There are still so many people around the world who can only dream of all the blessings we have, not just in terms of education but basic human needs. Rag is a great time and way of extending our privilege to the communities and individuals around us that are in need. Last year the Rag HK and TuksRag worked really hard to ensure that Rag became more sustainable and true to the meaning of ‘reach out and give’. Last year the procession actually made a profit. It saddened me this year to see a procession return to a focus on aesthetics over charity and that so many floats didn’t even attempt to replace the usual polystyrene and plastic (two of the most eco-unfriendly materials) with items that could be recycled if not donated. It also saddened me to see the lack of support for the procession from the public and the student body.
I can’t provide the answer as to what will help change our mind set but a change is necessary. During the welcoming at the Rag procession, a verse was delivered by a gentleman named Khethelo. In the verse he said that Rag “is not about position but contribution, your giving.” Maybe we aren’t as privileged as the person next to us but we are still privileged. The idea that we can stand up and fight for someone and ensure a better future for them, as someone else has done for us, is one that I hope touches at least a few people’s hearts, and something I never forget, even in the bustle of everyday life.
I wish you all a great 2015 academic year. We’ll be around as always to keep you updated.