Monday, 26 September 2011

A "Daughter" Visits

Normally I would be glued to the sofa watching the Gron Pree (or Grand Prix as I thought it was to be pronounced) when it takes place in Singapore.

I don't take pleasure in cars zipping round the track over and over again. I watch it to take in the Singapore skyline.

Eg, Look, look, look, that's Anderson Bridge, that's where we went to ....

Yesterday we were so, so, pleasantly surprised by the visit of a young lady from Beijing. She used to attend our church when she was doing her postgraduate journalism course at the university near us.

She is also a friend of our Chinese lodger (JJ) who happened to be on the same course. JJ is now a well-known talk-show host on Beijing Radio.

Our young lady dropped in at church and we invited her home for lunch and we had a lovely time catching up.

We talked about the welfare state, the NHS (free or affordable healthcare?) the income gap (in China and Singapore), how developers must consider long-term sustainability, etc. I kept saying, it felt like a daughter had come to visit.

If only I was so privileged!

Husband said, "Don't copy everything from the west."

I said, "Yes, there is a lot about Chinese culture which is great."

Confucian teachings about the Five Relationships, for example. Of propriety. Of relationship between the family and the country.

The western culture does not have that.

The most interesting thing is our young lady now works for an environmental charity. She's actually working on setting the standards for organic cotton certification in China.

How awesome is that?

I've always had my doubts about cotton from China touted to me as "organic cotton". Now the young lady we befriended, played host to, is now a key player in setting those standards in China.

Makes you think. Extend hospitality when you can. Be kind always. You never know whether you are entertaining angels.

There is no end in folklore in every language about how the person one despises or ill-treats, or the lowly person one treats with utmost respect, becomes a person of great importance and influence.

How do we know that the foreign domestic worker that we have to teach cooking skills to would not, one day, rise to the highest position of power in her own country?

Be kind to aliens.

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