A Growing Mindset Keeps Us Young

The 2019 Chinese New Year (CNY) had just passed. The CNY songs are always nostalgic. Years after years, I am never tired of playing, listening and singing again and again. Perhaps the songs reminded us of the good memories when we were children, the happy times of family gatherings and the joyous reunions of loved ones.

I noticed that for the past 10 years, Malaysian cable TV Astro has rolled out its very own Chinese New Year song every year. The tune is very catchy, the lyrics meaningful and the musical accompaniment reflective of the festive mood. I fell in love with these songs instantly.

When I tried to introduce the songs to a group of seniors who love singing and playing the harmonica, I was surprised to meet with a lukewarm reaction. Before they even hear the songs, they told me they are not interested in the new songs. Why do these happy-go-lucky, healthy and positive seniors seem to reject outright new songs for CNY?

Then I try to put myself in their shoes. Whether it is Chinese New Year or Christmas, we tend to associate the festive seasons with those familiar songs. These songs become special, sentimental and timeless. New songs just don’t seem to fit and cannot invoke the same kind of emotional experience and connection to our feeling. However, the young ones may not have the same perspective. Hence, where do we draw the line between the balance of tradition versus the new?  How do we bridge the apparent generation gap?

By the same token, when a subculture shall become mainstream? Digitalization has transformed the analogue world of music. The recent musical sensation is that of Vocaloid (Note[1]) singer Luo Tianyi (洛天依) performing in real-time to the tune of renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang (朗朗)on stage. This is yet another milestone in new experimentation of artistic performance marrying the physical and virtual world. (Note [2]) This virtual idol industry is a space that is interesting to watch. One may be able to create virtual idols with one’s own smartphone for entertainment one day.

To my mind, I feel that in this technologically disruptive era, a growing mindset and continuous learning will enhance our adaptability. In the previous blog titled Learn, Unlearn and Relearn, I mentioned that the implication of sixty is the new forty means the mind and soul have to keep up with the physical body. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said Henry Ford. Hopefully, with this attitude, we will be active, happy and healthy for a long time to come!

[1] Vocaloid is a piece of software used to model a human singing voice.

[2]South China Morning Post on 2nd Mar 2019:  https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2188238/chinas-virtual-idols-meet-their-fans-intersection-entertainment-and-technology

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