Socialising and acclimatising the foreigners
Lately the vigour to welcome the foreigners has been neglected with focus turned to the election. Now that it is over, maybe this exercise to welcome and socialize the foreigners will take off again. I have just one suggestion to the committees organizing such programmes. And this is from the experiences of the past when the sinkehs were arriving in their cargo ships in the last century. When the early sinkehs came to this island, they were taken care of by their clansmen and they helped them to adapt and acclimatize to the local environment. Coming from temperate countries, the tropical heat can be killing. One of the mandatory rituals is to make them take early morning bath. This is to protect them from heatstroke. The side benefits were personal hygiene which actually was not of much concern in those days. Poor labourers were not too perturbed by dirty places and their sweaty and smelly bodies. They slept anywhere, wore clothes for days and bathing and washing to keep clean were furthest in their minds. Today, many new arrivals are still not conscious of their personal hygiene, the students, and the office workers included. From the smell you know that they have not taken their bath for days, or at best, in the morning before leaving for work. Imagine squeezing with them in the packed trains and buses. For goodness sake, all the programme coordinators incharge of foreigners, please do just one thing. Teach them to take bath daily, and the most important one, before leaving for work. It is not only healthy, it not only reduces heat stroke, it keeps them clean and not smelly. The locals cannot or would not want to talk to them or get near to them if the stench is unbearable. And it can become offensive and invite a negative feeling towards them. A clean and not smelling body will make them more pleasant and people will not avoid them. I have no intention to be rude. But I cannot help but to pinch my nose when the body odour from unwashed bodies is too offensive. I hope this message gets through. I want to be nice and polite to them too. I have to say it because many are suffering in silence and cursing behind their backs. PS. Wally should be happy with this.