"There's joy in the mountains; There's life in
the fountains; Small clouds are sailing, Blue sky
The above is the extract of a poem, “Written in March” by William Wordsworth. A beautiful scene is awaiting the arrival of spring…that is, for those who reside in the northern hemisphere.
For March, there are celebrations throughout the month, but one may not know that there is a Mario Day in March. It is celebrated on March 10 (MAR10.) If you have grown up playing Donkey Kong, you would have been a fan of Mario and probably had many happy hours jumping over the barrels. Don’t be surprised that Mario may have a guest-appearance at Tokyo’s Olympics since his creator is Japanese. Here is a trailer to re-live the nostalgia if you are “stuck” at home due to the travel ban: Super Mario Odyssey.
How we were all once just kids! May the zest still be with you…
A Journey A Month
Your Story. Our Story. The Human Story.
“Why are you not wearing a mask?” That was the question from a caucasian man, himself not wearing a mask when he entered the lift. I was at a 5-stars hotel in Malaysia. Surprised and slightly taken aback, I looked at him and asked: “why should I?” He replied with another question, “are you not from China?”
Having lived in the UK, France, and the USA, and globetrotting around the world, I was fortunate not to have the experience of being discriminated against for my race. Ironically, now back in my birth country, my racial identity was in question. Finally, I now understand how it must have felt when one is being grouped unfavourably for his/her racial appearance.
Because of the outbreak of Covid-19, we see pathogen of prejudice spread racism against and amongst Asian ethnicity, reported the Economist. In times of crisis, we often get to see the best and worst of humanity, and racism is certainly not the pretty side.
The economic impact resulted from the supply chains shut-down in China, the clam-down of travels, and the movement of goods can be measured. We see a jittering investment community and tumbling stock markets around the world. However, there is a more severe impact caused by arising divisive racial profiling. Unlike the economy which will rebound (some predict it will be a fast recovery,) the hurt of the racial divide will take a long time to heal if left unchecked.
Back to the lift, after being profiled as a Wuhan-germs carrying “Chinese,” I quickly explained defensively that I actually live in Singapore. And, in Singapore, we are advised that unless one is sick, one does not need to wear a ” face mask.” Adding to that, I told him the way he asked his question could be rather offending. This prompted him to ask how he should have framed the question. My reply was perhaps, it could be a more neutral “Where are you from?” Well, I didn’t know if he was trying to be funny or he really did not realise the offence, because he then asked me: “Where are you from? Are you from Wuhan?”
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Beyond Boundaries - Crossing Cultures
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