this wide world

15 February, 2013 § Leave a comment

it does not appear that the ongoing debate about foreigners and their impact on our country has an end in sight.

i have been a foreigner too, in a place that was so new yet so familiar. the people there never once made me feel unwanted or undesirable, even though between us there was no hiding the fact that i came from a place they may only know by name.

returning to London will always feels like coming home, a different kind of home.

is it really so hard to imagine that a person can belong to more than one place and love both with the same intensity?

what do these distinctions – “foreigner” and “local” – mean anyway, in a world so interconnected.

perhaps we fear to ask ourselves the more difficult questions, that of belonging. do singaporeans no longer feel like they belong here? should visitors to our country not have the chance to stop and say “‘hey’, this is a place i feel can be home”?

do we envy them their desire to make something of their lives? we, who have allowed ourselves to become an unfeeling people; who give regard to what others ought to do for us, but neglect the difference we can make to other people’s lives; who consume and do not create; who measure the world by the standards of our ignorance.

looking at these two photos taken quite apart in time and place makes me think perhaps the world is much the same everywhere: pain, struggle, tragedy.

and in the midst of all that, the same kind of beautiful.

jeju, south korea

sentosa, singapore



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