I had my brand design presentation coming up, exams around the corner but i just dropped everything to write. I miss writing stuff! the topic was about culture loss.

I think Singapore has changed irreversibly because Our culture is now designed to mirror the world’s globalised image. thats what defines us. Isn’t that sad? It’s like we’ve lost our soul. I tried to make the essay sound more hopeful though hahas.

Remembering our roots: In the globalised era, it is imperative for Singaporeans to remind themselves of the country’s heritage and the historical forces that shape our lives today. History must be seen as relevant to young Singaporeans so that they level develop a sense of the past and a sense of belonging and collectiveness that link them to Singapore and inspire them to put forth their best for their country.

It is undeniable that Singapore has thrived under globalization. However, our success was no miracle. It was a cumulative result of historically defining moments like our separation from Malaya on the 9th of August 1965, the blood and sweat of young men who laid down their lives to defend Singapore during the Japanese occupation, the countless man hours put in by our predecessors who worked laboriously to pave roads and build bridges in the early 20th century when they first arrived here looking for a livelihood and the women who, though were unappreciated and never given a chance at education, spent every waking moment taking care of their husbands and children, religiously up keeping their culture and tradition to the highest standards . It was them who lived and breathed the Singapore spirit; to work hard, to sacrifice and to hope.

But half a century later, where has that spirit gone?

Indeed, Singapore has excelled in several areas, not just in education and housing but also transportation, finance and tourism. We are notably one of Asia’s wealthiest countries and a strong competitor in the globalised market among other trading giants like USA, Tokyo, Germany and Hong Kong.  Yet, like anything else, this economic prosperity has been achieved at the expense of our national identity.

According to a recent survey, more than 95 per cent of youth here say they are proud to be Singaporean. However, the truth behind this finding is greatly compromised by the palpable reality that most youths are not interested in Singapore’s affairs, many cannot speak their native dialect proficiently and majority of them are embarrassed to sing our country’s national anthem above 40 decibels.

We may be successful now and continue to be for the next 50 years. But in time to come, if Singaporeans no longer feel a sense of belonging, we would have failed as a nation no matter how high our GDP rates compare or what global standing we attain.

Singapore needs to rediscover herself and go back to her roots. Though we may never again see little children playing hopscotch with banana skin, be able to pass down every authentic Nasi Lemak recipe there is or teach the next generation beloved national songs and native dialects in their entirety, we still ought to know the story behind the success we relish in everyday. We should actively strengthen our cultural atmosphere and educate young Singaporeans of the historical influences interwoven with the fabric of who we are as a nation, a people and a home today. Singapore in itself is a testament to the astounding contributions and unyielding spirit of our forefathers and for that reason I believe that Singapore has and always will be home for us, because we would not be who we were, if not for the people that shaped what Singapore has become.


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