Voices Of Youth

Take time to get to know neighbours

While many of us speak of the "kampung spirit", it seems that having a close relationship with our neighbours is not common (S'poreans prefer privacy to mingling with neighbours: Poll; June 28).

For the most part, this can be attributed to our fast-paced society, where everyone is absorbed in their own activities and would rather have their own private space.

Building good relationships with our neighbours is very important.

A simple greeting or smile of acknowledgement when we see them is neither a difficult nor time consuming thing to do.

Perhaps parents could set a good example for their children and establish a good rapport with their neighbours.

I grew up seeing my parents and neighbours greet each other whenever we met. Their good relationship showed me the importance of interacting with neighbours.

Fostering close bonds with our neighbours helps to cultivate a strong network of support near home. This is not easy, but it is important to try to do so.

As the Chinese idiom goes: a distant relative is unable to help as much as a nearby neighbour.

Ruth Kang Yunru, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Take time to get to know neighbours'. Print Edition | Subscribe