Tag Archives: freedom

An age with relative freedom

We played some music by the band Queen yesterday. When listening to the song, I Want to Break Free, my husband commented that many radio and TV stations in the USA banned this song since its release in 1984. I was surprised. I have always considered the USA a relatively ‘free’ country, much freer than many Asian countries, but why would it be so prudish as to ban a music video of four men dressed in women’s clothes? Or, could it be because some people in power didn’t like skinny ballerinas performing a modern dance in skin-tight leotards?

What does it feel like being shackled? It is the sense of total isolation, in the deafening and incoherent cacophony. Continue reading

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Blogging in English: Who am I?

I started writing this English blog since April last year, and my embarrassing first post was about cardmaking: it all started with my mother in law. My even more embarrassing second post was one way to make your child more popular.

15 months later, my recent two posts were Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan and Copyright violation: are you a victim?

From cardmaking to Ramadan, have I not noticed the difference in my subject matter, style, and language?

Lorelle on WordPress logoRecently, I took up Blog Exercises set by Lorelle VanFossen, a veteran blogger, and a die-hard WordPress loyalist (Please make sure you spell the trademark WordPress properly with 2 capital letters, to avoid her wrath.)

Her exercises have become my blogging nutrients. I have a dedicated bog exercises series to record my journey, because deep down, I really have a desire to improve, not just in my English grammar, my writing skill, but also my thoughts.

Today, I would like to encourage you to view Lorelle’s comprehensive Giant Blog Exercise Check List Part 1. I think it’ll benefit you as a blogger, a writer, and a thinker, whatever your blogging topics are. This list will open your eyes. It may even change your life. If not, at least it is a place with wonderful resources for your reference. The topics cover: Continue reading

Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan

I love British comedy: dry, witty and deep. However, even with the help of subtitles, some of the time, I still don’t understand the jokes. I would need interpretation. My husband has become fed up because I keep interrupting him, and he would reply, “Don’t worry. You won’t get it.” or “It’s not worth explaining.”

I remember when I first watched British comedies 14 years ago, I was shocked with horror what comedians were allowed to say in public. They freely poked fun of the Pope and the Queen, made rude jokes about themselves, politicians, people with disabilities, or made sarcastic jokes about religions. I constantly told my husband — No, in Malaysia or Thailand or Singapore or China, you definitely can’t say this, this, this, this……, using horrid stories about judicial caning, death sentence and disappearance as solid evidence.

My husband will never understand my fear of total freedom of speech.

Being the youngest in a typical Chinese family. A family of 10.

Being the youngest in a typical Chinese family

I grew up in a culture that guarding my words was important. I grew up in Malaysia, surrounded by Muslims, Hindus, and Chinese of all religions. Each group has its unique tradition, taboos and belief, and I learnt naturally to pick up cues of what to say or what not to say to different groups of people. We learnt to live harmoniously by accurately understanding our boundaries. We embraced peace, not trouble.

I had fear.

I’m very used to living within boundaries since birth.  As the youngest child in a traditional hierarchical Chinese family, I must show filial piety to my parents and respect my elder siblings. Obedience is a great value. Silence is gold. Continue reading