Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Excuses and Nonsense

I read with amazement and irritation that Singaporeans are still debating the importance of speaking Mandarin, lamenting the difficulty in mastering the Chinese language, weighing the use of English against Chinese as if it is really impossible to master both languages and discussing what their leader has recently commented on the use of dialects. These are issues that had been discussed many times and many years ago. The answers are really simple and straightforward. Speaking Mandarin is important in today’s society. No question about it. Difficult to master it in schools where English is still the first language? Trying saying this to the many effectively bilinguals in Singapore. To say that learning the Chinese language is difficult is an easy and lazy excuse to lack of interest and unwillingness to put in effort. Use of dialects is never useless. It’s another mode of communication. If it helps you to communicate better, it’s never useless. Chinese language was once branded useless by some short-sighted gods many years ago but it’s warms my heart to see how they are eating their own words now. Speaking dialects at home does not hamper one’s ability to master English and Chinese in schools. It’s up to the individual’s effort. So, stop giving excuses.

2nd Posting

Into the 3rd month of my 2nd posting. Workload is the same but there is less frustration. Maybe because I know what to expect. Maybe because there are more staff assisting me.

Compared to PNH, Surabaya is a nicer place with bigger and proper malls. But PNH still has a place in my heart. I missed the Cambodians, the friends in PNH and the restaurants where I enjoyed great food. Will spend my holiday in Cambodia some time this year.