lundi, août 09, 2004

Happy National Day

Today is Singapore's birthday. My boss asked me how Singapore got its independance. I replied, we were kicked out from Malaysia.

In Feb, when I was in Delft, Holland for my 3 weeks of job training, I got to know a fellow trainee who is a Malaysian. A man of about 40 years old, he explained to me why Malaysia abandoned Singapore. I tried to record it down now but I cannot remember most of the reasons after 6 months.

History is important to us. I learnt only in my late twenties now. When I was in school, I detested history for all the dates and foreigns names we had to memorise. And then, the history of south east asia was not very interesting to me and pretty shallow.

In France however, history manifests everywhere in the daily life. The architecture, buildings, food, books, music, transport, cathedrales, museums etc all oozed of history.

My in-laws' summer house in Bretany is at least 100 years old with a big fireplace and stone walls.

The Chartres catherdrale is nearly a thousand years old. And over the weekend, when I visited my granny-in-law in Chartres, she showed me the family genealogy of 8 levels dating back to the 1700s. I wish I can trace back my roots of 200 years ago.

I remembered starkly when after visiting the National Museum in Singapore, Seb told me that it should be called a house rather than a museum as he took 15 mins to finish. Over at the Louvre, it is more likely to take 15 hours to cover the whole place.

The Metro system here though is old (not as old as London's subway) and dirty, it boosts an age of a century.

My mother-in-law sometimes goes for history walk in Paris where a guide explains the history and architecture of a particular area.

Recently when the girlfriend of my brother and her friend came for a visit, I showed them Paris. I explained briefly the reason behind building Arc de Triomphe. And that the Obelix at Concorde was plundered by Napolean from Egypt. The Versailles Palace replaced the Louvre as the King's palace due to the vanity of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The ladies were impressed with my knowledge of French history here. In fact, I was merely repeating what Seb told me when he was my tour guide 2 years ago.

I am fervently reading about history of France through biography books of queens and princess of long ago. I do hope very much that one day, I will start to pick up about the history of China where I believe the roots of my family genealogy 200 year ago lies.

2 commentaires:

Baby Rio a dit…

Yes, history is really fascinating... Without knowing the past, how can go forward towards the future?

Yes, history is indeed integrated into the lives of the french. When i visited you in June, I really thoroughly enjoyed myself from the visits to the Louvre, Eiffel, Arc de Triumphe and reading up on their history...

I really really liked the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, whatever touches the hearts of the people 2000 years ago still manages to touch my heart in this very modern day. That is the greatness and beauty of art and history.

I really enjoyed the walks through Chartres and seeing the 2000 years old walls that the Romans left behind and the remains of the Roman city gates that the Germans destroyed at the end of WWII. I looked in awe at the 14th and 15th century streets that once allowed only horse carriages and now modern automobiles. I am totally enthralled by the V shaped side beams of the 14th and 15th century houses.

Its really great to see historical buildings having a place in this modern world, unlike all being torn down to make place for the new. Sadly, Singapore is modernising too fast such that there are not too many old buildings around.

The true character of a place can only be seen from its historical buildings and streets that once housed many generations.

History is like a big storybook. It emcompasses the lives of many many generations, their triumph, their tears, their love, their hate...

Without yesterday, there will be no tomorrow.

Baby Rio a dit…

Yes, history is really fascinating... Without knowing the past, how can go forward towards the future?

Yes, history is indeed integrated into the lives of the french. When i visited you in June, I really thoroughly enjoyed myself from the visits to the Louvre, Eiffel, Arc de Triumphe and reading up on their history...

I really really liked the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, whatever touches the hearts of the people 2000 years ago still manages to touch my heart in this very modern day. That is the greatness and beauty of art and history.

I really enjoyed the walks through Chartres and seeing the 2000 years old walls that the Romans left behind and the remains of the Roman city gates that the Germans destroyed at the end of WWII. I looked in awe at the 14th and 15th century streets that once allowed only horse carriages and now modern automobiles. I am totally enthralled by the V shaped side beams of the 14th and 15th century houses.

Its really great to see historical buildings having a place in this modern world, unlike all being torn down to make place for the new. Sadly, Singapore is modernising too fast such that there are not too many old buildings around.

The true character of a place can only be seen from its historical buildings and streets that once housed many generations.

History is like a big storybook. It emcompasses the lives of many many generations, their triumph, their tears, their love, their hate...

Without yesterday, there will be no tomorrow.