Voices Of Youth

Where's the kampung spirit?

I am a regular at a certain fast-food outlet, and on Sundays, there is often a friendly older employee going around offering balloons of all shapes and sizes to children.

Recently, he approached two young children and, with a big smile on his face, asked: "What balloon would you like?" Before the children could say anything, their father shook his head and said: "No, thank you. Maybe you could clear my tray?"

I saw his smile turn into an expression of dejection.

I felt really sorry for this hard-working, kind employee, who went out of his way to make children happy.

In our society these days, there is a low level of acceptance of people who one does not know. This is just one example. Even in primary schools, you can hear pupils exchanging racist jokes with fellow classmates.

Where is the old "kampung spirit" everyone talks about?

Darrius Tan Wei Liang, 13,
Secondary 1 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'Where's the kampung spirit?'. Print Edition | Subscribe