October 24, 2010

emotional attachment

Did you see these recent headlines ... New hospital to be built, More flats next year, Orchard Road to be raised.

One of the things it means is that we will need a lot of foreign workers. Probably many will be those who are already working here and some new workers will come to replace those who are leaving.

Suppose some
unforeseeable thing happened and we could not get foreign workers to come. We should not take things for granted, be it water, sand or foreign workers. I think people will see the effects very soon. Construction and road works will slow down. We will have to wait longer for our buses as there are not enough drivers. There may be floods more often as drains are not cleared regularly and our estates and streets may get dirtier too.

I was thinking who did these jobs in the early history of Singapore.

In the first half of the 20th century Singapore was a colony. There were no Singaporeans, all were British Subjects. Then, the hard dirty jobs were done by locals, many of whom came from China. One such group you could see at construction sites were the Samsui women. After that came Self-government, followed by Merger with Malaysia and finally Independence. Singapore progressed rapidly and as we became richer and more educated, we shun these jobs.

Chun See mentioned there is some psychological reason behind why old folks like to keep old things. While writing this post I thought of another reason why old folks are nostalgic about old times. It is an emotional attachment to a time when life was simpler, Asian values prevailed and foreigners were few.

I wonder what nostalgia our present kids will have when they grow old.

1 comment:

Lam Chun See said...

What memories will our kids have when they grow old? I think much the same as us. Human nature doesn't change much. For example, when I attended the When Nations Remember Conference recently, the director of the Spore Memory Project, made a presentation where he reminisced about stuff like Pokemon. So while we have our kuti-kuti's and ice-balls, they have their Pokemons and Macdonalds.