Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Odd Feeling

Imagine this:
It is the death anniversary of your loved one. You have invited family and friends over to catch up as well as to share stories of the loved one in the hopes of taking some time to remember what a great live he or she has led. However, when your friends and family arrive, they started partying as they put some loud music on, drank and danced the night away with a total disregard of the occasion.

How would you feel?

~ ~ ~ ~

That was the odd feeling I had the whole of yesterday, Good Friday. Everywhere I turn, I see people enjoying themselves and even the television programmes are showing cartoons or feel-good movies. I had this sinking feeling inside me as if the whole world does not give a hoot about what the significance of the day is. Granted that not everyone is a believer and that the public holiday has brought about an extended weekend which is definitely welcomed, I still could not shake off this odd feeling.

As I was pondering over the situation I was in, my thoughts immediately turned to the various discussions on religious harmony as well as the need to integrate foreigners into our society. If Singapore is trying very hard to truly integrate all the religions as well as foreigners, wouldn't it go a long way to inform the public about the significance of the holiday?

Perhaps Mediacorp could take a cue from BBC Knowledge in which they screened a documentary, "The House of Windsor: A Royal Dynasty", in the run-up to the royal wedding to inform their viewers of the long and rich history of the modern royal family. This not only drums up interest in the event but it puts the wedding in its historical and symbolic context. 

Personally, I am ashamed of the fact that I have gone through 20 over years of various festivals, religious and cultural, and till now have only a very superficial understanding of these festivals. While the significance of such festivals are taught in school, it is utter naivety if you expect anyone to remember or pay attention in that context. Instead, if a documentary is commissioned in which film makers are challenged to inform the public in a most interesting way, I am sure it would be more effective than any textbook or teacher can achieve.

Now, wouldn't that be a great way of marrying the need for widespread civics education as well as supporting the Arts?

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