Let’s Make a Baby? Campaign Has Mixed Opinions From Youth

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By Arathi Devandran @Miffalicious  & online at: Love, Miffalicious

Singapore’s National Campaign

Masalamommas Intern

When I first read the article, and then subsequently listened to the rap, I will not lie, I burst out into laughter. No, really, I did. I guess you’ve got to be a Singaporean to understand the joke behind this, because a few of my foreign friends (read non-Singaporeans) who saw this felt quite affronted about the message that was being portrayed in the video.

 

 

 

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It’s not groundbreaking news that Singapore really and truly needs help for population growth. There are so many reasons why this is happening, but the baseline is that Singaporeans are not procreating, the younger generations are getting older, and they aren’t being replaced by anyone younger, and this bodes for a dark and gloomy future for the country. It’s no surprise, then, that the government is trying to do its best to reach out to its citizens to get them to “make more babies”, to put it plainly. As Alaric Ng, 21, pointed out rightly, “I think the government is at its wits end…they have been trying for many years to increase our birth rate, but to no avail.”

When I asked some of my friends about what they thought about this video, a couple laughed along with me when they heard the rap. Because really, it is quite hilarious. It is also a very innovative attempt by the company to put across a serious issue in possibly the most un-serious way possible. That’s innovation. That’s good advertisement. It could be better (as most things in life can be), but this is a good place to start.

Singapore’s trying to break out of its conservative mould by broaching sensitive topics in new fangled ways. This, to me, is a big step for my country. And something I’m definitely proud of. Not to mention the fact that it’s heartening to know that the country is now developing a sense of humor that allows younger Singaporeans to access such information on the net, and laugh it off, without feeling affronted or indignant that there seems to be a paternalistic tone to this whole issue. Sruthy Kumar agrees with me as she says, “I’m thrilled that my country has developed a sense of humor.”

And this was exactly what some of my other friends picked up on when they were asked about this video. They felt that the paternalistic tone of the video was so overbearing that they couldn’t really focus on anything else. Which is completely understandable, because really, how many countries in the world out there have rap songs being circulated, telling you to make babies. And during the week when your country was celebrating its National Day as well. This was also a thought that was echoed by the older generation, who were taken aback by how such a “taboo” and “sensitive topic” (because that is how procreation is viewed in the general Asian society, let’s not lie) could be broached in such a brash manner.

Again, this is an understandable perspective, considering that our parents and grandparents come from a time when what happened behind closed doors, stayed behind closed doors. There was also never a need to raise awareness about population growth during those days; if anything, Singapore experienced a population boom during the 50s and 60s with the end of its turbulent political and social climate.

 

That being said, I do believe that the younger generation is able to appreciate the severity of the ageing population that Singapore faces. Videos and articles such as these are rampant because the country is at its wits end in an attempt to encourage Singaporeans to marry early, and have children. 21 year old Shawn Lee states, “Yeah, I think the awareness about this issue is important. Singaporeans should know the problems the future generations will face if the situation worsens.” He is one of the many, who are able to understand the severity of the issue Singapore is looking at.

 

Monetary incentives (which the government attempts to use) can do little when there is no paradigm shift among the younger generation about the need for its citizens to marry and have children. Hence, this is just another effort to raise awareness, and should be taken with a pinch of salt. Or at least, that’s what I think.

 

What do you think about such campaigns? How would you or your family members react to it? Do leave your comments below!

 


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