13 Sep Youth Engagement Forum Encourages Youths to Use Laughter to Bridge Distances
The 2nd BYTES@CAMPUS Youth Engagement Forum was held last week on 2nd November, Friday to encourage youths to use laughter to bridge distances and highlighted the appropriate use of humour on social media platforms.
Lined with a series of thought-provoking engagement sessions addressing the topic of Social Media, Racism and The Law, the event had Guest-of-Honour Acting Manpower Minister, Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin engaged 180 students and teachers in conversation on building a nation together. Mr. Tan urges youths to play their part by simply actively reaching out, talking to, and getting to know people without any pre-conceived prejudices. “It is something that all of you can do, individually. Because when you get to know people it’s very different; it changes everything. It is when relationships are surfacing, this is what nation building is. You want to feel at home. What makes our physical place a home and not just a house? It’s relationships,” he said.
Mr. Tan ended the session by articulating the challenge ahead for Singapore. “Can we build a great nation? Can we build a nation that we will be proud of and call home? And the truth of the matter is, you’ll be surprised, it doesn’t take a lot. It just starts from every individual to try to do something. For those of us who are influential, extend the influence to help others around you. Never accept that you have no choice, and never underestimate the difference you can make to yourself, or to society,” he said.
To remind youths to appreciate humour and use it with grace, good will and a little sensitivity, the event presented “Laugh it loud, Joke it right!” a stand-up comedy performance by prominent blogger Mr. Rishi Budhran and Dr. Jason Leong. Through these performances, Organising Chairman, Mr. Delane Lim wants to emphasize the importance of putting racial jokes in the right context; because when taken out of context or misquoted, racial jokes may turn malicious and hurt people. Hence, Mr. Lim would like to urge youths to exercise personal and social responsibility in using humour and making prejudicial comments online.
“I hope youths think beyond the racial comments seen online and stop to think about the intention of people circulating such comments. Racial comments may have been made in a benign context in the first place, but their circulation by others may have been done with a malicious intent. I hope teenagers will be mature enough to recognize and see beyond this intent and not encourage such malicious intent by circulating racial comments they come across online,” he said.
The event also saw the official launch of World Kampung Games, a by-youths-for-youths program under BYTES@CAMPUS that seeks to bring youths together through sports and games. 1300 students from Raffles Institution attended the World Kampung Games’ First Games Day, which was held at Gardens by the Bay on 22nd and 23rd October 2012.
Organised by Agape Group Holdings (AGH), BYTES@CAMPUS is a youth-led initiative that seeks to forge cohesion between Singapore youths & foreign counterparts through an array of forum, team-building, leadership development, and community development activities.