12 Dec 2011 Seventh Student Peace Lecture Fiction
The Seventh SSA Student Peace Lecture
On December 12, members and friends of SSA Student Division (SD) filled the Mochtar Riady Auditorium at the Singapore Management University for the Seventh Student Peace Lecture (SPL). This year’s lecture, themed “Fiction, Imagination and the Surprises They Bring”, was delivered with refreshing passion and humour by distinguished writer and the first recipient of the Singapore Literature Prize in 1992, Ms Suchen Christine Lim. Ms Helen Choo, Principal of Tampines Junior College and long-time friend of Ms Lim, chaired the lecture.
The pre-lecture activities included an exhibition that showcased Ms Lim and Dr Daisaku Ikeda, President of Soka Gakkai International. ‘Mobile books’, student volunteers dressed as such, narrating excerpts of Ms Lim’s works, creatively injected life into her novels. The topic for the evening centred on the beauty of imagination and the surprises it brings.
Ms Lim transported the audience into the stories as she narrated excerpts from her books to recreate the scenes in their minds to demonstrate how our creativity is activated through reading. She also highlighted the relevance of imagination in daily life, and the need to exercise this ability. Ms Lim started her career as an educator until she unexpectedly discovered her passion while pursuing her honours at the then University of Singapore. Echoing Dr Ikeda’s emphasis on reading, Ms Lim shared how Dr Ikeda’s analogy of “encountering a great book is like encountering a great teacher” applies to her. She also stressed how the use of imagination enables us to empathise and summon forth great compassion and the ability to fathom a world of peace.
The thought-provoking lecture continued to a lively Q & A session before coming to a climatic closure where SSA General Director presented Ms Lim and Ms Choo tokens of appreciation for their friendship and support of SSA’s endeavours in peace, culture and education.
(Please refer to SSA Times issue 430 for details)