Opinion


Today Film Article

Published by TODAY, Singapore’s second most-read newspaper, on 28th July 2016. Here is the online version.

Channel News Asia (CNA) carried an article this morning headlined, “Singapore best place in Asia to be a mother.”

We were actually number 15 globally in this table based on a study by “Save the Children.” The article assumes that Australia, which was at number 9, is not part of Asia.

rankingI read CNA’s headline and thought, “Oh boy. This is going to a lot of Singapore mothers’ knickers in a twist.”  While there are comments on CNA’s thread on their Facebook page both applauding and denigrating the article, here are some of the detractor’s comments (unedited):

“But is it the best place to be a children? They are so stressed over academic achievements here. A lot of ppl I know wish to migrate with their kids for a more stress free life.”

Agree with this article, but they should also post an article Singapore rank in bottom half as a place to be a mom based on other categories. Don’t only write the positive, also look at the negative, that’s how the nation can improve.”

“Best place? Mum stresses for Child’s education, not included?”

It goes on – you can go to their Facebook post to see all the comments – good and bad.

Personally, I thought it was odd that we were ranked the “best place in Asia to be a mother.” When I read CNA’s article, I came to the realisation that the context was not painted adequately. The “Mothers’ Index” by Save the Children is derived from health, educational and economic factors. Their work seems aimed at developing countries where women’s mortality, safety, and economic progress are major issues. These are not issues faced by developed nations like Singapore.

Here is a quote from the CNA article:

“In Singapore, lifetime risk of maternal mortality has been cut by 80 per cent, child mortality decreased by 25 per cent, gross national income per capita doubled and percentage of women in parliament increased six-fold over the past 15 years, the report noted.

Singapore has done well on the index, far ahead of its regional counterparts, with significant cuts in maternal and child mortality, as well as improvements in the percentage of women in leadership positions in the country,” said Greg Duly, Regional Director for Save the Children in Southeast and East Asia.”

So the foremost issues that concern the organisation seem to be mortality, economic and leadership progress of women.

My hunch is that the issues that make being a mother in Singapore challenging are our education system, time with child, stress, and money (lower and sandwiched class). These do not seem to be measured in the study.

The headline, “Singapore best place in Asia to be a mother,” in my view, is a sweeping generalisation. Yes, it is true based on the study but a wider context to frame this statement would have been more accurate.  For example, “Singapore best place in Asia to be a mother” with a sub-head that clarifies that it is based on mortality, economic progress, etc. The article could then elaborate on issues Singapore mothers face.

This sweeping headline will no doubt create much debate and conversation online. Oh wait, that could have been the intention.

In which case, ignore all of this.

Link to State of the World’s Mothers Report (Full Report)

 

 

I’ve read many Upworthy, Buzzfeedy, Huffposty pieces about 5 habits of creative people or 8 things creative people do in the morning or 11 books creative people should read  or the colour of socks creative people wear or types of coffee creative people drink or the more generic 25 characteristics of highly creative people.

After reading and digesting all these lists, coupled with empirical observation, I conclude that there is one habit of highly creative people:

They Create

 

 

 

 

So this is the story. UOB had a Bollywood themed staff dinner. I can imagine that would have been quite fun and colourful. However, some of them went further than dressing up in Indian togs – they painted their faces black.

After the party last Friday, they posted the picture above on Facebook. A hullabaloo was raised in the press and online for them being offensive. The bank had to apologize and counsel their staff that was involved in this face-painting exercise.

I’m like, what’s the big deal?

OK, it’s true. I have no idea what these guys are like. But my first reaction was that they were dressing to theme and went one step further by painting their face. I am Indian and we Indians are generally darker than the Chinese. It is what it is.

So, as one Indian Singaporean, if the act was done in the spirit of fun and without any malicious intent, I’m ok with that.

I don’t condone racism as an act of prejudice or discrimination but I wouldn’t want to evolve into a society that can’t have fun. In fact, by being overly cautious, we may actually breed factionalism instead of integration and harmony.

I have a bunch of great friends from different races and we are able to have fun because we don’t take ourselves seriously and we inherently trust the intentions of each member of the group. If we had to err on the side of caution, the relationship will become a little stilted and perhaps at the extreme, we will stick with members of our own races in case we inadvertently offend another.

I can see why this act could have caused offense so I don’t speak on behalf of all Indians. But I want to make it clear that as an individual Indian, I would not take offense if I was at the UOB dinner provided it was done in good fun without any malice.

Let’s celebrate our differences, have fun and not take everything so seriously.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Across cultures, one thing that unites is Love. So let’s celebrate the love and cast aside differences.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Don’t wear a black face 😉

So today, I get this eDM to “protect my brand” for US$195.

I own a few URLs including www.daneshdaryanani.com as well as this one daneshd.com.

I was annoyed that I could not get http://www.danesh.com – it was taken years ago by an electronics company called, incredibly, Danesh Electronics (nothing to do with me).

I’m not paying US$195 to “protect my brand” nor am I going to start a porn site.

You heard it here first – if someone takes http://www.danesh.xxx, it has nothing absolutely, whatsoever to do with me.

Incredible though, by starting the .xxx domain, they (whoever is behind this) stand to make A LOT of money from brands who want to “protect their brand”. I can imagine companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Qantas, Virgin (OK, maybe not Virgin) rushing to buy these domains at US$195 to “protect their brands”.

Playboy will also probably buy it to “protect their brand” for a different reason.

What a scam.

They should never have released .xxx domain. Serves no good purpose.