Monday, April 17, 2006

No smiles for me?

I've been watching people face on the street in Indonesia and Singapore. In Indonesia, I watched (and still watching) people walking on the street. In Singapore, I watched people on MRTs. One thing I noticed, these people do not smile! I don't know about Singaporeans, but Indonesians used to smile a lot. Something has hapenned to us that made us lost the smile.

What is it? Hardship (of life)? But people in other countries are experiencing the same thing, aren't they? I could understand why Indonesians have less smile nowadays. (Although that does not mean that it is okay not to smile.) Our lives are becoming tougher, compared to years ago. But, Singaporeans? I thought they live better now. Places are clean and well organized. What's on their mind? Aren't they happy with what they have? Why there's no smile then?

Let's smile (more) . . .

13 comments:

Cliffano Subagio said...

I had the same impression when I stayed in Singapore for a month last year.

First, we shouldn't generalise, but I guess it's a fair enough assumption that the smiles are significantly less compared to Indonesia (and Australia - where I've lived for the last 8 years).

At work, people seem to be stressed and frustrated, I see this trend at several work places and the same story from my friends who have been working there for years. On the MRT, on the way to work and on the way home, people seem to be frowning, or snoozing due to tiredness.

Singapore is obviously a highly competitive country, I think that makes people less likely to losen up or relax.

On the contrary, I find them very cheerful during gatherings (with friends, families), when we go out for food or drinks, or any other outings.

budi said...

Cliffano Subagio wrote:
On the contrary, I find them very cheerful during gatherings (with friends, families), when we go out for food or drinks, or any other outings.

Yes, that is true. My daughter brought me to a big band event. They were cheerful (for a while? until the fat lady sang? that is a figure of speech of course. there was no fat lady at the event. ha ha ha.)

Maybe Singaporeans should learn how to enjoy life? But don't go overboard (like us, ha ha ha).

Antony Pranata said...

Try to compare with German people... :)
I have lived in Germany for more than 4 years. The result: I became hardly smile. Hahaha....
Hope no German read this coment.

Anonymous said...

Saya tinggal di Singapura lebih adri 8 tahun dan menikah dengan orang China asli. Memang benar kata pak budhi, orang singapura terlebih orang etnis china baik lokal singapur maupun rrc kurang senyum. Saya selaku orang jawa asli yang murah senyum dan ketawa, agak susah berkomunikasi dengan orang china dari pihak istri. Saya juga sangat sering pergi ke china dan jerman dimana ekpresi muka jauh lebih dingin. Namun tingkat kriminalitas rendah. Ini perlu dicatat. Tingkat kriminalitas rendah, tidak seperti di jakarta, yang banyak senyum tapi mudah tersinggung dan bacok bacok an (mohon maaf). Di Singapura tidak banyak obrolan kosong atau pepesan kosong memang, apalagi sendau gurau, mungkin karena itu negara ini maju meninggalkan negara kita yang santai dan penuh canda.

IndraPr said...

It's the way of life in Singapore. People here used to work under heavy stress. You will be like them once you are working in Singapore, I guarantee. :)

Rani said...

ya memang begitu singapura. Nyebrang sedikit ke malaysia dan berbeda sekali, orang2nya (baik cina maupun melayu) ramah senyum seperti indonesia. Dan gak ada kaitannya dengan kemajuan negara tsb, sebab di negara lain seperti Austria orang2nya ramah dan murah senyum meski gak kenal. Saya khawatir memang ada 'penyakit' di dalam masyarakat singapura, entah apa.

anehnya saya merasa lebih 'culture shock' ketika tinggal di singapura ketimbang di eropa maupun di amerika.

Anonymous said...

It's not about Chinese, Javanese, German, Singaporean, American, etc., etc. Mentioning ethnicity/race is simply racist. To smile or not to smile depends on one's character and mood. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Budhi,
I am a local Chinese Singaporean, and I admit we do not smile that often. My father too, and my Grandpa did that also. Well, may be because we are chinese educated. But many local politicians-chinese, alwayas smile and smile, especially those educated in England or Usa.
You sent you daughter in Singapore, soon or later she will be like us, hardly smile. Please tell her to go back Indonesia for a break.

Thanks Budhi, I like your blog.

tomato750 said...

beberapa tahun yg lalu saat broken heart, whuahaha... saya memutuskan untuk liburan sebulan penuh di Singapura. Saya tinggal di Chinatown (biar irit) dan menikmati keseharian saya sebagai turpas alias turis pas-pasan.

Ternyata setelah sebulan, luka hatiku memang sudah sembuh tapi kok malah berganti menjadi sikap cuek yg luar biasa bahkan cenderung ke dinginnya gunung es, hehehe... itu kata beberapa teman baikku......

adinoto said...

Yep, Singapore's one of th toughest and most competitive countries in the world (especially in South East Asia). Check out the MRT station sometimes you can find first grader sat down there with stress (lots of oldies also). Too much stress as the result of the competitiveness.

Indonesia is still far from being a competitive one :D .. So enjoy!

budi said...

I think Singapore should have a programme called, "Smiling Singaporeans." This could be their brand image 10 years down the road. People around the world would like to visit Singapore because they know that they will be greeted by Smiling Singaporeans.

Achmadi said...

umm.. but if I see Singapore Airlines ads, What I really impressed is their smile :D

So close to Sing, but never been there

Anonymous said...

Rani said...

...ya memang begitu singapura. Nyebrang sedikit ke malaysia dan berbeda sekali, orang2nya (baik cina maupun melayu) ramah senyum seperti indonesia.


tapi maaf, jgn tidak tau... kalau nyebrang ke Malaysia banyak rampok dan todong. yg penting, di mana pun kita berada semoga bukan di negara yang kriminalitasnya tinggi.