So I went for a Passion Unleashed talk at SMU with the dear Ly on a Tuesday night, with a little apprehension, I must admit but still bearing an open heart, I’d like to believe.
The constant refrain of do something unconventional and follow your passions from the organizers of the talks irked, yet, when Hossan Leong took to the stage, his presence just shone through and in spite of a lack of deep enough personal stories in his sharing, I loved how he reminded me about how I constantly need to be inspired by movies, plays and gigs in life. The same vein that almost all performing artistes in Singapore stem from seems to be, to me, a deep love and full appreciation for the Singapore culture beyond how any politician can. The Singapore culture, nuances, Singlish, political stabs are all rooted in the heart of their jokes and performances be it stand up comedy, plays or music. Without the Singapore culture deeply embedded in their craft, their performance become soulless and they would not be able to strike a chord with the Singaporean crowd. I truly cannot fathom a Singapore without its local music, plays, stand up comedians and productions the likes of Chestnuts. I do love Singapore for its unique arts scene quite unlike any other and I still truly hope Singaporeans will always create and fight for the Singapore they desire. Protests against the populations White Paper are great initiatives but beyond whining and being backbenchers, I’d like to see a ground up approach to making proactive change for self preservation and love for the nation too.
I love Singapore, I stem forth from this land. I remember listening to Dick Lee’s Bunga Sayang while on the JET Programme in Japan and tearing up with emotions and feelings for Singapore. I loved Japan then but Singapore was and is where I belong at the end of the day.
At the end of the day I do not feel happy with the way the country is run and the stresses that come with everyday monotonous life here and yes I still would rather be living someplace else in the world than here, but I’m still a sucker for the nostalgia of the Singaporean culture, identity and memories of an 80s childhood I’ve had here.
Thank you, Hossan Leong, Kumar, and the likes, for your spritely nature and keeping the arts scene fire alive in dear Singapore, I’d like to believe a humble and hopeful Singapore, rich with culture and loving natives with awareness of others and love for the country is obtainable.