Ikigai – Immortalised 

Find out more about HS student Anshika B.'s experiences at the Ted-Ed Student Talks 'Ikigai' virtual event held last April in her article "Ikigai Immortalized." Thank you, and kudos on a job well done, Anshika!
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In a period as taxing as the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems daunting to transmit important ideas, advocate and educate. ISKL’s Ted-Ed event in April this year has genuinely exemplified that it doesn’t take street protests or even physical lessons to champion change.

The club this year culminated in a successful virtual event, not only garnering hundreds of views but encapsulating its overarching theme, ‘Ikigai‘ – a Japanese term denoting ‘a reason for being.’ A continuation of last year’s virtual Ted-ed event ‘Shakti‘ (the Sanskrit term for power), members returning and new to speaking came equipped with groundbreaking ideas directly relevant to this modern day.

Be it Eli C.’s (‘24) controversial yet necessary take on same-sex relationships, Devina G.’s (‘22) thought-provoking speech regarding advertisements and their subtextual sexism, or Rea B.’s (‘24) intriguing and insightful speech regarding the endemic ignorance of the wealthy – each address strayed an out of the box–a necessity in teaching.

Our talented ensemble of speakers from all High School grade levels through 9 to 12 spent weeks drafting, crafting, and refining their pieces. Despite their unique speaking and writing styles and flair, each member shared a common desire to invigorate change and inspire controversial thinking.

My personal favorites were Yik Khai Y.’s (‘21) speech about Malaysian traffic and the life messages they inspire, laden with hilarious yet masterfully crafted extended metaphors. Also, Rebecca F.’s (‘22) beautifully written and delivered talk on the beauty of life, overpowered by capitalist values, and Kaila F.’s (‘21) experiences with ‘blackfishing,’ transmitted into a speech both captivating and crucial. The club execs also took part and delivered speeches such as Evi B.’s (‘21) speech regarding historical lessons, Diya N.’s (‘21) speech on exploring limits, and my speech on the societal centrality of marriage.

Beyond the speeches mentioned (not every single one has been raised, for instance, Erica H.’s (‘22) similarly compelling views on money as a life goal), our entire ensemble of speakers and several extremely generous people were crucial in guiding us.

We would like to heartily thank our wonderful supervisor Ms. Caroline Tan, with whom we experienced an enriching yet short-term partnership. In addition, Ms. Sesha Kalimuthu, Mr. Mush Mustafa, and Ms. Catherine Gresse, whose expertise and hard work was pivotal in actually making this event happen, be it for marketing or technical logistics.

The best part about the virtual format is that the event has been immortalized – one simply has to click this link to see the beautifully designed Google Site for the event or rewatch the live stream in its original form here. The speeches will also be published on the Ted-ed Student Talks official Youtube channel, and for a glimpse at last year’s Ted-ed event Shakti, the Google Website is viewable here.

If you couldn’t attend the event, I would highly encourage and request that you take a short portion of your day to enjoy one, two, or perhaps several of these powerful Ted-ed Student Talks.

Support friends who might have given a speech or peers who may have extended themselves out of their comfort zone in joining this club yet did so brilliantly. These messages will continue to advocate, educate, and empower on this timeless message of Ikigai in the coming years ahead.

This piece was written by Anshika B. (’22), current President of the ISKL Ted Ed-Club, where she talks about her experiences at the Ted-Ed Student Talks ‘Ikigai’ virtual event on April 1, 2021!

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