Events to Catch in Singapore: The Youth Series-2017/18

It’s time to move away from that couch, and put your phone away. Singapore has an interesting line up of events in the next few months, and it’s worth looking into! So, apart from the usual suspects, ( Universal Studio, Bird Park, Gardens by the Bay, and the various malls) that have lined up some great family friendly events, there are few more line up of events that the young at heart can look forward to. So, go on, go on! Book now!


When: 22 to 23 December 2017

Where: Esplanade Theatre

Jurassic Park in Concert

Presented by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Jurassic Park in Concert has been organized in celebration of the 25th anniversary of this iconic Steven Spielberg film. During the concert, the film will be projected on a large screen whilst the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra plays alongside and in sync the movie.

Tickets range from S$108 to S$255, exclusive of booking fees.



When: 09 December 2017 to 21 January 2018

Where: Resorts World Theatre

Fly through time at Flying Through Time at the Resorts World Theatre. Directed by world-renowned Director Choi Chul Ki and helmed by local artists such as Joshua Tan and Melody Low, this non-verbal action comedy tells the universal tale of good versus evil and how love conquers all.

Tickets range from S$30 to S$118, (SISTIC).



When: 03 December 2017

Where: Gateway Theatre

Presented by Adedance Artistic and Aerial Productions, A Touch of Wild: Adedance Aerial 2017 Student Showcase is their first ever student showcase. This showcase will consist of performances by aerialists, bellydancers from The Angelina Tay School of Bellydance and more. All ticket proceeds will go to SOSD Singapore and finger food will be provided for guests throughout the performance.

Tickets are available at S$35 each and can be purchased via their Facebook page or via call or WhatsApp at +65 9787 6948.



Singapore National Youth Orchestra

When: 12 December 2017

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

Show our young talents some support at A Celebration of Youth Orchestras: SNYO in Concert – To London From America on 12 December 2017 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Conducted by Peter Stark, this concert will bring you on a trans-Atlantic musical trip through the works of Gershwin, Copland and Vaughan Williams.

Tickets range from S$25 and S$15, (SISTIC).



Zouk Out

When: 08 to 09 December 2017

Where: Sentosa Siloso Beach

The biggest party of the year is here again. Zoukout 2017 is happening from 08 to 10 December 2017 at Sentosa Siloso Beach and this is one of the best ways to conclude 2017. This is the 17th edition of ZoukOut and artistes that you can expect in this year’s line up includes Axwell, Robin Schulz and Claptone.

Tickets are going at S$228 for a two-day festival pass and S$138 for a Day 1 ticket and S$148 for a Day 2 Ticket. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for S$158 for Day 1 and S$168 for Day 2.



When: 25 November 2017 to 29 April 2018

Where: Art Science Museum

Treasures of the Natural World brings you back in time and on an adventure of discovering the various scientific breakthroughs throughout history. A total of 200 prized treasures from the Natural History Museum in London will travel all the way to Singapore for the first time ever. If you intend to visit with children, there will be an ongoing treasure hunt just for them!


Shawn Mendes Illuminate World Tour 2017

Shawn Mendes

When: December 9, 2017, 8 PM

Where: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre

Multi-platinum singer-songwriter and global sensation Shawn Mendes is bringing his acclaimed ‘Illuminate World Tour’ to Singapore.


Laneway Festival Singapore

Laneway Festival

When: January 27, 2018 10 AM /

Where: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay

As with previous years, the 2018 festival – also the 8th Laneway in Singapore – promises to be a full sensory experience for music fans, with a focus on the best new and established live acts in the game.

2018 Line up: Aldous Harding – Amy Shark – Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals – Billie Eilish – Bonobo – Father John Misty – Loyle Carner – Mac DeMarco – Moses Sumney – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Slowdive – Sylvan Esso – The Internet – The War On Drugs – Wolf Alice

More about Laneway Festival


Art from the Streets

Felipe Pantone (b. 1986).
(Untitled mural in Montreal, 2016. Spray paint)

When: From 13 January 2018

Where: ArtScience Museum

From 13 January 2018, the galleries of ArtScience Museum will be invaded by some of the world’s top street artists in one of the boldest exhibitions to be shown at the museum in years. Art from the Streets traces 40 years of Street Art, from its countercultural beginnings to its extraordinary rise as a major phenomenon in contemporary art.

The show features the world’s best known street artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Futura, Invader, JR, Blek le Rat, Swoon and Vhils among others.

Curated by Street Art expert and gallerist Magda Danysz, Art from the Streets reflects the evolution of street art, charting the diverse artistic techniques employed by artists through the decades and showing how technology has created new expressive avenues for artists. One of the highlights of Art from the Streets will be a series of live paintings and installations created on-site by iconic names from the field. Nearly a dozen artists, including upcoming new street art sensation, Felipe Pantone from Spain, have been invited to take over the galleries of the museum, creating new artworks especially for the show. Illustrating the vitality of and diversity of the movement, the show also includes large-scale mural paintings, installations, videos, prints, archival material, drawings and sketches.






Be The Change Exposition- 2013

Source: SoCh

Source: SoCh

I went looking for big accomplishments,

I thought bigger the achievements, better it would be…

And then the little ones came marching along,

And in a firm voice one said, ‘well, you can look at me!’


‘I am neither big, nor grand,

And I only make promises that I can keep,

My solutions are simple yet effective,

My feelings though are true, and my thoughts deep.’


‘I don’t give up till I succeed,

Because I’ve been told I have great power within me,

It must be true and I do totally believe,

That I will be the change that the world wishes to see!’

© Prionka Ray


That in short sums up my entire experience at the ‘Be The Change Exposition’ that was held on the 12th of November at #2, Orchard Link, Singapore.

I had promised in my last post to introduce you to some real life young heroes and this was the place to find them. So, I had braved gloomy weather, rain and a chaotic traffic to reach the venue but once inside, I found myself transported to a different world, a world that was bursting with vibrant energy and was far removed from the gloomy streets. The place was full of educators, parents, supporters and students, aged 9 to 14. Each of the students believed that he or she could change the world. It was not an empty boast, either. They had indeed changed a few lives, in a small way perhaps, but changed them, nevertheless. In fact, the exposition’ 2013 celebrated these achievements and hoped in turn to inspire the others, by these success stories.

Inspired I definitely was, but I also realised pretty soon that it would be unfair to hand-pick a couple of heroes in a room that was full of heroes. No one there was better than anyone else, so, before I go any further let me say that I am honoured to be among these bright, passionate and creative kids who didn’t wait for the world to solve their problems, but jumped right in with whatever little resources they had, and came up with creative solutions. When asked, what bothers you, these kids had not only come with an extensive list related to stress management, peer pressure, body imaging, loneliness, etc.,  but they had also come up with ways to handle these issues around them. They had worked systematically in groups, reviewing and revising plans, using design-thinking skills that the ‘Catalyst for Change‘ workshops had equipped them with, and then implemented these plans. It was heartening to know that each student group had tried out their solution and now these solutions could be emulated and implemented by anyone, anywhere in the world with a similar issue. It was good to know that people across the world could connect in this way. Going around the venue hall, where groups displayed their causes, I was struck by one recurring theme, bullying. This seemed to be bothering most students these days, and if so it was a worrying trend and reflection of the society.

IMG_7324 IMG_7321 IMG_7309IMG_7311


“Why did you choose ‘bullying’ as the issue to tackle?” I asked the students of Tampines Primary School, and the smallest boy there, Samuel replied, “It’s because I was bullied.” Two other voices echoed in unison, “he was bullied, so we decided to do something about it.” I smiled and looked at the serious faces of the girls who supported Samuel. These students, along with few others had formed a group. Their message was, “I may be different, but that does not mean you can treat me this way. Stop bullying!” When asked if things had improved at school after their project, the answer was a shy ‘yes.’

Wellington Primary students echoed the same thoughts on bullying and had created an anti-bully song which they dutifully sang for me. They had performed the same song at their school assembly, at various classrooms and many other places where they thought they could shame the bullies. Their simple and catchy song was based on the tune of ‘Best Song Ever’ by One direction and so I knew that our ten-year old heroes had a favourite boy band that didn’t differ much from other girls of similar age. So heroes are like you and me and like any body else. Perhaps what differs is their determination and the way they look at things.

Sengkang Secondary was another school handling the issue of bullying, but with a different perspective. They wanted to help the bullies overcome their problems. Why? According to Humairah and Janice, (both 13), when you help the bullies overcome their anger issues, listen to their problems and perhaps provide them with a channel of communication (sometimes even with their own parents), you tackle the ‘root cause.’ Curious to know why they had come with this slant, I probed further. “How do you know this works,” I asked. “I was a bully,” one of them replied “but now I am here, helping others with the same issue that I had once.” I looked at the pretty girl with the kind eyes. It was difficult to believe she could be a bully. Strength of character is not limited to adults or famous personalities. These kids had conviction that many adults lack. Maybe, that’s why children make better change agents. I sincerely believe more children should be encouraged to lead changes and this belief had resulted in my association with SoCh and Design for Change movement. I looked at these kids and knew the movement was on the right track.

IMG_7308 IMG_7306 IMG_7303 IMG_7276


Half a day in such a place is enough to get a person inspired, overwhelmed and emotional, and I was no different. It was like recharging my batteries. I visited many more student run stalls, where passionate team members talked about the ways to save the strays, stop food wastage, handle study pressure, help peers cope with studies, rise above body imaging issues and integrate students with special needs among other relevant issues. Having faced the problem either themselves or having seen some one around them facing it, they were determined to come up with solutions. To my question, is change easy? The answer  was a consistent “No.” Change, they acknowledged, was not easy to come by. There had been failures, disappointments, oppositions and many false starts before they had achieved any kind of success, but at the end there was an immense satisfaction and that to them, mattered the most.

(My heartfelt gratitude to the teachers, educators, parents and the SoCh team members, who had facilitated these young heroes to reach their full potential and a big thank you to the young heroes for leading the change and for inspiring others to do the same. (To read all the change stories, please visit

Before I go, I would like to thank another educator who turned her teaching experiences in to stories of a different kind, ones that entertain. Author Barbara Park, who recently succumbed to cancer, created the adorable, funny and spunky character, Junie B. Jones, who is a shade younger to the kids I had met at the exposition. I know that I should have read the ‘Junie B. Jones’ series when I was a kid, after all it’s a kiddy book. Instead, I discovered them as an adult and realised that as an adult, I need the laughs more than I did as a child. So, thank you Ms Park for your stories and farewell!


Source: Random House

“When you’re in between dreams, you get to lean back and relax and stop trying so hard. Trying to be somebody, I mean. It’s not as exciting as being a television star, but it’s not that bad, either. You just have to learn to be satisfied with the way you are for a while. Not Forever. Just until you’re finished resting.” (From the series- Junie B. Jones)


FINALDepression, the dreaded word makes its appearance at the strangest of times. It comes without knocking and saps out hope without warning. Those who know a thing or two about dealing with it, give solemn sermons. They have been through it and they know its staggering power to hollow your life and drag you down. Lately, I have across many who are struggling with the situation and fighting to stay afloat. It breaks my heart to say that I have also come across those who have found it easier to give in, to surrender and to lose the fight altogether. My condolences to the grieving families and my sincere plea to all of you- please look around for signs of depression in people you love. Do seek help or offer help if you can. The number of people losing the battle with hope is staggering. Please stay alert for the sake of those who need you to.

I do not wish to name those who have lost their battle in real life, but the famous names continue to taunt us through tabloids and televisions. They continue to remind us that the problem is big and getting bigger. From Virginia Woolf to Jiah Khan, names after names keep popping up. There are a million people committing suicide each year and suicide has now become the leading cause of death among teenagers and adults under 35. That is the saddest statistics of all! ‘The young’ are our future, they are the ones who will lead us forward, who have years on their side, who have not seen wrinkles yet and not had to worry about old homes. They are the ones who should be having twinkle in their eyes and spring in their steps.  They should be reaching for the stars. Instead, they are reaching for the knife, the rope or the gun. And that brings us to the attempted suicide by Paris Jackson. All of 15 with no desire to wait for a future. How unfair!

A character from my book, ‘Sia’, had committed suicide and her death had become the reason for my book. Her name was Munni and she was 16. She had felt the same hopelessness that millions of teenagers across the globe feel. Munni’s character in the book was not incidental. Nor was it accidental. There’s a reason I had introduced her; there’s a reason I was compelled to show how simple things can blow out of proportion in the minds of some. There’s a reason……and the reason is truth. There are other young people like Paris,  Munni and Jiah Khan. I have met them, I have known them and I have seen how they are determined to sink without anyone finding out. I have seen how they yearn for the float and yet resist it. I say, determined because that’s what they usually are. Their pain acts as pleasure and death somehow becomes a release.

People suffering from depression are usually adept at hiding their state. Call it embarrassment, or perceived guilt at not being able to control their emotions or perhaps a false sense of bravado; whatever the reason, they try to hide their problems. They laugh and they act casual. They don’t want you to know but they are hoping that you do.

People around them, do step up. It  becomes your responsibility to notice if something is amiss. You have to be sensitive to subtle changes. These observations perhaps will save lives.

Here are some of the warning signs and symptoms of depression:

  • lack of interest, even in things you usually used to enjoy
  • Feeling down most of the time
  • appetite change
  •  feeling tired all the time
  •  difficulties concentrating & falling asleep
  •  waking up exhausted
  •  low self-esteem/ lack of confidence
  •  feeling guilty about all sorts of things
  •  thinking about death

Simple tips for handling stress/ depression

* listening to music

*  running/ walking/ dancing/ walking up and down the stairs. Finding a way to burn negative energy

* Doing something creative. Painting, writing, cooking and creating

* Finding someone to help or assist. Helping someone generates a feeling of wellbeing.

* Talking to someone. Seeking help.

Helplines –


Vandrevala Foundation: 25706000

Mind Temple helpline – 26289792/26288928 – Anjali Chabbria

Aasthachrysalis – Malini Shah (senior counselor) – 9870496238


SOS- 1800 221 4444

Tinkle Friends- 1800-2744 788

eCounselling Centre-  67871125

Wings Counselling- 63835745

Yuan Yuan helpline (Mandarin)- 67410078

For more helplines in Singapore- check


Kids Helpline- 1800 55 1800


Hopeline- 1800 442 4673

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1800 273 8255

And finally, for those of you who think that it’s weak to seek help….think again. It takes strength to say, “I need help”. Those who are dealing with difficulties, be strong!  Give life a chance!