[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, January 12, 2007

[I am @ Youth.SG]
Being youth is not just all about hip-hop. But is it all about being cool and staying cool? Then again, there are people tons older than me and are still youthful at heart.

I once wrote about listening to the youth. You know, youth are the future. Yes, they are our future leaders. And so, why not listen to us. I agree, that it is good for the older generation to listen to us. But let's also listen to what the older generation have to say. After all, according to a Chinese saying that my parents used to drill in, the older generation has eaten more salt that we, the younger punks.

While watching BlogTV's episode on Big Boys Blogging yesterday, I found Minister George Yeo's comment on the younger generation giving their views to the older interesting. When asked if he would encourage his children to speak up if they had views on certain issues he said he would and added: "When I was at that age I had views on many different things, but we mature, we evolve... we become more practical, we see what works and what don't. If a teenager behaves like his parents, there is something wrong with the teenager. I'll be quite disappointed if your views are similar to mine."

Last night, my Mum made me a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. When I went to take a sip, I realised that there were no marshmallows in the mug. I asked her in the morning whether she saw any marshmallows when she made the hot chocolate last night, and she said she did.

So what happened to them I asked. It turned out that she had mashed the marshmallows together with the drink. I then told her that they were not supposed to be mashed. Try eating it with the drink I explained to her.

While we focus on being hip and happening, we must not forget that our elders are important too. We need to hear their views although they may be conservative. During meetings for grassroots events, younger leaders face-off with older leaders. Older ones may suggest not so "hip" stuff but stuff that has been tried and tested. The young may think hip hop is cool. We need to strike a balance - grassroots events must appeal to the young but let's not also forget the old too and vice versa.

An older grassroots leader once requested for a hip hop segment because he wanted an element of youth inside the programme. I could see from this example that he wanted to reach out to us. We, the younger generation, need to understand what the older generation thinks too. Once I went for a getai-style dinner. The progamme had lots of hokkien songs by mesmerising women and acrobats in tights too. I observed the men - drinking beer, having fun and just chatting among friends. It is not what I'd like to do but I respect what they do. I would prefer sitting in a lounge, a restaurant, or even (add in your favourite coffee joint) for a drink. Perhaps when I get older, my habits will seem wierd to the generation after me.

Sometimes I think I am in a sandwiched generation. There is the younger generation, the not so young generation and the older generation. Maybe we can call it P65, P75 and P85 (P95???). Hmmmm. I wonder what will happen when we reach post-2005? P05? P2005? I think we can be more creative (my right brain is asleep now). Even now, I sometimes feel out-of-touch with the younger ones. You can never understand why they do the things they do. Likewise, the older generation may not understand my actions while I was younger.

We must try to reach out the the older generation and make it a habit too. We have to communicate with them to understand them. I try to speak to my grandmother in dialect too although my intonation is a little wierd. But she understands me luckily. She does not know how to speak English (she is learning though), so when I speak in English to my family members and giggle at her, she feels a little suspicious.

Singapore will have an aging population as the years go by. My professor suggested that the business market may change and focus more on products for the old instead. Maybe ten, twenty years down the road, selling walking sticks may be more profitable that selling iPods (or the latest iPhone launched by Apple). Then there are the old folks that are not married and they do not have children to support them. Do they need our help? But how can we effectively help them?

While we keep talking about engaging the youth, let not forget about the people who brought Singapore into existance. Our forefathers who toiled, our Master Mind (MM) who mapped out our future (and fengshui too) and those who made Singapore "from third world to first".

Can the younger generation strike a balance between the young and the old? How can we effectively intergate inter-generational bonding into our society?

That is the challenge.

Thought of the day: The young may think hip-hop is cool. But not every young person subscribes to hip hop. But does it mean that if I don't do hip hop, I am not cool? What is the definition of being cool in the first place?

This post is in conjuction with the Youth.SG blogging festival.

Read more about the blogging festival on Youth.SG


Blogger Chew Jek Hui said...

Hey George Yeo Can we exchange links my blog is at http://saferpc.blogspot.com and add me as All tech news and reviews under the links part and I will link you in my blog as George Yeo. Thanks. Any questions please email me at chew_jek_hui@hotmail.com

Saturday, January 13, 2007 11:15:00 pm


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