Yi Li JaniceNanyang Girls' High School, Singapore
CHNGNanyang Girls' High School, Singapore
AngYiJiaNanyang Girls' High School, Singapore
MettaSariNanyang Girls' High School, Singapore
19 & under
Wee Ling AngNanyang Girls' High School, Singapore
Philosophy, Religion & Mythology
Ages 12 and up
Firstly, we ensured that everyone had an equal share of work to do and hence distributed our roles as fairly as we could. We tried our best in maximizing our strengths, for example, Xinni had experience in html coding and design, having won a few design competitions and also having had her layout designs chosen as ‘Skin of the Day’ before on a popular blog layout site, Blogskins.com. As she is a naturally neat and tidy person, we were sure that she would have no problem in being tasked to design and code our website and layout in an organized manner. Furthermore, we felt that each member should be comfortable with the topics that they were dealing with. Hence, we decided on our own the topics that we would wished to embark upon. As Janice had an interest in war crimes and genocide, she volunteered to research on the topics, while Metta had the desire to probe into the issue of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She also wondered about the idea of revolution, and whether it involved violence, and so she took up the task of finding out more about it. On the other hand, Yijia, who had been pondering about the theories of pacifism and totalitarianism after watching the movie, ‘V for Vendetta’, was more than happy about finding information pertaining to these theories. After we searched for information on the topics, we sat together to express our opinions based on the background knowledge of the case studies and combined our ideas to form the most objective viewpoint based on voting. We also helped each other peer-edit the information to ensure that they were accurate in terms of language. Xinni also showed us her preliminary designs and we decided on the most suitable layout for the website. Thus, we all played a part regarding expressing our views on the issues as a team, and deciding on the appearance of our website. No-one was left out whenever we had discussions and it was ensured that everyone was agreeable with decisions made. Other sections such as the ‘vocabulary bank’, ‘references’ and ‘interact’ section had workloads that were all evenly spread out. By doing this, everyone would be contented knowing that they were doing an equal share of the work and that through teamwork, they were doing less than if they were individually entrusted with the workload. As such, we believed that we could produce the best possible results only if we did what we enjoyed and were contented with all aspects of the competition, and had a voice in the group decisions.
Our group, consisting of 3 Singaporeans and 1 Indonesian, joined hands to enter this competition. How we came together with the same passion for the topic on war and conflict remains a mystery. We are all of Chinese ethnicity, but hail from different backgrounds in terms of culture and religion, and have diverse personalities. Janice herself is a Christian, who loves to make friends and meet new people. Living in a family that believes that love can solve the problems of the world, she firmly believes in the notion of pacifism. However, she is well aware that man faces the problem of resorting to violence to end conflicts. Metta, an Indonesian scholar, has an outgoing character and is able to point out ideas and draw conclusions based on available information, as she has a highly analytical mind. She is a Buddhist with a history of mixed ancestry, including Japanese and Chinese blood. Exposed to many cultures with slight influences from her grandparents who originate from different countries, she is able to place herself in others’ shoes, and hence produces objective views on issues. Yijia and Xinni are free-thinkers, and feel that war and violence in some cases can be justified, depending on circumstances. Yijia is a science student who tends to base her opinions by weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Hence, she requires evidence in order to decide on her stand. She is a deep thinker and prefers to be alone, but when she warms up, she can express her opinions well. Xinni, whose strengths are in language, art and IT skills, has a quiet nature and tends to keep to herself. On the other hand, once she develops an opinion towards an issue, she will steadfastly defend it. She is exceptionally good in writing expositions and is able to link ideas and phrase them well. Of course, all of us agree that human lives are precious and that violence should never be an answer to problems. Our vastly different personalities and influences result in our combined views being as objective as possible, as it considers various aspects contributed by each member. In the case of conflicts that the world witnesses, diversity results in mankind viewing each other as different, specific identities, resulting is differing views which lead to conflicts of ideas and in some cases, war when violence is utilized. Yet, in our case, it is a beautiful living example of how diversity results in a wonderful outcome in the presence of mutual respect for each other’s beliefs.