November 16, 2017

Soft powers that influence young minds

  • Khin Maung Oo
  • “The pen is mightier than the sword,” as the saying goes. Once in the past, a pen might have been the only weapon. Yet, nowadays, with the advancing technologies, we now have similarly effective mass media. Among them, radio, TV and movies can be said to influence most people from all walks of life because of their availability, accessibility, affordability and ease of use. Also, websites such as Facebook are the quickest means to spread information worldwide without a second’s delay. Especially, today’s TVs are broadcasting Pay TV channels and free TV channels, all the time. Thus, some people become couch potatoes while enjoying educative, informative and entertainment programs provided by TVs, before they realize it. Workers, salaried people and students spend their leisure hours, especially at night. Undeniably, we have many advantages from these media. Firstly, we can have recreation. And, they give us much knowledge. We come to know about the wonders of the world and many things that are worth knowing. By watching Korean movies, especially our youths come to know the Korean language, as if by osmosis, over a period of time.
    Our youths are very astute. They are quick at learning. Local film stars imitate hair styles, fashion and dressing styles of foreign actors and actresses. The good-looking appearance of these stars made our Myanmar younger minds copy their styles and dialogues, regardless of likes or dislikes towards their acting. Thus, film stars, including those playing supporting roles become the apples of their eyes of our public. In fact, these stars, movie producers and movie directors should value their popularity. They all have effective powers in building the nation. They were dutiful in political movements throughout Myanmar history. Apparently enough, they took active part in the previous 2015 general elections to be supportive in the formation of a clean government with good governance. To put it simply, they became less active in political movements after the 2015 general elections. I would not like our film stars to think that their duty has come to an end. Not only for this incumbent government but also future governments which will come after 2020, they should take responsibilities, and stand up for the interests of the people.
    What we urgently need at the present is to gain nationwide peace. Without peace, we cannot build up a modern and developed Federal Democratic Union. Now, our national brethren living in some parts of the country are being displaced by armed conflicts, running for their lives. We also still need to have protection of the rule of law, so as to be able to live without any worries. I want to urge our able writers and directors to encourage actors and actresses, who have won the love and admiration of the public to perform in their well-produced stories to help the peace process currently being implemented by the Union Peace Commission. Likewise our State Counsellor and statesmen, we, the whole populace, acknowledge the value and influence of all actors and actresses and directors in the beloved movie world. As for them who have soft powers that influence the people, I hope they will make the right responses to our needs, in recognition of our Cetana.

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