Mga Archive ng Tag,,en,Swami Vivekananda,,en,Ang Pride at Prejudice,,en,Nagbigay si Swami Vivekananda ng ilang mga talumpati sa World Parliament of Religionions sa,,en,Ang mga talumpating ito ay pinupuno pa rin tayo ng mga Indiano na may magandang pagmamalaki,,en,Nagawa kong hanapin ang isang lumang pagrekord ng mga ito sa Internet at malinis ito nang kaunti,,en,Narito ito para sa iyong kasiyahan sa pakikinig,,en,Ang may pag-aalinlangan sa akin,,en,hindi papayagan itong umalis nang walang isang kritikal na pagsusuri sa sarili,,en,Ano ba talaga ang ipinagmamalaki ko,,en,Gusto kong sabihin ang kanyang malalim na pag-iisip sa pilosopong Hindu at ang kanyang masidhing paglantad dito,,en,Ngunit ang katotohanan ng bagay ay,,en,Ipinagmamalaki ko kahit na bago ko narinig o nabasa ang mga talumpati,,en,Kung proud ka rin,,en,hayaan mo akong tanungin ito,,en,talagang nakinig ka ba sa buong pagsasalita,,en,Kung wala ka,,en,ano ba talagang ipinagmamalaki mo,,en,Siya nga pala,,en,Mayroon akong huling bahagi ng pagsasalita,,en: Singaporean

Love of Math

If you love math, you are a geek — with stock options in your future, but no cheerleaders. So getting a child to love mathematics is a questionable gift — are we really doing them a favor? Recently, a highly placed friend of mine asked me to look into it — not merely as getting a couple of kids interested in math, but as a general educational effort in the country. Once it becomes a general phenomenon, math whizkids might enjoy the same level of social acceptance and popularity as, say, athletes and rock stars. Wishful thinking? May be…

I was always among people who liked math. I remember my high school days where one of my friends would do the long multiplication and division during physics experiments, while I would team up with another friend to look up logarithms and try to beat the first dude, who almost always won. It didn’t really matter who won; the mere fact that we would device games like that as teenagers perhaps portended a cheerleader-less future. As it turned out, the long-multiplication guy grew up to be a highly placed banker in the Middle East, no doubt thanks to his talents not of the cheerleader-phobic, math-phelic kind.

When I moved to IIT, this mathematical geekiness reached a whole new level. Even among the general geekiness that permeated the IIT air, I remember a couple of guys who stood out. There was “Devious” who also had the dubious honor of introducing me to my virgin Kingfisher, and “Pain” would drawl a very pained “Obviously Yaar!” when we, the lesser geeks, failed to readily follow a his particular line of mathematical acrobatics.

All of us had a love for math. But, where did it come from? And how in the world would I make it a general educational tool? Imparting the love math to one kid is not too difficult; you just make it fun. The other day when I was driving around with my daughter, she described some shape (actually the bump on her grandmother’s forehead) as half-a-ball. I told her that it was actually a hemisphere. Then I highlighted to her that we were going to the southern hemisphere (New Zealand) for our vacation the next day, on the other side of the globe compared to Europe, which was why it was summer there. And finally, I told her Singapore was on the equator. My daughter likes to correct people, so she said, no, it wasn’t. I told her that we were about 0.8 degrees to the north of the equator (I hope I was right), and saw my opening. I asked her what the circumference of a circle was, and told her that the radius of the earth was about 6000km, and worked out that we were about 80km to the north of the equator, which was nothing compared to 36,000km great circle around the earth. Then we worked out that we made a 5% approximation on the value of pi, so the correct number was about 84km. I could have told her we made another 6% approximation on the radius, the number would be more like 90km. It was fun for her to work out these things. I fancy her love for math has been augmented a bit.

Photo by Dylan231

Graceless Singaporean

We Singaporeans have a problem. We are graceless, they say. So we train ourselves to say the right magic words at the right times and to smile at random intervals. We still come across as a bit graceless at times.

We have to bite the bullet and face the music; we may be a bit on the rude side — when judged by the western norms of pasticky grace popularized by the media. But we don’t do too badly when judged by our own mixed bag of Asian cultures, some of which consider the phrase “Thank you” so formal that it is almost an insult to utter it.

One of the Asian ways of doing things is to eat noodles like a mini vacuum cleaner. This Singaporean friend of mine was doing just that while lunching with me and our French colleague. I hardly noticed the small noises; after all, I’m from a culture where loud burps at the end of a meal are considered a compliment to the host. But our French friend found the suction action very rude and irksome, and made French comments to that effect (ignoring, of course, the fact that it is rude to exclude people by talking in a private language). I tried to explain to him that it was not rude, just the way it was done here, but to no avail.

The real question is this — do we paint a thin veneer of politeness over our natural way of doing things so that we can exude grace a la Hollywood? The thinness of this kind of grace echoes loud and clear in the standard greeting of a checkout clerk in a typical American supermarket: “How’ ya doing today?” The expected response is: “Good, how are you?” to which the clerk is to say, “Good, good!” The first “Good” presumably to your graceful enquiry after his well-being, the second expressing satisfaction at your perfect state of bliss. I once decided to play the fool and responded to the ubiquitous “How’ ya doin’?” by: “Lousy man, my dog just died.” The inevitable and unhesitating response was, “Good, good!” Do we need this kind of shallow grace?

Grace is like the grammar of an unspoken social language. Unlike its spoken counterparts, the language of social mores seems to preclude multilingualism, leading to an almost xenophobic rejection of other norms of life. We all believe that our way of doing things and our world views are the only right ones. Naturally too, otherwise we wouldn’t hold on to our beliefs, would we? But, in an increasingly flattening and globalizing world, we do feel a bit alien because our values and graces are often graded by alien standards.

Soon, a day will come when we all conform to the standards prescribed to us by the global media and entertainment networks. Our amorphous “How’ ya doin’?”s and “Good, good”s will then be indistinguishable from the prescriptions.

When I think of that inevitable day, I suffer a pang of nostalgia. I hope I can hold on to the memory of social graces judged by lesser standards — of gratitude expressed in timid smiles, affections portrayed in fleeting glances, and life’s defining bonds conveyed in unspoken gestures.

Ultimately, the collective grace of a society is to be judged, not by polished niceties, but by how it treats its very old and very young. And I’m afraid we are beginning to find ourselves wanting in those fronts. We put our young children through tremendous amount of stress, preparing them for an even more stressful life, and unwittingly robbing them of their childhood.

And, when I see those aunties and uncles cleaning after us in eating houses, I see more than our lack of grace. I see myself in my twilight years, alienated in a world gone strange on me. So let’s spare a smile, and nod a thank you when we see them — we may be showing grace to ourselves a few decades down the line.

The Worldly Malayalees

If an average Singaporean hears of the World Malayalee Conference, the first thing they would say is, “World what now??” Malayalees are people from the tiny Indian state of Kerala. They are not to be confused with Malays, although some of the things we associate with Malay (such as pratas and biriyani) can be traced back to Kerala.

Such cross cultural exchanges point to an important trait of Malayalees. They tend to fan out and, in their own small ways, conquer the world. Malugod din silang tinatanggap ang mga panlabas na impluwensya sa buong puso,,en,Sila marahil ang tanging tao,,en,maliban sa mga Intsik,,en,na regular na gumagamit ng isang wok na Tsino para sa pagluluto o isang net net ng China para mahuli ang kanilang mga isda,,en,Ginagawa pa nila ang kanilang sariling bersyon ng Kung-fu,,en,at kung minsan ay iginiit na ang mga Intsik ay talagang natutunan ito mula sa kanila,,en,International at kosmopolitan sa kanilang mga natatanging paraan para sa libu-libong taon,,en,Ang mga Malayalees ay isang halo ng mga magkasalungat,,en,at Kerala isang menor de edad pang-ekonomiya at sosyolohiko,,en,Masiglang niyakap ng mga Malayalees ang Kristiyanismo at mga relihiyong Muslim nang ang kanilang mga unang misyonaryo at emisyonaryo ay lumabas sa labas ng kanilang mga lugar na pinagmulan,,en,tinanggap din nila ang Marxism at ateismo na may pantay na sigasig,,en,Sa isang average,,en,Ang Kerala ay may isang per-capita na kita sa pinakamahirap sa mundo,,en. They are perhaps the only people (other than the Chinese, of course) who regularly use a Chinese wok for cooking or a Chinese net for catching their fish. They even practise their own version of Kung-fu, and at times insist that the Chinese actually learned it from them.

International and cosmopolitan in their unique ways for thousands of years, Malayalees are a mixture of opposites, and Kerala a minor economic and sociological enigma. Malayalees enthusiastically embraced Christianity and Muslim religions when their initial missionaries and emissaries ventured outside their places of origin. But, they also welcomed Marxism and atheism with equal fervour.

On an average, Kerala has a per-capita income among the world’s poorest, ngunit ang lahat ng iba pang mga tagapagpahiwatig ng ekonomiya ay naaayon sa pinakamayaman sa mundo,,en,Sa mga tagapagpahiwatig ng kalusugan tulad ng pag-asa sa buhay,,en,per-capita bilang ng mga doktor,,en,at dami ng namamatay,,en,Si Kerala ay namamahala sa salamin ng US sa halos isang ikasampung bahagi ng per capita kayamanan,,en,Si Kerala ang nauna,,en,at marahil ang nag-iisa lamang,,en,ikatlong lalawigan ng buong mundo upang ipagmalaki ng mas mahusay kaysa sa,,en,karunungan sa pagbasa,,en,at ito ay tungkol lamang sa tanging lugar sa India at China na may mas maraming kababaihan kaysa sa kalalakihan,,en,Ang Singapore ay may isang espesyal na lugar sa puso ng Malayalee,,en,Kabilang sa kanilang mga unang pakikipagsapalaran sa labas ng Kerala sa panahon ng kolonyal,,en,Target ng mga Malayalees ang Singapore bilang isang tanyag na patutunguhan,,en,Marahil dahil sa kasintahang ito sa kasaysayan,,en,Natagpuan ng mga Malayalees na natural na i-host ang kanilang World Malayalee Conference dito,,en,Ang Singapore ay mayroon ding malambot na lugar para sa mga Malayalees at ang kanilang mga kontribusyon,,en. In health indicators such as life expectancy, per-capita number of doctors, and infant mortality, Kerala manages to mirror the US at about a tenth of its per capita wealth. Kerala is the first (and perhaps the only) third world province to boast of better than 90% literacy, and is just about the only place in India and China with more women than men.

Singapore has a special place in the Malayalee heart. Among their initial ventures outside Kerala during the colonial era, Malayalees targeted Singapore as a popular destination. Perhaps due to this historical fondness, Malayalees found it natural to host their World Malayalee Conference here.

Singapore also has soft spot for Malayalees and their contributions. Ang kumperensya mismo ay makikita sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon ng Pangulo ng Singapore,,en,Ginoo,,en,S,,en,R,,en,Si Nathan at ang Ministro ng Ugnayang Panlabas,,en,George Yeo,,en,Ilulunsad ni Pangulong Nathan ang Malayalee Heritage and Culture Exhibition,,en,at si Minister Yeo ay magbibigay ng isang pangunahing talumpati sa pagsasalita sa Business Forum,,en,Ang pamana at kultura,,en,ang pakikipag-date pabalik sa mahigit sa dalawang libong taon,,en,ay isang bagay na tuwirang ipinagmamalaki ng bawat Malayalee,,en,Ipapakita ang eksibisyon ang lahat mula sa mga ukit sa kweba hanggang sa teknolohiya ng pagbuo ng barko,,en,Lumalayo sa kabila ng makasaysayang at kultura,,en,Si Kerala ay naging isang kaalyado ring negosyo sa Singapore,,en,lalo na sa hilaw na pagkaing-dagat,,en,Singapore,,en,sa kanilang sariling karapatan,,en,nagbigay ng isang matatag na stream ng pamumuhunan at turista sa Kerala,,en, Mr. S. R. Nathan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. George Yeo. President Nathan will launch the Malayalee Heritage and Culture Exhibition, and Minister Yeo will give a key note speech at the Business Forum.

The heritage and culture, dating back to well over two thousand years, is something every Malayalee is rightfully proud of. The Exhibition will showcase everything from cave engravings to ancient ship building technology.

Going beyond the historical and cultural affinities, Kerala also has been a business ally to Singapore, especially in raw seafood. Singapore, in their own right, has provided a steady stream of investments and tourists to Kerala.

Ang Eco-turismo ay isa sa mga nangungunang atraksyon na ipapakita ng Malayalees sa pagpupulong,,en,Ang kalikasan ay labis na mabait kay Kerala,,en,sa walang tigil na mga burol ng Western Ghat na mapagbigay sa paggamit ng Monsoon at masigasig na nagbabantay sa mga Malayalees laban sa anumang posibleng pagnanakaw ng kanilang berdeng kayamanan,,en,Pinagpala ng isang mapag-init na klima hindi bihira sa tropical tropical na ito ay,,en,at sa hypnotic beauty ng malabo na berdeng burol at mga plantasyon ng tsaa,,en,Si Kerala ay talagang paraiso na naghihintay,,en,marahil hindi sinasadya,,en,upang matuklasan,,en,Ang Kumperensya ng World Malayalalee,,en,kasama ang mga kultural na palabas at pamana sa pamana,,en,magpapakita kung ano ang mag-alok kay Kerala sa mundo,,en,mula sa turismo at kultura hanggang sa mga oportunidad sa negosyo at talent pool,,en. Nature has been overly kind to Kerala, with the undulating hills of the Western Ghat generously usurping the Monsoons and jealously guarding the Malayalees against any possible plunder of their green riches. Blessed with a temperate climate uncommon to the tropical enclave that it is, and with the hypnotic beauty of the misty green hillsides and tea plantations, Kerala is indeed a paradise waiting, perhaps unwillingly, to be discovered.

This World Malayalalee Conference, with its cultural shows and heritage exhibitions, will display what Kerala has to offer to the world, from tourism and culture to business opportunities and talent pool. Maipapakita din nito ang Singapore sa Malayalee diaspora at tuturuan sila ng isang bagay o dalawa tungkol sa kahusayan sa pamamahala,,en,kalinisan at pagkakakonekta sa negosyo,,en,mga tagapagpahiwatig ng kalusugan,,en,Kerala,,en,marxism,,en,estado ng Kerala,,en,Pag-navigate ng mga post,,en,Nakaraan,,en,Ang Ngayon Mga Archive ng Papel,,en,Pahina,,en,ng,,en, cleanliness and business connectivity.