Think About Pink

  “When a child gets a hug from his or her mother, if that hug were a colour, it would be pink”, says Karen Haller, an expert in colour and branding. From cotton candy to the rosy cheeks of newborns, from steamy love letters to female power rangers, pink has always been the superstar of all colours, somehow always being noticed first in a sea of colours.  Although it is important to note that many tend to associate pink with “ a lighter shade of red” , I feel that pink has done more than enough to deserve its own class of colours and should never have to dwell in the shadow of red, or any colour for that matter.

        Throughout the ages, the symbolic meaning of pink has been a controversial issue. In the 18th century, which was the golden age for pink, George Romney made pink the colour of seduction in his potraits of Emma, Lady Hamilon who would go on to be the future mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson. His take on pink was later challenged by Thomas Lawrence who in his potraits, depicted pink as a completely opposite meaning. Thomas’s portrait named “Pinkie” equated pink with childhood, tenderness and compassion. How two artists from a single era could come up with totally contrasting outlooks on a single colour shows just how intriguing and ambigous the colour really is.

      Thankfully the modern era has a more unanimous view on the meaning of pink. Just take a walk through the female toddler section of Parkson, and you will see how pink has come to become the colour of the ladies. Even toilet signs nod in approval. Stronger is the apparent disapproval of men who are brave to adorn the colour. Men who go to bars dressed in anything that is the slighest shade of pink would almost surely be sleeping alone that night. In Nazi Germany, inmates of concentration camps who were accused of homosexuality were forced to wear pink triangles. Today, the pink triangle has become a symbol of the modern gay rights movement, empowering gays around the world to stand up not just for what they believe in, but more importantly for who they are. Such is the power of pink.

      In conjunction with Global Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Student Concil of Sunway College, Kuala Lumpur took up arms to inform students and facuilty on the subject. And their theme colour? You guessed it, the pink ribbon is the globally recognized symbol for breast cancer. I was fortunate to have been approached by two young gentleman from the Student Council, Kendrick and Leslie. They handed me a pink card which showed a terrifying fact about breast cancer, that every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer. I was amused however by the tiny caption at the bottom of the card which read, “#LETSBEBREASTFRIENDS”.

       Alas, my hope for mankind is that we tear down stereotypes of blue men and pink women, and start to create a society filled with an entire spectrum of colours. Only then can we truly bask in the palette of colours that is life and ensure that our liberty stays in the pink of health.

Merry Christmas!

It’s 2 days past Christmas, and I’m sure that all the presents have been opened by now (If you have received them. I, for one, did not receive any Christmas presents and I’m still sad about it). How did your Christmas go? ECHO’s writers have been assigned to write about Christmas in general, what they associate this word with, et cetera. So here goes.


 

 

PRESENTS! FOOOODDDD!!!!! And lets not forget family and a nice cup of hot chocolate..

By: Christopher Liew


 

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year! For me, Christmas is one of the most magical holidays of the year, as Christmas spirit has just the power to brighten your day and put a smile on your face. Be it the catchy, cheerful Christmas songs, the tempting presents under the Christmas tree or merely a lovely dinner with all your family members and a heart-warming talk around the dining table, Christmas seems to always bring about happiness and a sense of warmth to your heart. Recently, Christmas has become such a lovable holiday that even non-Christians such as myself celebrate it. It has evolved into a festive season to celebrate togetherness, and not just the birth of Jesus. So this year on December 25th, put on some Christmas songs, gather your friends and families, and enjoy a wonderful day without the stress and worries of work or school! 🙂

By: Merissa Tan Li Ying


 

Christmas has always been the season for giving and being grateful. However lately, thanks to social media, Christmas has become a festive holiday where people showcase their instagrammable food porn, crazy Christmas ornaments or able to be that perfect hostess throwing an amazing turkey dinner without a hair flying in place. It seems that most people are too caught up photographing and filtering their seemingly “perfect” world for everyone to see (and secretly making them jealous) when uploading it on social media. They forgot the true meaning for this magical holiday season: Being grateful for everyone who loves you unconditionally. So this Christmas season, put down your phones at the dinner table, I know you can’t resist snapping photos of that succulent spread in front of you #lovingchristmas #foodporn #alliwantforchristmasisfood but put it down and see the true magical moment unveiling right in front of you. 🙂 Merry Christmas!!!

By: June Ong


 

Tis the season to be jolly! Everyone, including non Christians, may know that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. However, I bet that you did not know that the Christmas we all know and love today was only truly invented in the 19th century. In the early days of Christianity, followers of Christ did not even celebrate Christmas. In fact, there was no mention of the date, 25th of December in the entire bible. A long and weary debate over which date was Christ really born was dragged on for decades. In the end, December 25th became the chosen one as it coincided with other pagan holidays at the time.

Spoiler alert! Santa Claus is not real either. He was modelled after Saint Nicholas of Myra who would give out presents to little kids. The image of Santa was altered throughout the years, but when Coco-cola advertised Santa adorned in red and white on their Christmas calendar, the image stuck.

I never wondered much about why we celebrated Christmas when I was a kid. Ever since I found out the truth, the holiday has never been the same again. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss.

By: Clinton Wee Yuan


 

Christmas has long lost its actual meaning. The 25th of December is not the exact date of birth of Jesus Christ, but it is called Christmas because it’s a day celebrated to rejoice His birth. For Christians, they believe Christ died for the sins of mankind and through Christ’s death, they can be saved of their sins so they may reconcile and have eternal life with God. It has now been taken over by reindeers, snowmen, Santa with presents and Christmas shopping sales. Nevertheless, everyone – Christian or not, still enjoys Christmas, because holiday and great songs, right?

By: Elycia Lee


 

Whenever Christmas approaches, I feel a sense of warmth and comfort deep in my heart. Many might think of the festive gifts and abundant feasts which are synonymous with the yuletide season when they think of Christmas, but to me, the festival goes beyond those. Christmas, to me, means being able to spend time with my family and friends, as we bond over our love for the festive season. It is during this season that we learn to appreciate the love for our dear family and friends, something we more often neglect especially in this busy and modern age. The camaraderie that we have cast aside throughout our busy days are rediscovered as we come together for Christmas. Hence, for this festive season, give thanks for all life has given you and make the most of the moments with your loved ones. 🙂

By: Tiffany Hoo


 

The best thing about Christmas? It really REALLY brings everyone together. I mean, yeah, sure we say that about all the other festivals; Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Deepavali among others, but Christmas brings everyone together in a different way. Not in a way that open houses or excessive food does. It’s more like in this gathering and time when people just think about getting a certain someone a present or taking them out to dinner. Christmas makes you want to show appreciation to people, like thanking them for doing something or being there for you. That’s what Christmas feels like to me. I don’t think Deepavali makes me want to appreciate people. Well yes admittedly it makes me crave murruku and mutton but it doesn’t make me think about thanking someone or feel grateful about what I have. Christmas, somehow, is different.

By: Haritha

Otaku Corner: Iro

by Chloe Kong

 

Konnichiwa minna! (Eng: Hello everyone!) Welcome back to another Otaku Corner! The theme this time round is..about colours! Yes, a really pleasant topic to talk about. In this ‘issue’, I will be sharing with you some kanji about the various colours or iro (kanji: 色). So, let’s go!

 

The following are the list of colours in Japanese in a table form:

 

English Kanji Romanji
Red aka
Orange オレンジ orenji
Yellow 黄/黄色 ki/ kiiro
Green midori
Blue ao
Purple murasaki
Pink ピンク/桃色 pinku/ momoiro
Black kuro
White shiro
Grey 灰/ 灰色 hai/ haiiro
Brown 茶色 chairo
Silver 銀/白銀 gin/haku gin
Gold kin
Indigo ai

 

In terms of Kanji, majority of the colours have a similar meaning as well as character to the words in Mandarin. Hence, for those who have studied Mandarin, you would find some of the words mentioned above familiar.

In some series, you would come across characters having a colour to represent him or herself. For example, the idol groups in Uta no Prince Sama have colour representation for each of the idols. In the picture below, the background is coloured to the colours that represent each character, such as Otoya’s red, Masato’s blue and so on. A way to determine the respective colours (for most of the characters) would be through either their hair colours or their eye colours or even both!

sstore_titre01_original

UtaPri

Credits to Broccoli

 

Besides Uta no Prince Sama, another famous series that has a similar concept would be Kuroko no Basuke! In the series, the basketball aces in the Seiko Middle School all have names that contained the kanji for each of their respective colours.  For example, Akashi’s aka (kanji: 赤司) means red, Kuroko’s kuro (Kanji: 黒子) means black and so on. Just like in Uta no Prince Sama, each of the characters have also the hair colour that matches too! Although, this colour scheme can be found in many anime despite the characters not having matching colour hair or eyes.

965601037_orig

Source: http://www.animexmusic.net/kuroko-no-basket-season-2.html
That wraps up another round of Otaku corner! Bai bai minna!

Purple for International Women’s Day by Merissa Tan

‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’, goes the age old adage. Over the past few decades, feminist movements have been spreading and growing, in hopeful attempts to eradicate the stereotypes surrounding the female population and defend the rights of women all over the world. Since 1911, the International Women’s Day has been held annually on the 8th of March to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for gender equality. Guess what’s the official colour for this remarkable day? It’s none other than the prettiest colour of all – in my opinion at least 😉 – PURPLE!

Purple is a precise combination of two colours – blue and red. As such, purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. So why purple for the International Women’s Day? Besides being one of the second favourite colours in the world, purple symbolises justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with women’s equality. The pigment of choice dates back to the suffrage days of the early 1900s, when purple was closely associated with the women’s suffrage movement.

The Human Rights of United Nations have designed various themes for Women’s Day, and for 2015, the theme says ‘Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’, calling for further action for advancing and recognising women. The theme this year also talked about “Make It Happen”, with the dedicated hashtag #MakeItHappen spreading like wildfire across all major social media platforms. So, what are some interesting events that were held in 2015 to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Women of the World Festival

Founded in 2010, Women of the World Festival (WOW) is a UK based, week-long festival featuring musical performances, debates, public speeches, mentoring sessions, and more. Its founding place, Southbank Centre in London is its principal venue. In its sixth year in 2015, WOW closed with an empowering speech by actress-producer Salma Hayek, who spoke of how the world “has been created by systems designed for men,” and constantly reiterated that women need to fight to break down barriers in their lives.

Women in Science Symposium

The symposium held in Auckland, New Zealand aims to attract more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations while maximizing innovation, creativity and competitiveness. This year, the symposium featured female professionals in fields such as information technology, medicine and engineering in engaging, stimulating panel discussions.

Mums and Girls Code

Presented by Microsoft Luxembourg, Geek Girls Carrots and Workshop4Me, this event is an introductory English-language workshop in coding that mums and their daughters can get involved in, featuring fun coding activities to empower women and young girls.

So, have all these talk about the International Women’s Day got you excited for next year’s celebration? If so, prepare your purple clothes, purple makeup and purple hair dye, use the hashtag #PaintItPurple and join in the global movement for women’s rights! While you’re at it, here’s a cheeky mashup of some of the greatest female artists’ works by the talented singer-songwriter Daniel Dobbs to celebrate the 2015 International Women’s Day, enjoy! 🙂

International Women’s Day by Daniel Dobbs

Born in the Blue’s By: Maasi Haleem

 

Blue. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when the color blue is mentioned?

For me, it is the place I call home. It is the tiny islands that give way to the clear blue skies and the tranquil blue ocean that stretches for infinity; that literally has no end. Everywhere I look, there is a little bit of blue that I always see.  You know that phrase where people say when you are down, you’re feeling blue? Well I tend to feel blue, when I have been away too long from “blue”.

Blue is the people I have at home, the loveliest of them all. The people who are the dearest to me, the people I call family. The people I can count on for anything. It is those people who would move mountains for me if they could, and whom I would do the same for, in a heartbeat.

Blue is my profound love for the environment. Growing up in a place where we are prone to the worst possible environmental conditions; the possibility of the whole country literally drowning underwater. You can talk to almost anybody from my home, and they would win you over an argument about saving the environment (not kidding!). Blue reminds me of the importance of preserving all the amazing creatures underwater and the natural surroundings we have. I’m telling you, they are nothing less than extraordinary to say the least. The whale sharks, sting rays, coral reefs; it’s a whole new world, you would have to see them yourself to understand what I mean.

Blue is the political unrest that I have grown to witness in the place I call home. With only a population of 393,595 people, it is easy to assume that we would be the most peaceful country. However, that is sadly not the case. People are fighting for power; people have been killed and people made disappear – in most of the cases the reason to it yet unknown. Blue is the bewailing injustice that has been going on for decades that has left people, including me, grappling about how our country will turn out to be in the future.

Even with the downsides and amidst many, many other things, there is so much good in the place, so much more that it can be. Blue is the beautiful tropical mess that I call home.

A Dark Misconception by Alistair

Despite the negative connotations of the colour black since ancient times (and even today), the multiple facets of it in various cultures makes this one of the most interesting colours in the colour wheel. It is interesting to note that black is not treated as an ordinary colour by different cultures and even different people within same culture. Usually it is assigned deeper meaning than other colours. For example, some may see it as a colour of mourning, hence for them it is associated with sadness. Others see it as a colour of mystery. Think dark sunglasses, cars with tinted windows, mysterious stranger on black horse and black cats! Some believe it can enhance sexual attractiveness; many women prefer black lingerie. And yet there are some others who wear black as a sign of rebellion.

Black is the darkest colour, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light. It is the opposite of white, but both represent the absence of colour. It is required for all other colours to have depth and variation of hue. It is a mysterious colour that is typically associated with the unknown or the negative. The colour black represents strength, seriousness, power, and authority. Black is a formal, elegant (as in ‘the little black dress’, or ‘the black tie event’), sophisticated, and prestigious colour. Authoritative and powerful, this colour can evoke strong emotions and too much black can be overwhelming.

People do picture black as negativity, sorrow, darkness and malevolence. For the ancient Greeks, black the colour of the underworld – Tartarus, separated from the world of the living by the river Acheron, whose water was black; in Medieval paintings, the devil was usually depicted as having human form, but with wings and black skin or hair; the Roman Empire first introduced it as the colour of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic.

However, every darkness has its light! The ancient Egyptians had very positive associations of the colour black. It was the colour of the rich black soil flooded by the Nile. It was also the colour of Anubis, the god of the underworld, who took the form of a black jackal, and offered protection against evil to the dead. It was one of the first colours used in art, for example Neolithic cave paintings, Greek pottery, and eventually in writing. Black inks that were invented in Ancient China and India, was traditionally used in the Middle Ages for writing, for the simple reason that black was the darkest colour and therefore provided the greatest contrast with white paper or parchment, making it the easiest colour to read. It became even more important in the 15th century, with the invention of printing.

Throughout the ages people have always preferred donning bright-hued clothing, it was equally as popular during times such as the 14th and the 18th century when high-quality black dyes began to arrive on the market, allowing garments of a deep, rich black. Even recently fashionistas adore the simplicity of black. There are people who rather want to emphasize the cut of the garment than its colour. Some people will wear black tight clothes to show off their fit body as black makes you instantly slimmer, according to popular belief. One of the most famous black dresses of the century was designed by Hubert de Givenchy and was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Black also marks its impact in the pages of history. While black was the colour worn by the Catholic rules of Europe, it was also the emblematic colour of the Protestant Reformation in Europe and the Puritans in England and America. Jean Calvin, Melanchton and other Protestant theologians denounced the richly coloured and decorated interiors of Roman Catholic churches. They saw the colour red, worn by the Pope and his Cardinals, as the colour of luxury, sin, and human folly. In the 1950s, black came to be a symbol of individuality and intellectual and social rebellion, the colour of those who didn’t accept established norms and values. The American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s was a struggle for the political equality of African Americans. It developed into the Black Power movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, and popularized the slogan “Black is Beautiful”. In the 20th century, black was the colour of Italian and German fascism.

The colour black can represent both the positive and the negative. As the opposite of white, movies, books, print media, and television typically depict the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. In more recent times, the good guy is shown in black to create mystery around the character’s identity.

In colour psychology this colour gives protection from external emotional stress. It creates a barrier between itself and the outside world, providing comfort while protecting its emotions and feelings, and hiding its vulnerabilities, insecurities and lack of self-confidence. What black covers, white uncovers… We all use black at various times to hide from the world around us in one way or another. Some of us use it to hide our weight; others among us use it to hide our feelings, our fears or our insecurities. It also means power and control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others.

Furthermore, a preference towards black, commonly among teenagers, often relates to a struggle to find their identities as they transition into adulthood, or simply as part of either gothic, grunge, punk, rock or ‘emo’ styles. Black is intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes. It can prevent two-way communication because of its intimidation. The salesman wearing all black will make a lot of sales, but no friends! It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process.

Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power. Black absorbs negative energy. It is useful to carry something black with you to protect you from harm and negativity when traveling or when going about your usual daily activities outside your home. People who like black may be conventional, conservative and serious, or they may think of themselves as being sophisticated or very dignified. Black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When the light appears, black becomes white, the colour of new beginnings. However, too much black can cause depression and mood swings and create a negative environment. Combined with white only, it can create an argumentative atmosphere.

If black’s your favourite colour, you’re most probably:

  • Part moody, part sophisticated
  • Confident
  • Decisive
  • Independent, strong-willed, determined and like to be in control of yourself and situations
  • Emotionally contained
  • Methodical and meticulous in your work
  • Conservative and conventional
  • Mysterious and intriguing
  • Someone who finds power and prestige important

The deepest need of a Personality Colour Black is:

to have power and control in order to protect your emotional insecurities

I See Trees are Green by Elycia Lee

 

“It’s all red, orange and yellow now. Soon it will be just bare trees, only branches and no leaves.”

 

I imagine missing the colours of green. Of course, right now we’re shoved with green once we step out of our houses, but I imagine being in a country where trees aren’t always green. Here in Malaysia, no matter what time of the year, trees are always filled with lush green leaves. We don’t have the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter like the rest of the world, but we have something like an eternal summer, occasionally with lots and lots of rainfall. Hence, hot and humid.

 

Even so, we have rows of greenery along our highways, the streets, around schools and homes. Our leaves do fall, like all other trees, but the constant hue of green remains throughout the year, only once in awhile do leaves turn brown – wilting as they age or due to lack of nutrients. I must say, it is marvelous and amazing to see the leaves change along with the seasons, but to me, green is such an appealing colour, and it’s a colour that connects with me the most.

 

Green was the colour of my favourite blanket as a kid (but now faded into some shade of ugly dirty brownish-yellow). Green is my mother’s favourite colour. Green is the colour of the notebook given to me by my favourite primary school teacher. Green is the colour of the grass I used to tread over barefoot when playing football with my brothers. Green is the colour of the four leaved clovers that my best friend would used to search and pick for me. Though I wouldn’t say green is my favourite colour, green was everything precious to me.

 

Though the blue skies decorated with white puffy clouds and the oceans with their crashing waves are too part of nature, along with the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, as well as the flowers that pave the ground in bright colours; green is the colour that is everywhere, green is the symbol of nature. New leaves are green – the appearance of green is new life, nature’s way of announcing the arrival of spring. And so, even though the colours of autumn are a wonder, the colour of green brings a sense of life. That there is still chlorophyll in the plants and they’re inhaling, breathing in the carbon dioxide under the (scorching) sun.

 

I’d like to see myself be like the colours of the trees of Malaysia – never changing, ever radiant, yet bringing a sense of hope in each new day, and beautifying others’ dull grey lives. That even when there are so many terrible things going on in this country, or even as the whole world plunges into horrifying disasters and the irrational, sickening actions of mankind begin to make their mark, I can remember that the green of nature is still there. Until it is gone, then we will know that life too is over.

 

For as long as I can see that trees are green, I feel like there is still hope left.

 

The Rule of Red By Tiffany Hoo

 

When I was younger, the world was a fascinating place. Many would think that a young child is unable to comprehend the environment around them. However, believe when I say that a child may be more perceptive of his surroundings then you could ever imagine. Even as a kid, the sounds and smells I picked up were a source of awe to me and enticing to say the least. But what attracted me the most was probably the vibrant sights and colours that caught my young eyes. Wherever I went, my sense of sight was stimulated and it transformed what would have been a monochromatic life into something so lively.

However, amongst the spectrum of colours my eyes have laid upon, the colour red has always been one to pique my interest. The colour of blood and fire, as I have often referred to it, has a wide array of meanings. Interestingly enough, the colour red would have been a perfect representation of one’s character at a certain point of time.

When we talk of romance and passion, we think of the colour red don’t we? After all, it is a norm for Valentine’s Day, the celebration of love itself, to be filled with all things red, be it hearts, roses and presents. However, the colour red means so much more than that. It connotes not only feelings of love, but desire as well. Such desire not only extends to a loved one, but to one’s self as well. The desire and determination to find happiness for one’s self can be represented by the intensity of the colour red.

Some would even say that red is daring, determined, energetic and aggressive. Red connotes not only physical energy and strength, it is also a symbol of confidence. Scientific research has proven that the colour red is linked to the most primitive physical, emotional, and financial needs of survival and self-preservation. Hence, it is often associated with anger as this emotion is one of our most inherent features.

Have you ever wondered why most flags are spotted with the colour red, be it by a small amount or large amount? In reality, red represents power and courage in facing and adversity. It symbolizes one’s bravery to fight for what he believes in, even if he ‘shed tears and blood’ to achieve that purpose.

The cupid and the devil, is often a description for the colour red as this intense colour is packed up with emotions ranging from sweet, passionate love to anger and violence. It is a stimulating colour that represents excitement, enthusiasm and high levels of energy.

In short, colour undoubtedly has a significant impact on our emotions, our perceptions, and our spiritual and physical well-being. Often, your favourite colour is a true reflection of who you are deep within.  But it is up to one’s own interpretations to decipher the mysteries in discovering one’s true self.

 

Orange by June Ong

 Once upon a time in a land not too distant, there was a girl named O. Yes, she was a girl as told by the doctors on the memorable day when she came to this world and that became the first certainty in the life of O. As she grew up, O began to feel that this certainty wasn’t as solid as it used to be. In fact, the sureness of this certainty began to blur at its boundaries, the firm grasp of this understanding was starting to fade away, bit by bit…

Sexuality began to erode her mind, leaving her in a confused and nearly distressed state. She was definitely every bit a girl but the problem was, what if she didn’t want to be one? What if she wanted to be a non-girl? Desperately, O started seeking for help, support and most importantly, acceptance by the ones she loved. Unfortunately, those doors were slammed shut and no one was giving her the keys to enter back in so long as she still would not accept what society expected from her.

On a fine morning where the orange sun was blazing radiantly in the sky, O jumped to her death. That was the final straw. She could no longer face the taunting, the bully, the pain and most of all, the worries and anxiety that came from a society would could not accept her. Because of this prejudice against her sexuality, O developed severe depression but no one realised the signs. O was stressed to the point she was breaking down from it but still no one reached out for her. Why? All because no one paid a little more attention to her or lend her a pair of ears to listen to her. The death of a cheerful girl was the sacrifice needed to send society this message of plea.

 Society has an odd way of dealing with stigmas and stereotypes. On one hand, we say we embrace your unique difference and readily accept whoever you want to be as long as you are comfortable in that skin. On the other hand, there is still this small nagging feeling inside of us, whispering and jeering slightly that these “different” people are odd, eccentric and challenging the ideas and norms that any religion forbids. We are a little bit more two-faced than we admit we really are.

When this happens to a stranger who comes out into the limelight and openly projects to the world his/her sexuality, we smile and applaud their courage. When it happens to someone close to us. However, we start developing this fake constrained smile and although you don’t voice your disapproval out loud, you might be secretly curling your lips in disgust. Hippocratic is it not?

 What do you associate to when you think of the colour orange? You link it to the sun, the fruit and etcetera but funnily enough, you never link it to either gender right? We have been drilled and instilled when it comes to gender preferences, boys = blue, girls = pink. My question for you is: What if I want to be orange?

  The colour orange reflects warmth, happiness and plain bliss but what if underneath that façade, that orange is actually replaced by red or even worse, black? Here’s my second question: Do you know anyone who might seem normal on the surface but he/she is actually suffering from mental illness? Mental illness takes on many forms. Most stem from work or academic stress, some comes from broken relationships and some comes from a society who is not willing or ever ready to accept who you want to be.

Lately, circumstances have shed some light on this serious matter but after a while, it blows away and we return back to our comforting normality. Does it really need to take constant deaths and blows to continuously remind us of this deteriorating social stigma? Isn’t one death enough to give us the wakeup call of our lives? Unfortunately, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, we always forget.

 This is my pledge to you: Even if things are slightly different from what you were raised to believe in, do not shut that door, instead be open-minded and most importantly, listen. If you notice something amiss, a slight difference to any usual behavior, do not hesitate to reach out. I admit, sometimes it might be confusing especially on social media when people moan and complain about ending their lives and it is hard for us to distinguish between to those who truly need a crying shoulder and those who are just seeking for some attention. Problem is, we generalize all of them and disregard them all as being attention-seekers so we choose to ignore. Until it really happens.

 Tick. Everyone needs support in their lives. Tock. Problem is, what if they have no one to turn to when all the doors have already slammed shut? Tick. Reach out to people. Even if it’s a stranger on a subway who seems like they might be having the worst day of their lives, smile at them, share a joke or embrace them in a hug. Whatever you do, it might have a significant impact to prevent that fatal pivotal point.  Tock. Time is running out. Tick. Mental illness is not something to be cast aside and shun in the corner. It is a problem that we can help overcome even just by the smallest of all acts. Tick. Tock. Hurry. Before “orange” fades and becomes the dark colour of yesterday……