Over here in Penang, some of the premier and ‘upmarket’ schools are implementing rules and regulations on their students’ hairstyles and spectacle frames. Some students are wearing those thick frames and there are motifs of dragons and cockroaches on them! (chisin eh? dragon I can understand but cockroaches?)
One of the premier school with majority Malay students, Penang Free School (all boys), just recently set down regulations that the students hair must not be longer than 2 inches. Previously, the other premier school Chung Ling High School (also boys school), which is a Chinese school already have this strict ruling. The other girls premier school, Penang Chinese Girls School also have tight restrictions on the colour of the ribbons and the length of the girls’ hairs, skirts etc.
My two sons’ secondary school, St. Xavier Institution which has the coolest headmaster around doesn’t restrict the hairstyle but Bro. Paul and his team of discipline teachers do have a huge number of scissors hanging on the wall. (I should know ‘cos I have been ‘summoned’ there before and saw the scissors hanging on the wall, blush.)
Personally, I wouldn’t care two hoots if my sons sports long, blonde hair, wear earrings and tattoos (though probably I won’t allow tattoos because our Catholic church has an issue with defacing our bodies, the temple of God).
So, to me, I am on the fence. I believe teenagers ought to have some outlet for self-expressions. Like wearing two sizes larger pants, leaving their boxer shorts peeking out? Or doing breakdancing which I think is an energetic sports. I think we will breed a generation of perverted, bespectacled nerds if we continue pounding on the don’ts when we don’t tell the kids the whys.
You see, our society, majority of them have certain perceptions which is very hard to change. For e.g. these group of youngsters were invited to the Malaysia Open House and they were presenting the hip-hop dance. There were lots of spectators there earlier watching all those Chinese opera stuffs but when it was the turn of these youngsters, I could hear many grumbling and running away. Some said these are the orlangs’ culture and hence very bad. (I shall leave the meaning of orlangs for you guys to guess.) Some said the music is noise etc etc. Many left in disgust because they were merely asked to leave part of the stage to make way for these young men and young lady. Sheesh, wish I can whack their heads. Ask you all to shift a little bit only, can die ah?
Well, one of the dancer there is my grandnephew-in-law (atm’s sister’s grandson?). His mom worked part-time helping me clean house (something that I am never good at 🙂 ). He wasn’t aware I was there because of the bright lights and probably he was fully concentrating on the dance. So, I squatted there taking 70 photos of them in action, burn a CD and pass to his mom for him.
His mom was earlier apprehensive with her son’s involvement in these orlangs culture and thought that breakdancing are for bad boys. Well, along with the CD of her son’s dancing, I also took some close up shots of our Penang Chief Minister earlier. So, mom is now happy that her son is indeed doing something great. Son of course is thrilled to get a surprise prized CD of them in this important event. (I hope the parents of these young people will attend their performance next time.)
There, a simple, open communication and many problems are solved. So, I wonder if our school authorities can have some kind of dialogue with the teenagers themselves and hear what they have to say before the implementation of any regulations? If we adults will just listen and then, explain to these younger generation why certain things need to be implemented, then less problems will crop up. Agree?
So, if anyone of you know who is this lengjai, just tell him that the grand-auntie who was squatting there throughout their performance with a camera is not some hotshot reporter/photographer from any newspapers. Neither is she a pervert, taking photos of youngsters. It is just her way of doing something for their great effort in trying to bridge the gap between parents and children.