Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote a reading culture among Singaporean students.
A story about two sisters who struggle to understand each other is not new; neither is a story about growing up in a place you love but do not belong in. The beauty of This Place Is Still Beautiful lies not in telling these age-old stories in yet another recycled form—it’s in the way XiXi Tian condenses these two archetypes, along with the central characters’ personal struggles, into a bittersweet narrative that moves the reader with its painful realism and hopeful undertones.
By Johnathan Lim (23S03M) and Venkatesan Ranjana (23A01D)
You are at the party of your not-so-close friend. Someone suggests playing “Burning Bridges”. People sit in a circle facing each other. The first round starts with the people across you. They giggle and shove each other before pointing at you.
Hm, seems like something is funny, maybe I’ll ask them about it later.
There is undoubtedly a voice within you preaching that ten years from now, you should be on a perfect trajectory to becoming the top in your field, attaining widespread recognition and numerous accolades. What is worth examining for many of us is whether there is another voice—which may be slightly quieter, or raving more loudly—that questions the first.
That first voice represents what we can refer to as the typical Rafflesian path of success, in which the only definition of success deemed acceptable is three-fold: regard, position, and service.