Singaporeans behaving badly abroad

An article by an anonymous writer in one of Singapore’s blogs which unfairly commented on the boisterous behaviour of some Filipino domestic workers prompted me to share the following photos I recently took in Berlin.

Each of these street arts was painted by internationally renowned artists invited in 1990 to express their thoughts following the fall of the Berlin Wall. This stretch of the Berlin Wall, managed by the East Side Gallery, was intended to be an open-air international memorial for freedom, and not a free-for-all graffiti space.

Sadly, the memorial wall is defaced by those who could not resist the urge to mark their presence in Berlin. Amongst them were three culprits who identified themselves as from Singapore. Their acts of vandalism, which took place at the end of 2013, were particularly aggravated in that their names were all rendered in disproportionately large scrawl, thereby denying future visitors of their enjoyment of the original work. Two of the three were actually engaged in a gratuitous frenzy, wantonly spraying their names on many more of the works of art.

Hence I would rather be in a bus with the boisterous Filipino domestic workers, then in a gallery with any of the three philistines. The Filipinos were behaving naturally abroad, as at home. But those three, who identified themselves as Singaporeans, were behaving badly in the extreme while abroad.

Tan Wah Piow

6th March 2014

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