Sunday, 20 March 2011


So a lot of people, more so back home in the UK than here, were concerned about us exchange students who are in Singapore. Why? Obviously because of the earthquake and the tsunami and the nuclear plant meltdowns. It's understandable. And to all who cared enough to think about my safety even for a mini-second. Thank you, but Singapore is safe. Too safe maybe. Much like their control on criminal activities and political participation, they seem to have Mother Nature kept in check. It rains only when it needs too here. She don't play that's for sure. I'm happy about that!

Singapore is quite sheltered by Indonesia and Malaysia which makes a tsunami rare, if possible. And earthquakes? Equally unlikely. And as for the texts and emails claiming a BBC news flash has confirmed radiation will affect the rest of South East Asia, well that stuff doesn't help and it is in fact illegal to spread that type of message here because it causes panic and is considered an act of terrorism (or so I'm told). 

Onto Japan.

Obviously now that the shock has gone, Japan - like most disasters and crises across the world - will become old news for those in the West. (I'm sure, Ashley Cole will do something stupid again or Rooney will go on strike again, or maybe David Cameron will criticise yet another feature of society that makes Britain so great, again.) In South East Asia, however, the impact is too great so Channel News Asia and all the other news channels that I've watched (in Singapore and Indonesia) have kept following it with great attention.

It raises questions about environmentally vulnerable nations having nuclear capacity and all other kinds of dangerous stuff. (I haven't educated myself on that debate, so I won't attempt to address it here). One thing is sure though - Japan is that most prepared for a situation like this, and so no matter how much they struggle, I trust them not to endanger more lives than nature has taken so far.

Many people around the world are raising money for Japan, (I've seen some pictures of people raising money outside University Place, Manchester University - good on  them!) and NUS are doing the same. I didn't get to take part because I was late for the GP but I managed to catch a few snaps.

I don't get access to British TV so I don't know if anyone is still paying attention to the aftermath of the earthquake, but if you could (and you haven't yet) please follow suit of these students, and the Japanese Society at Manc Uni and donate. These things go on well beyond media coverage. And when you do... think of the lads who overcame their own grief to help their community:

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