Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I once read in the Staits Times that the Indians are the happiest people in Asia. An interesting statistic because we all know that the happiest are not necessarily the richest. Hence, we can conclude that while money plays a part to bring in happiness, it does not bring in ALL the happiness.
Since I moved to Little India, I have begun to observe the Indians more closely so as to learn more about them. Every Sunday, company buses will bring their Indian staff to Little India to do their shopping or just to have dinner with friends, etc. Little India is jam packed every Sunday evening. Once, my nephew came to visit me and dropped my eldest sister and me after dinner. It was almost impossible to drive and the majority of the Indians walked in the middle of the road! It needed skilful manouvering to finally get the car to my apartment without hitting any pedestrian.!
Eldest sister observed that many of them would stand around and just chitchatted. She was touched by their simplicity. Sis commented that most of us would have to make such complicated arrangements of dinner, etc. for our rendezvous. Yet Sunday after Sunday, these Indians would just congregate around Little India, and appear so happy and relaxed. My best friend, Amudah, shared with me how they could actually stand for hours and talk.
I also notice that many of them would enjoy sitting in the open fields under some palm trees in the early evening and drown some peanuts with soft drinks and beers.
Since moving here, I have joined the church nearby and am helping in the Tamil Ministry, so that I have the opporunity to pick up more Tamil. I am teaching some of the Indian members to play the piano and they in turn teach me to play the Indian drum. Playing the Indian drum is not as easy as it appears. You need a certain skill and strengh of the palms and fingers to bring out the music and rhythmn. It is heartwarming to see the Indian members so full of joy, especially when their joy is enhanced by their faith and trust in God. The church would provide packet dinner for the members and it is heartwarming to see them sitting on the floors and enjoying their simple meal and fellowship.
I would say that I enjoy living in this vicinity. Everything is so colourful....the clothes, food, music and street decoration. How wonderful to have a taste of Little India right in the heart of Singapore!
Notice my title? I do not have the statistics, and hence I dare not put my title as the happiest people on earth, but from the little that I have observed, I would say that the Indians are far happier and contented than most of us. Come on Singaporens, let us murmur less and find joy in simple things. Let us all count our blessings and name them one by one! Let us improve our rating as happy, if not the happiest people in Asia!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 10:16 am