Friday, May 20, 2011

A leaf from Chen Show Mao's notes

Thoughtful perceptions and observations. Taken from the notes of his facebook, below are some of the accounts of his thoughts:

by Chen Show Mao on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 1:08am

Just got home from an evening of meetings at the Hougang Town Council. I went to see the eye doctor for a routine check-up before the meetings began and was waylaid by a huge advertisement in Tang's shop window. The words "local fashion" and "Singaporean designers" caught my eye. I went inside and learnt a few things about Singapore-grown labels such as Chalk, Elohim, hansel, OwnMuse, Peter Kor, Saturday, Thomas Wee and Yumumu.

The clothes did indeed feel more Singaporean to me, more friendly and familiar. It may just be the liberal use of tropical colors, light materials, halter tops and the sleeveless look -- what do I know. The thought occurred to me that even in fashion where individuality is particularly prized, there can be such as a thing as Singaporean sensibilities. It was a cheerful thought -- that we indeed have things in common -- making our future seem brighter to me.

Happy Vesak Day.

Buddhism's past has always reminded me of Singapore's possibilities.

How Buddhism spread from India to China (with the help of indefatigable men of faith from both sides of the Himalayas, including Dharmaraka, Kasyapa MatangaKumarajiva and a Tang-dynasty monk also named Chen who became well-known to generations of Chinese children as Monkey's master in Journey to the West). How it affected deeply the development of the Chinese civilization and was itself affected in the process. How the fruitful cross-pollination gave China Rationalist Confucianism and the world Zen Buddhism, among other things.

We live side by side on this small island, separated in some cases by race, language or religion . Learning about and learning from one another appears to me so much more within our reach than for other peoples at other places or at other times, that it seems a shame if we didn't do more of it.

Walking about

by Chen Show Mao on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 2:07am

After getting cash from an ATM and top-up for my mobile phone (the two most common types of refills I make these days), I spent most of the day walking around the Paya Lebar division of Aljunied GRC, with friends who joined me for different parts of the day or evening. See photos just uploaded.

We chanced upon happy events and sad ones.

At a birthday party for their six-year-old host, little children learned how to take aim at the pinata without hurting their friends, and how to scramble for the candy but share the loot with those too young or poorly-positioned to get even one or two. Life lessons, no?

At a wake on a void deck, I was glad that I could deliver my condolences in person, but did not feel that I should stay long, since I was in T-shirt and jeans.

Around the corner, a friendly young man said hi. As it turned out, his group of volunteers was taking an elderly resident to dinner. She was as happy as could be.

How much we see just by taking a little walk.