ARE WE UGLY SINGAPOREANS : Introduction (1/3)
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Ill-mannered, rude, self rigtheous, discourteous? Is this the new Singaporean? If reports are to be believed it seems that we are fast degenerating into a nation of selfish people whose reputation is all about 'me'. The evidence is stacking up against us -- refusing to give up seats to the needy, leaving supermarket trollies abandoned in carparks or at worse taking them home and then leaving them on void decks. The list of 'ugly' behaviour, it seems, is endless. So just how ugly have we become?
Certainly, enough it seems, to be the subject of debates and campaigns and even jingles. Remember the Dim Sum Dollies jingle? The cabaret trio recorded a series of jingles reminding commuters to queue up, move in and give up seats. But if it did work back then it certainly seems to have been long forgotten.
Singaporeans are known for being "kiasu" which literally translates into being "afraid of losing out" and whether it is queuing up for Hello Kitty at MacDonalds or rushing onto the the train to grab a seat -- yes, even those 'reserved' seats -- our "kiasu-nism" can sometimes get the better of us.
Some argue that with today's focus on education, we are becoming more selfish and competitive. But is that just an excuse to let today's generation behave badly? Some argue that the fault is with the parents; that they no longer have enough time to bring up their children and that our lives are just far too stressed. It's a debate that will rile some and resonate with others and to discuss the issue and let off some steam we are joined by a number of interesting people, including a media consultant, a marketing director, a fashion photographer and youth worker.
So tune into the debate and find out if all the exhortations for a kinder, gracious and more courteous Singaporean is a realistic goal or light years away.
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