Monthly Archives: March 2013

Castes (?)

The only reason I thought about this again was my friend bringing it up during lunch a few days ago. She seemed to be under the impression that castes were a big deal, and being in a higher caste meant you had more money. Those are common misconceptions and I’ll explain why, and elaborate on castes. The only reason I know what I know about castes are (1) I’m Indian and (2) I researched them for about 5 minutes on the internet, so please excuse me if I make any wrong statements about them.

I’m very disconnected from my Indian heritage (I only found out I’m North Indian two weeks ago!) but I do know that my father’s side of the family comes from Gujarat, a place in Northern India where people are very business-oriented (my mother always calls him a cheap Gujarati). They were Jain, a religion that is like a combination of Buddhism and Hinduism, therefore did not practise the caste system. My mother’s side of the family however, come from an unknown (???) village in Northern India (why don’t I know??? why does nobody answer my questions???) where they did practise the caste system, and they were in the ‘Brahmin’ caste, the highest caste. (Side note: I was researching this and I found out that some Indian ‘sages’ were considered ‘avatars’ of gods! Like Avatar! But he wasn’t a god! But still so cool!) I only found that out two years ago, because we discussed this in ARC and I was curious and asked my mother.

I’m really not proud of it. It means my ancestors conned everyone into believing they were better than them and that they probably mistreated some people… A lot. A lottttt. But anyway, they were not at all rich! They were from a poor village, and my grandfather would steal mangoes to pay for his (little) education. He came to Singapore secretly stowed away on a cargo ship, and he became a taxi driver. Of course, they were richer than the people of lower castes in the village, but compared to people in first world countries, very, very poor! And nobody cares about castes now! Maybe some people in India do, but not in the (few) developed parts. And definitely not in Singapore! Not that I know of! But I don’t know anything! Why did I write this!

I googled ‘Indian’ and this was the first result:

url-1

byeeeeeeeee

Tagged

I can’t live here

If you don’t like opinions, scroll down for baby animals and Ryan Gosling! 

I should be doing so many things right now (i.e. cleaning up the 1m tall stack of papers on my desk, study for the two tests I have this week and completing my lit essay that’s due this friday) but I feel that I need to write about this like now, or I’ll never do it. So lately ( for about um 3 years?) I’ve been feeling suffocated living in Singapore. I mean, really physically. Well, perhaps not really to the extent of not being able to breathe, but I physically feel like that you know? (And I’m not talking about the air quality index) And I’m not even going to begin on the government, but I want to write about Singaporean society. Of course, most of my friends and family are cool (well not cool cool but okay cool you know), but the condemnatory and judgemental society here in Singapore just disgusts and horrifies me and I really cannot cannot cannot stay here anymore.

Firstly, Singaporean society is SO homophobic. I’m aware that lots of Singaporeans aren’t homophobic and lots of them are gay but what scares me is the HUGE amount of people in Singapore that are so casually homophobic. Usually I’m unaware of this because I’m on the internet all the time and my school is mostly full of rather accepting people, but once in a while I’ll hear a classmate or my tuition teacher or a relative or some random internet person say something HORRIFYINGLY hateful. The worst things are when people say gay people ‘disgust’ them. It just confuses and saddens me. The other day, some of my friends from school were discussing how a gay person was ‘gross’ and yesterday, my tuition teacher launched off into a tirade about how he was so disgusted by a gay couple in a table next to him at a fast food restaurant, he had to change seats. Perhaps these people feel this way towards homosexuals because of their religion, but even if you feel it’s wrong, how is it disgusting? I just cannot wrap my head around how this is repellent to anybody. It’s not like gay people are always making out in front of you, or forcing you to join them. They’re just in love with people who happen to be of the same gender.  Okay, I’m sure I’ll regret talking about religion, but I will anyway. God tells you that it is wrong to be gay, and you accept that and somehow choose not to be. But he also tells you to love your neighbour, and shunning people and calling them disgusting is not loving them. Jesus never shunned people for their sins, he sacrificed himself for them because he loved them. And I doubt he called them disgusting. I mean, at least he wasn’t nasty to them. I think judgement should be made only by God, but if you really felt that you had to tell someone who they are is a sin, couldn’t you do it nicely with some baked goods or have a nice chat with them instead of declaring them to be disgusting? And how sad is it that people have so much hate for someone’s love? I can’t bear being someplace where this is so widespread, and I’M NOT EVEN GAY. Imagine how gay people feel here.

I also hate how judgemental Singaporeans are towards people who are not married. Last year, while researching Singapore’s declining birth rates  for a presentation in class, I found out that the Singaporean government only award ‘baby bonuses’ to children born in wedlock. This just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t understand why marriage is important out of a religious context and this being a secular state, the government shouldn’t govern our morals. It’s not just morals. Is a child born out of wedlock less important or deserving than a child born in it? It’s not like giving this money to children out of wedlock would encourage people to raise children irresponsibly, the money can only be spent on the child’s education. This policy doesn’t support single parents as well. Any parent would want the best from their child, and any single parent keeping their child, any single person raising a child on their own, and any couple keeping a child they had out of wedlock or choosing to have one out of wedlock would surely have the child’s best interests in mind, and being Singaporean citizens, I think the government’s job is to support these people and their children. And oh yeah, the government gives priority to married couples with children for HDB flats. I’m aware that I’m talking about the government here, and not society. But the government’s views reflect that of majority of Singaporean society: Stagnant, archaic and oppressive. If many Singaporeans felt wronged by this, they could easily share their views with the government or work to change things. Some have, protesting or talking about changing laws, but I’m pretty sure most Singaporeans would hesitate because they would not risk their reputations and go out and do that, but would rather ‘save face’ and return home and be content complaining about the government without making actual change, which brings me to my next point, about how Singapore’s society values money and reputation above all else.

This can be seen firstly from how, at a young age, children are forced to undertake a major examination that will organise them based on their results and determine their fate and quality of education for the next four years. The PSLE has so many wrong things with it, and instead of declaring it abhorrent and not at all beneficial to kids, Singaporean parents respond by placing their 12 year olds under a tremendous amount of stress to succeed on one exam. Granted, the government has been *attempting* to make it less stressful and not revealing top scorers. But nobody is looking at the main issues under this: The ‘kiasu’ attitude  our society has towards academics and what we’re teaching kids about what’s important in life.

I’m sure there are many more reasons why I cannot stay here but It’s 11 on a Sunday night and I have to be up early for school tomorrow. I would like to end by saying that I love Singapore. When I think of Singapore, I think of Katong and all the beautiful shophouses and eating food (kueh kueh kueh) and celebrating every culture. But I also think of how people are hostile and mean and judgemental and that suffocating feeling comes back and I think of how I need to be somewhere else and I can’t not be somewhere else and perhaps I should embrace a little of that kiasu-ness right now, get off my ass and study so I can go someplace better. Maybe things are changing, and in a few years time I’ll turn around and be like, ‘Hey! All these problems are gone! That’s great!’ but looking at our society right now, I think a few years is probably a few decades and that makes me sad.

Okay, let’s think of some happy things! I went to see Joss Stone’s concert here two nights ago and her voice is amazing and she’s so sweet and pretty and funny and I had so much fun! Also, kittens and sloths and puppies are adorable! And animals don’t judge 🙂

Also, Ryan Gosling!

It was so hard to choose from the google image searches of kittens, puppies, sloths and Ryan Gosling, because all the pictures were perfect and beautiful.

OMG THIS NEXT PICTURE IS PERFECTION (except for the wild Evan Rachel Wood in between him and the sloth pls leave)

Okay, It’s really late now, goodnight!

vegetarian rant sorry im not sorry

so i am a vegetarian (most of the time 99.9999999% of the time) and i have been forever because my family was like that for religious reasons (my grandma was a jain which is like Hinduism and Buddhism crossed into a hippie ass mess but it’s not really hippie it’s full of old indian people but once i saw a hot guy with dreadlocks who was one) and i’m allowed to eat meat if i want to but i dont because 1) i’m not used to it and my tastebuds are like eww gross animals taste weird 2) it is so DISGUSTING and UNETHICAL 

lots of people hate on vegetarians and go like ‘plants have feelings too, you’re being so cruel herp derp hurrr’ but maybe that’s because they’ve had bad experiences with mean vegetarian people telling them they’re cruel or something or they just don’t understand why people do this or they’re just insecure assholes

but eating meat is literally the WORST thing people are doing. we go on about recycling paper to save the environment but that does SHIT. this is a quote from the PETA website (not that i’m advocating PETA or anything they’re kinda batshit cray cray ‘A recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. And the U.N. is not alone in its analysis. Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that switching from a standard American diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid. And a German study conducted in 2008 concluded that a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse-gas emissions as a vegan’s diet is.’ factory farming is destroyingggg the environment but somehow not many people know that. factory farming is good because it makes meat cheap and affordable and people can afford it but WE WERE FINE WITHOUT FACTORY FARMING and we will be fine without it like maybe instead you could eat free range organic meat i know it sounds annoying and expensive but you’re not releasing tons of methane and wasting a shitload of water and not to mention ingesting growth hormones that are force fed to animals 😦

and animals feel pain ;( like go watch some crazy peta people’s videos they’ll make you cry look at piggies sob as people punch holes in their ears and lock them in enclosed spaces or a calf being separated from it’s mother as soon as it’s born so she can produce milk and get killed because it’s a boy and milk farms have no use for it. (this makes me feel really bad fo not being a vegan) people get enraged over horse meat scandals but how is eating a horse different from eating a cow? they both feel pain. oh and fish! fish feel pain too. it’s hard to relate to fish because they dont have lungs like us and they look weird and live in water but they feel lots of pain when hooks are stuck into their mouths. and when people use those giant nets to catch fish like in nemo, lots of animals get accidentally caught in it and dieeee, like dolphins. come on, dolphins are cute. 

it just doesn’t make sense to make more food to feed more food to feed you and harm everything. i’m not saying i’m a good person or better than you, i can understand not wanting to give up meat, i dont want to give up dairy or eggs, but do some googling and learn something about what you put in your mouths because it has a big impact on the world and your future and your kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures vand their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures vand their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures and their kids futures the end

Tagged