The last few days, the newspapers have been covering a lot about ragging, especially due to the death of a Form 4 student in the Royal Military College due to alleged ragging by his seniors. I was very sad to learn about this case - a case of ragging going way too far, way too extreme.
Ragging is actually a form of initiation. I remember when I entered PPP-ITM to do my A-Levels. Boy, were we ragged by our seniors! Who can forget about "Tabik Spring" then. Everytime a senior walks by, regardless of what were we doing, we must drop everything and give a "Tabik Spring"! Then at nights, seniors will barge into our room and the next 30 minutes or so, turned the room into what they called " living hell". Singing whilst each person had to hold the table up, getting questioned on so many "things" private or otherwise. And all sorts of other things!
But it never got physical ie getting whacked or slapped or such. Never. Things were always conducted with a sporting mood and laughter. Of course, we were not laughing, the seniors / raggers did.
Even the 'lembik' ones took it in their stride though with more complaints and as what it used to be called " banyak songeh".
But at the end of the orientation, we became good friends with the seniors. The "Tabik Spring" we had to do at each and everytime we met the seniors, which looked more like a frozen dead chicken with a salute - the seniors lined up and gave us one at the end of the orientation in the spirit of fun.
When I was a senior, it was my turn on the juniors. I have to admit I did my fair share of ragging, but in the same spirit when I was ragged then. Never anything physical, never meaning any harm.
And things turned out well enough.
In all fairness, ragging done right, is actually good fun. And it gets us closer to the seniors and amongst our own colleagues.
One of most "memorable" times getting ragged - when I first joined the BLUES, Form 5 in VI . Now that's a different story. Good, hellish and a good learning experience. Victorians you generally know what I mean.