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 No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths

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cynfullov
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PostSubject: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:19 pm

No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths

by Philip Lim Philip Lim Tue Sep 15, 3:15 am ET
SINGAPORE (AFP)

Thick white candles were the only source of light at the entrance to Club Nova, where a special party dubbed "Heart of Darkness" was in full swing.

Inside the dimly-lit club, young men and women clad entirely in black and heavily made up with thick eyeliner clustered together as thumping electronic music blasted across the floor.

But the aim of the recent "goth" event was far from sinister or macabre.

After all, this is Singapore, a city-state famous for clean living and tough laws against drugs, violence, pornography and anti-social behaviour.

"What we're doing recently is a bit of a departure from the old violence, drugs, oversexualisation (of goth culture)," said Mark Koh, chairman of the Singapore Dark Alternative Movement (SDAM) and organiser of the event.

"We have to actually strive for more social good."

In a largely conservative, multiracial society like Singapore, SDAM aims to bring together goths and other unorthodox and alienated youths yearning for a sense of belonging and social purpose.

Dalif Roos Heilig, a 22-year-old paramedic, found just that a few years ago when he joined SDAM, which claims to be the largest alternative social group in Singapore.

"After joining SDAM, I realized that I'm not the only one out there who is dressed in black, or (has) such morbid thoughts," said Heilig, whose white work uniform is in stark contrast to his hardcore goth look at night.

The goth subculture grew out of so-called gothic rock in the 1980s in Britain. Followers, many of whom cultivated a pale and gaunt look, wore black clothes and were typically immersed in the macabre and supernatural.

It has gained a following in Asia, particularly in Japan, in recent years.

Alternative subcultures have also been finding a foothold in Singapore, with SDAM's declared membership of 406 almost treble that of a year ago, according to chairman Koh, an events manager.

"As a youth, finding and establishing an identity in Singapore is not easy. This sterile environment can have the effect of stifling creativity and this is exactly why subcultures have emerged over the years," said the 28-year-old, who also goes by his goth moniker Saito Nagasaki.

Goths are increasingly visible in the prim city state, but Koh emphasised that the subculture here is vastly different from its more extreme forms in some parts of the world.

"We had to basically disassociate the whole alternative image with the drugs and the violence... We have to continue our mission of breaking the stereotype," he added.

In fact, SDAM functions much like a mainstream social group.

It stages youth bonding programs, themed clubbing events and concerts, and functions like an informal peer-support network.

For 23-year-old Vanessa Toh, SDAM was instrumental in helping her overcome anorexia-bulimia, an eating disorder characterised by minimal food intake and forced vomiting.

"When you have some people you can talk with, it really, really helps you get out of your isolation phase because the thing is, when you're in your addiction, eating disorder, you are very alone," the student said.

"I kind of threw myself into this and threw myself out of the whole eating disorder."

Despite the fact that SDAM was a major factor in curing Toh of her disorder, her parents remained sceptical of the subculture.

"They don't like it. They ask, 'why are you always dressing so weirdly?'" Toh said, adding that she had to compromise by wearing less black clothing when going out with her family.

Koh, SDAM chairman, said the situation was slowly improving for young Singaporeans who reject the mainstream teen and young adult lifestyle.

"Although we are still very conservative, there are signs of gradual progression and increasing acceptance for alternative recreation and lifestyles," he said of Singaporean society as a whole.

Ray Wong, a 35-year-old goth veteran who has been in the scene for 20 years, said this change had to come eventually.

"It's inevitable the society has to open up even if they like it or not... these children are becoming adults and they have their own culture, which they are used to and it will just bring the society forward," he said.

For paramedic Heilig, who admits his patients might be alarmed if they saw him in his nighttime goth clothes and makeup, the alternative community is like a rediscovered family.

"They know how it feels ... what it's like to be somebody who's different from the rest."
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:25 pm

Cool, I'll take a hit to that.

But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace, one hot chick in fishnets at a time.
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:43 pm

The world sees goths as addicts and violent?....

good article. nice to see some out there disbanding the negative image.
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:13 pm

Spooky wrote:
But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace, one hot chick in fishnets at a time.

Guess I'm out of the picture then tongue
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:25 pm

nsanelilmunky wrote:
The world sees goths as addicts and violent?....

good article. nice to see some out there disbanding the negative image.

I was also wondering the same thing. Drug addicts and violent?? huh Maybe some goths were blamed for a school shooting, but other than that there have been violence toward goths. And drugs, i am sure some goths do drugs (like speed) but that does not encompass the culture like weed does for hippies.
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:26 pm

Spooky wrote:
Cool, I'll take a hit to that.

But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace, one hot chick in fishnets at a time.

lol- awesome
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:45 pm

deadcoldgothgirl wrote:
Spooky wrote:
But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace, one hot chick in fishnets at a time.

Guess I'm out of the picture then tongue

shock What no fishnets?

Halloween is but a'naughty whisper away...and after mainstream has finished up with it you can get'a trick~treat bag full for up to 90% off.
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:52 pm

cynfullov wrote:
deadcoldgothgirl wrote:
Spooky wrote:
But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace, one hot chick in fishnets at a time.

Guess I'm out of the picture then tongue

shock What no fishnets?

Halloween is but a'naughty whisper away...and after mainstream has finished up with it you can get'a trick~treat bag full for up to 90% off.

Lol that wasn't the part I was referencing to cyn.... I was actually saying I'm out of the picture cuz it said "one hot chick in fishnets at a time." So Because of the hot part, I'm definately out tear tongue :? spider neener faint
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:54 pm

^^^Dont be so hard on yourself. Your a hot chick.
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:21 pm

deadcoldgothgirl wrote:
Lol that wasn't the part I was referencing to cyn....


I know. smirk


Unless you can show me something of yourself that isn't as attractive as I've seen so far... spank
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PostSubject: Re: No drugs please, we're Singaporean goths   Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:08 pm

Hm. Just realized that I don't often think about goth lifestyle outside the West. Good for goths keeping it alive and well in Singapore. And good for them starting a new faction as well.

Spooky wrote:
But seriously, goths could bring our world together in peace

Well... yeah! I know you wrote more, but the bit I'm quoting is not such a wacky concept. Some of the most respectful and empathetic people I know are right here.

deadcoldgothgirl wrote:


Lol that wasn't the part I was referencing to cyn.... I was actually saying I'm out of the picture cuz it said "one hot chick in fishnets at a time." So Because of the hot part, I'm definately out tear tongue :? spider neener faint

Girl, no way I'm letting that one get by! You *are* hot! There are just as many versions of hot as there are incredible works of art. You are unique, and you look good -- that gives you an edge over the ones that just look good.
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