Posted by: Ibrahim | 20/06/2010


I happened to watch a reality TV series.. something like Akademi Fantasia or Malaysian Idol. But the contestants were children. I enjoyed watching the performers, they looked so adorable. But I felt disgusted with their parents. Very much. I don’t know what’s on these parents’ mind (who happened to be Malays and from the dress, apparently, Muslims).

I would understand if they cried because their children received excellent results in examination. Or win somekind of IQ or Physical games, or managed to recite the Holy Quran wonderfully. But they were basically crying because their children were singing some kind of distorted love songs which have no value to them. If the songs were carefully chosen to emphasize on familial relationships, friendships, or nature or whatsoever comprehensible to their age (not necessarily nursery rhymes), that would be different.

Worse, the children were made (read: nurture) to act as if they felt in love, and then fought for their love, got jealous, betrayed.  What happened to the beauty of childhood where children were being given freedom to talk and play about so many things rather than restricted to the ‘love/lust-hate relationships’ in adults’ world? I believed that these parents actually wanted to be a celebrity once, but they just didn’t have the chance (read: looks and talents). Haven’t they realised that they’ve been taking advantage by the entertainment industry?

So, instead of educating their children to become useful people, they’re dangerously risking their children to the problematic, futureless ‘glamour’ life. But I don’t blame them completely. They might as well want to see their children on TV. But there is no alternative. The so-called academic or Islamic kids TV programmes are rather passive and unattractive. The way it delivers the subject matters are so unnatural and complex, that I sometimes believe that these shows adhere to adult viewers.

Besides, do you see much ‘movements’ in these TV shows? Hardly. They treat children as adults and the kids are ‘made’ to listen and even if they ever ask questions, we notice that it is heavily scripted. From what I learnt throughout my teacher training, children have short attention span. They love activities that require them to move and to make use of their senses! I don’t know what is wrong with singing and dancing to the children if the songs and dances are appropriate.

DELIVERANCE by James Dickey


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