Steph's Friend

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thought Of The Day: "Normal"

Normal: The usual or the expected state, form, amount, or degree.
(Taken from

I don't know how many people have realised this but what's "normal" to you may not be "normal" to others.

In Indonesia, it's "normal" to eat with your hands, but in Singapore, it's weird if you eat with your hands.

In India, arranged marriages are the "norm", but in Singapore it's seen as a last resort to finding a partner.

In Japan Cosplay is something teens would participate in, but in Singapore there's hardly anyone doing it.

In Thailand, you have pig's blood as a delicacy, but in Singapore it's not "normal" to find a stall selling it.

Sometimes, we can't accept other people/cultures/acts for being "abnormal" just because we live in a "normal" society. Let me explain...

Case 1:
"Mum, I love to dance and so I want to be a ballerina when I grow up!"
"Cannot arh! Ballerina can't earn money one."
"But Mum, dancing is my passion."
"Girl girl, it's not that I don't allow you, but in Singapore, it's best if you be a doctor, lawyer or the President."

Case 2:
"Whatz up Dad?"
"Yo man, I said whatz up."
"Can you talk properly? I don't know what whatz-up language you are using."

Case 3:
"I like him."

Now, all three cases represent certain groups of people in my society. Previously, it's not normal to follow a career in arts nor is it cool to say "Whatz up". But as society progresses (to some it's "declines") "normal" totally takes on a new definition.

You eat with your hands? Well, I eat with my hands too - only that I use a spoon with it. You want to be a ballerina? There's NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) for you. You like durians? Why not stay in one at the Esplanade?

It maybe "abnormal" to see people behaving intimately in public, but as society gets more open-minded, it soon becomes "normal". Why there's even people who takes videos of themselves in intimate acts. What's "abnormal" is getting more and more "normal". What's "normal" is getting more and more "abnormal". Let me explain the latter.

"Yo man! Why are you tucking in your shirt?" Tucking in is not "normal" at this point of time.

So what determines "normal" then? I would say that it's time. As time passes-by, "normal" takes a new meaning to it. Why? Because the mindset of the people changes with time. It is the mindset of society that defines "normal". Wireless used to mean that you have missing wires in your radio but now, it's something that allows you to surf without any physical form of connection. Racism was the in-thing then with the KKK and Hitler's anti-Jew CCA (Co-Curricular Activity). Now we (okay most of us) accept everyone! We even extend it to animals with animal activists around us!

With all these examples, it is obvious that our mindset changes with time and it is because of this that "normal" changes.

"Is "normal" abnormal? Or is "abnormal" normal? Why don't you ask the crowd?" ~ Steph

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Anonymous Noi said...

I like this entry. It is weird how we singaporeans standardise ourselves with all this 'rules'. Frankly I hate it too. Great writing.

9:11 PM, March 23, 2006  
Blogger Steph said...

Thanks Noi. It's encouraging to know that there's someone there who appreciates your writing.

Cheers :D

9:45 PM, March 23, 2006  

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