Leave Those Kids Alone!

kdrama-gong-yoo-goblin-grim-reaper-pontianak-mythical-creatures-scary-evil-bewitched-stereotype-attention-perception-educate-children-fearless-description-new-year-blessed-monsoon-amc-keajaibanminda-aAhhh… Monsoon! So far, it has been kind to Kuantan… at least since I got back. Hehehe…
Not too much of monsoon madness here, this year; periods of a few days of steady rainfall, with a day of sunshine in between.

The blessed life! The blessed weather that soothes the soul for the remaining days of 2016… The rain that keeps most of us indoors means that we have to engage in monsoon-friendly activities (a.k.a. indulging our indoor hobbies…) to entertain ourselves; makan (nothing can stop us, not even the rain!), reading, writing, housekeeping, baking, watching the television, and surfing the internet, Hehehe…

I am always open for suggestions especially during the Monsoon and when my niece suggested that I watch a Korean series; Goblin, I agreed.  I was clueless as I did not read the synopsis and the only thing I knew was that they (my younger sister and my niece) are nuts about the leading actors. Good looking, meh? Hmmm… at least I have some ideas on what the younger generation is watching! Of taste, it is subjective…

The show is the usual Korean fare with fantastic cinematography, good looking actors and actresses and a haunting soundtrack. One thing that sets the show apart from others in my opinion is the way it portrays the leading characters. It is a shift from the traditionally-bound images of mythical scary characters and settings to a more acceptable (good looking is a plus) and funny ones with beautiful scenery. (Not your standard ugly looking creatures living in a dark and cold dungeon!)

If the goblins and grim reapers of all cultures should look, dress and act like they do, children of the world will grow up to be more confident and fearless!

Such a shift of perception of the scary things we knew about when we were kids to something more positive, is more than welcome in my world. Children should be taught to be fearless and not to be threatened with paranormal/super natural beings when they misbehave… There are other ways to discipline children but do stay away from scaring them with things that might hamper their self confidence especially with those things related to the X-Files and Supernatural.

Nothing irks me more than when a child screams of being afraid of something that is just not there!

“Aunty Nany, there’s a ghost there!”

I would be like, “Where?”…

When the child insists on seeing ‘it’ but when Aunty Nany cannot see anything, I would ask,

How does it look like?

Usually the response is, ugly… and the entire adjectives spewed when describing a traditional ghost.

Can you draw what you saw?

Lo and behold! The cries get louder; especially when I presented the drawing materials.

Hmmm… I always suspect the child was hungry, bored or irritated with my strange questions and requests… but then, it is better for the child to just let me know, rather than pull that kind of ‘trick’ on me! If attention was what the child was after, I guess the child had learnt a valuable lesson of a different kind of ‘attention’ from me… Hehehe…

Alas, I never seem to get a clear answer or the images of what they ‘see’ to satisfy my own curiosity. (Note: Kids do not lie but they are very open and susceptible to suggestions from the surrounding elements via their five senses and they do have active imaginations.)

Looking up the dictionary to the meanings of the words does not help either. We get words like ‘ugly’, ‘grotesque’, ‘mischievous’, ‘evil’, and ‘malicious’. Well, there are just words and meaning of the words differs from across cultures. Just an example: the western perception of a supermodel is said to be ‘ugly’ in a culture where voluptuousness is celebrated. (I will not disclose the location for fear that the country will face a massive immigration problem if the secret is out.) Same goes for everything else in this world; the meaning and the magnitude of a word, feeling and image are of course, subjective and relative.

Instead of stereotyping, let us shift our perception and create more visually appealing culturally-bound characters in our traditional folklore. Let’s have more vampires looking like Edward Cullen (Twillight), goblins living like Gong Yoo (Goblin), Pontianak-s dressing like Erra Fazira (Pontianak Kampung Batu) and immortals behaving ethically like Christopher Lambert (The Highlander).

Once the perception has been transformed, adults will have to be more creative in disciplining the future generation. “Do not be another brick in the wall”… Let’s nurture the coolness of our eyes to become great individuals!

Happy New Year!

May 2017 be filled with the things that we wish for!

–Khairany

p/s:

I’m wishing on a star…

I’m wishing on a rainbow…

I’m wishing on a dream…

 

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