Saturday, December 31, 2011

Think life's tough? Do think again!

MY PAPER, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2011, PAGE A13, VIEWPOINTS
From http://epaper.mypaper.sg/cnd/fvxen/fvxp/fvxpress.php?param=2011-12-27
Source Website: http://geoff-tan.com/2011/12/15/be-thankful-be-happy/
By Geoff Tan

Source Website: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920
By Amy Simmons, Life in a Cambodian rubbish dump, Updated November 11, 2011 19:12:39



PHOTO: Life is too short to let your problems get the best of you. Sit down and think of ways to overcome those problems and get your life back on track to a happy and fulfilling life again.
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/4482235_f520.jpg
http://thecleanlife.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Keep-A-Positive-Attitude-When-Your-Life-Seems-Upside-Down



PHOTO: Geoff Tan
The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings’ marketing division.
MY PAPER, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2011, PAGE A13, VIEWPOINTS


SINCE MP Sylvia Lim's speech in Parliament on Oct 19 about the happiness of Singaporeans, there has been much debate across online and offline platforms on the relevance of the issue in measuring Singapore's development.

I am sure that awareness of the kingdom of Bhutan has risen after Ms Lim mentioned the Himalayan country's Gross National Happiness index, which measures the mental well-being of citizens.



PHOTO: Sylvia Lim Swee Lian 林瑞莲 (lín ruì lián)
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-y2ZXur3BIAA/TYOad2fbEOI/AAAAAAAAD0c/qPnuffZTBJs/s1600/Sylvia%2Blim.jpg
http://mymixnewz.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html


In an affluent nation like Singapore, our conversations are often related to material wealth. Where do you live? What car do you drive? What brands do you like? Where did you go for your holiday? Which company do you work for? How much do you earn? Where do you play golf? Which clubs are you a member of? Which restaurants do you frequent? Which concerts have you been to lately?

A client of mine recently sent me an e-mail message about a place 30km from Cambodia's world-famous Angkor temples. Out of sight of foreign eyes, on the outskirts of Siem Reap, is a community of about 500 people who live in a rubbish dump.



PHOTO: If you think life is your life is tough, think again….
This was the controversial photo that won South African photojournalist Kevin Carter a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

Taken on March 11, 1993, the photo depicts an emaciated Sudanese child crawling towards a United Nations Food camp located a kilometer away, while a vulture sits behind, seemingly waiting for the child to die so he could finally devour her remains. Whatever happened to the child, her ultimate fate remains unknown.
http://www.paulyndavis.com/wp-content/uploads/image/sad-1.jpg
http://www.paulyndavis.com/kevin-carter-the-pulitzer-prize/


The e-mail message went on to say that Spanish photojournalist Omar HaVana spent seven months getting to know the people at the dump and documenting their lives. He has since shared his photos and stories online.

In the photos, you will see children rummaging through rubbish, parents living and raising their kids amid a sea of garbage, and people sifting through swiIl (garbage) in the hope of salvaging a meal.

There is even a photo of a boy holding what appears to be a packet of blood, which he intended to eat.



PHOTO:A boy shows off his find. (Supplied: Omar Havana). Life in a Cambodian rubbish dump by Spanish photojournalist Omar Havana
One day a little boy carrying a bag of blood asked me why the people in my country never smile. I didn’t know what to answer. While he looked at the blood he was carrying as a treasure to eat, he explained to me ‘I smile all the time, I’m lucky. Today I’m going to eat this and tomorrow I will see the sun again’.

Brought a tear to my eye! I guess I’ll be on my death-bed when I finally appreciate all that I’ve had.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659744-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://kayleybug.tumblr.com/post/13246948376/mabelmoments-life-in-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920


Not lost on Mr Havana was that the people looked happy. Many of his photos capture genuine smiles and high spirits. The thing that struck me - in the light of the conditions that the community was living in - was how this could be possible.



PHOTO: A young girl smiles, surrounded by waste. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
They are normal people. Most of the little children are aged between three and 15 and they are always smiling - that was what shocked me most.

The smell is so strong that it gets into your throat. You can taste the smell. Your eyes become full of tears. It is awful, but with time you get used to it.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659774-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/young-cambodian-girl-smiles-surrounded-by-rubbish/3660022
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920


Outwardly, we Singaporeans seem to be a privileged lot, but it would appear that there is much that these Cambodians can teach us.

Singaporeans are - to an extent - a complaining lot. Even when we have a roof over our heads, good schools for our kids, decent jobs and the comforts of life, many of us don't seem to be completely satisfied!



PHOTO: An amazing gift from someone we barely know. Even when we have a roof over our heads, good schools for our kids, decent jobs and the comforts of life, many of us don't seem to be completely satisfied!
http://brys.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/brendas.jpg
http://brys.wordpress.com/


I came across this online comment: "All those in the sales and service industries know that Singaporeans are a complaining lot. They usually complain about 'poor' service not so much to see improvement in service, but hope to get some form of compensation in return."



PHOTO: A pile of scraps. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
They deserve to be known, they deserved to have a voice, and I think their smiles are the best way they can show themselves. They are happy just because tomorrow they will see the sun.

Basically the dump is their shopping centre. Everything that they need to survive comes from the dump. They always tell me that they are lucky if they find bananas because they are clean under the skin.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659910-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/pile-of-scraps-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3660040
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920


If the Cambodian community surviving in the rubbish dump can exude such joy and happiness in spite of their situation, perhaps we need to re-assess our priorities and be more thankful for our blessings.
By Geoff Tan

The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings' marketing division.



PHOTO: Children and parents sift for food. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
One day in Cambodia a boy told me he had been living for many years in the rubbish dumps. I tried hard to get permission to visit them but I didn’t, so I made the decision to go without permission. What I saw there was from another world.

In total there are about 500 people working there, most of whom also live, sleep, eat and drink there. After working for several months in the dumps I even saw a child birth.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659840-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/sifting-for-food-at-a-cambodian-rubbis-dump/3660028
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920



PHOTO: A woman fetches water. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
The rubbish is coming from Siem Reap, the main tourist city in Cambodia, where there are many hotels

including a few that have rooms for over $1,500 a night. It is a city of almost 150,000 people.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659896-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/woman-fetches-water-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3660036
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920



PHOTO: Girl laughs while rummaging for food. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
I have to be honest, I didn’t find that place sad. I was happy every time that I was with the people living there.

The sadness and the tears come after, when you are in your hotel room surrounded by material things and you don’t see the smiles and the faces of the people living there come to your memory - that is when the sadness invades you.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659884-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/older-girl-rummages-for-food-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3660034
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920



PHOTO: Children of the dump. (Supplied: Omar Havana)
I call Cambodia the Forgotten World. With photography we cannot change the world, but we can change minds and touch hearts. That is the reason why I’m a photographer ... to give a voice to those in silence.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/3659870-3x2-940x627.jpg
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/group-of-kids-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3660030
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/life-at-a-cambodian-rubbish-dump/3659920


Life is too short to let your problems get the best of you. Sit down and think of ways to overcome those problems and get your life back on track to a happy and fulfilling life again.
PHOTO: Life is too short to let your problems get the best of you. Sit down and think of ways to overcome those problems and get your life back on track to a happy and fulfilling life again.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ilrglt2OK9Y/Tv7LwPsbKUI/AAAAAAAAQI8/43hTibPkI_g/s1600/4482235_f520.jpg
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/4482235_f520.jpg
http://thecleanlife.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Keep-A-Positive-Attitude-When-Your-Life-Seems-Upside-Down



HELPDESK
我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn


Affluent: 富裕 - fù yù
Rummaging: 翻找 - fān zhǎo
Swill: 厨余 - chù yù
Exude: 显露出 - xiǎn lù chū


Reference