Stop Complaining woman!

Sometimes I don't understand the foreign talents here. No-  I don't usually have anything negative to say about them -  but today something my tenant (and friend) said boggled me.

If you are a foreigner or Indian PR -  you need not read this -  cos this is about you. So move on without reading this if you don't want to be offended. If you are still reading this - then go ahead - don't say I didn't warn you.

Lets face the fact.
We need foreign talents because no one here is willing to do the work our parents or forefathers did to live and survive. We have given those jobs to Third world country citizens who left their comfort zone to seek a living and a better life. They leave their place to seek a better life -  that's something important to note. Living in their own birth place was either not safe and secure for their family and survival or they wanted world class education for their kids, or wanted to earn the money they can never earn when they are back in their own country.

So if you are here for the safety and security in Singapore. You will not be raped when you come back home alone past 8pm. No one molests you, your jewels are usually safe unless you parade them around in the street in your dirty nightie thats soaked wet on both sides of your thighs implying that you just spent time washing dishes. So  -  main point -  Singapore- safe.

The other foreign talents are the ones - that the employers are sucking up to-  the ang mohs and all  -  imported from Australia, UK, Germany, Norway and so on. They are white, hence life for them is relatively easier -  they are packed in good renumeration expat packages -  hence the housing, transportation, medical and almost everything is covered for by their company. Citizenship comes easy if they buy property here or set up business here. I am not sure of the exact details -  but these are the gist. Lets not talk about the PRCs, or the Filipinos. The Filipinos were early on in the scene when women started going to work and having a maid at that time was considered a luxury. Now -  Filipinos are not just maids. They too have now given that position up to Indian, Sri Lankans, and Myanmar nationals. Most of them are in the IT industry or in the service industry. Its surprising that Tagalog is not a national language yet!

I have never met any other nationals who complain of a life in Singapore other than the Indian nationals here. My good pals are Filipinos and Indos and my employers were Europeans. My Chinese friends, tell me that PRCs never complain about being in Singapore -  only the Indians. Since I only have exposure to the expat upper middle class south Indian community- let me focus on them.

I have seen my fair share of Indian PRs here. There are a few types

1) The rich -  who either rent a condo,or buy a condo.
They send their kids to international schools that has a whopping four digit fees every six months, travel extensively, and know of places that's not tekka or mustaffa.

2) The rich, but not rich enough to rent a condo, nor a full flat, but a room in a flat
Usually one of them is a PR or a EP holder -  and their wife or kids are dependant pass holders. They know no place BUT tekka and Mustaffa

3) The upper middle class - majority
They are the ones who usually start living in a rented room, then bring in their wife and kids to live the Singapore Dream and live in a rented HDB flat, and then progress in life to actually buy a flat. They either earn well or have their own flat.
They too know of no place outside tekka and Mustaffa

First of all -  I feel bad for them. They come from living in an open space with family and friends all in close range to talk and communicate. When they come and live in a room and share communal space with others -  they feel constraint and stressed and isolated.
The ladies I know -  are not the typical villagers as well you know. They are all well educated and they tag along in the hopes of finding employment in Singapore to support hubby and the family too. But the thing is -  unexpectedly finding employment is hard and when kids come in the picture -  the women take a back seat to tend for the kids.

So when they live in Singapore -  they are here to improve their lives - if not theirs -  then their kids. If that's the case - then why the F are you idiots complaining about?
No Seriously! I don't get it. That's one.

The next...I just don't understand how these people plan their future and their lives.
Lets talk about the kids and their education first.

They plan to have their kids study in the local school ( cos the Indian schools are expensive). They have no intention of mingling with the locals -  but just because the local schools where the locals are studying are cheaper -  they send the kids there.

In the pre-primary years -  they would send their kids to the nearby schools. Admission is usually guaranteed. Since school is not compulsory - they either send their kids to school every day - or they will not send. Now this depends only one 2 things. If the kids are not going to school it means the mother got pregnant again and has to head back to India to be tended and looked after by her own mum - or the mother is sick and tired of Singapore and wants to head back home. Naturally happens and its no big deal.

When you get back -  I have no idea who does the registration for the school actually - if the mother is not there I guess the father does everything. They suddenly realize they are not PR and they cannot locate s primary school for their kid. You mean you didn't know? Don't you all check and find out about all these things before hand? Are you that dumb?

You know your hubby has plans to work in Singapore for another few more years and he plans the kids to study in Singapore as well -  so what should you be doing? Send your kid to a English medium school back in your hometown so that he can catch up when he comes back. NO.
You again send them to their whatever school so that has no one talking in English. What happens is no mystery - your kids hates to speak in English or is shy and lacks confidence in speaking it.

Again a point to note -  Singaporean kids are given priority -  after all this is a local school in Singapore meant for local kids. Whats the big deal? Why lament and complain that your kids are not given priority? Of course you guys are not given priority. If you want priority -  get a citizenship.  By law -  Singaporeans are given priority in schooling first and then the PRs and then the foreigners. I assume by the time the PRs are given the seatings for the school -  the foreigners have no place in schools. And then these people start panicking.

Next  - they suddenly realize that their kids cannot catch up with the English spoken. Actually truth be told -  I don't think any of us Singaporeans are talking in proper English with the perfect grammar and vocab and all. We are talking Singlish. Not good English. I know. But somehow this new generation of kids-  with all the cable tv exposure they are getting -  they are speaking well and good. Again -  this is a matter of exposure.

So suddenly -  they realize their kid's English is not good. So months before the Primary school starts -  they dump the poor kids with books and assessment books and send the Primary One kid to tuition! Can you imagine??? Primary One only and going for tuition.  They are educated women and they send their kids to tuition for Primary One. Give the school a chance - they will help the kids. But nope - they want to be better than the locals - in fact -  they have to be better in everything they do. They force their kids to study and study. I have one colleague whos actually told her kids that they have to get an A and nothing less for their results. Maybe we Singaporeans are slacking because being in the education system ourselves -  we want to give the kids the break they deserve in their childhood. May be its only me. I don't know.

My advise for these parents -  please believe in the school. They have seen many immigrant kids and they know what they are doing. They can and will help. The next thing you know -  your kids will only talk you in English. So relax.

Next -have you met the people who have nothing nice to say about Singapore? About how strict we are, how we are tightening our immigration policy and how they hate being here and cant wait to get back to their country? If you have not - be happy. I have.

I have seen the ultra proud Indians. After years of being here, using the education system and the housing system for their own use, they hate Singapore and hate others talking about their own country. And they say they are there only for the kids. Really? Hypocrites.

Then there are the ones who are afraid of the NS system here. I have never seen anyone as scared with NS as the Indian parents. Talk to one of them and you will know. They plan usually to leave Singapore once their precious boy turns 14 or 15 so that they can avoid NS. Talk about being cowards.

The misconception they have about the NS here - is a big issue. I think they all should go for a proper orientation about NS when they are given PR or citizenship. Do they even know the experience these boys get? The discipline they get in NS is so much better than the ones the Indian parents think they are giving. I have seen the men who had been to NS and the one who have not. They are worlds apart.

If I am ever stuck in Chennai -  just like these Indian women are stuck in Singapore -  I will be stressed as well. But no way do I go around telling fellow Indians that I hate being in India. I will just say that I feel out of place. I mean Singapore is safe and secure and at least they can be on their own and walk back home safe and sound. No one has ever given me that guarantee for india yet. Not even my family in Kerala or my in laws in Chennai.

I would work on my blog, study, take up a new hobby, learn to drive in chennai, start my own online business, or take up certification in yoga. Something better than watching serials. One good example is the girl Rak who has her own website where she shares her passion for cooking. She complains about the weather and I'm pretty sure she bad mouths us too -  but I admire her. She has built her own online presence. This is what Indian women need to do. Don't just sit there -  do something. Learn something. Stop lamenting. If this is your fate- if being in Singapore is your future for the next 6 or 7 years - then do something about it. Join the parent support groups and be a regular there. Get to know other non Indian people and talk to them. Break the ice and form your own gang to meet up for tea or dinner.

I know its hard for women who have no support group like their mother or someone to baby sit. Form the group of trustworthy mates. I have my friends envying me because I leave my kid at my mum's every weekend. You can do it too -  just loosen up a bit, make trust worthy friends, don't stay cooped at home and watch serials, Skype with family back home or Facebook.

No one is asking you to lay your lives for Singapore. You guys won't. In the end -  no matter what - Singaporean are the only one left to defend their nation.

Don't lament and complain -  find something to do. Make the time being in Singapore filled with wonderful and unforgettable experience. Or if you feel that Singapore is still a shit hole to be in -  then please pack your bags and your f'd up attitude and leave -  cos the government can replace you with another employee. You are not irreplaceable my friend. No one ever is.

I may have hit a nerve with some readers here and there. But instead of being offended and angry -  think and reflect on my points. You can either think about it and do something. Or sulk and hate me and do the same old things you have been doing. Either way -  these are what I have noticed and wish our Indian girls work on to improve their time here.

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