Saturday, 24 October 2009


"U kiasu, I kiasi"
See this line often?

Kiasu and kiasi are Hokkien words.
It means you are afraid to lose while I am afraid to die.

It's a pretty popular line on the car tags nowadays, if you noticed.
If you don't, probably you haven't been seeing the outside world for some time or
you are a really ethical driver who fully sets your eye on the road only when you drive
(and text at the same time. Hehe).

Anyway, the main topic I would like to talk today is kiasu.

Urban dictionary defined kiasu as :
1. Afraid of "losing out" to other people.

2. scared to lose

3. being greedy.. very very greedy...

This word is often associated with Singaporeans.
I'm not sure the reason why though. Haha.

But I think the kiasu syndrome is in every one of us.
The only difference is the degree of kiasu-ness in us.

Have you ever experienced this :
Your friend wouldn't teach you how to solve certain questions and asked you to find out yourself instead? And this happens all the time?
When in fact, he/she was afraid that you will be smarter than them.
Your friend is kiasu.
(or he/she doesn't like you etc)

You went for a buffet dinner and just grab everything on the buffet table until there isn't even a single empty space on your plate even though you probably can't finish them up or ate fast and went don't know how many rounds because you were afraid that the food will finish up?
You're kiasu.

All your friends just got themselves a new laptop and you just have to ask your mom to get you one too although it was unnecessary as you have already bought your desktop last month because you don't want to be the only person in the group without a laptop?
You're kiasu.

You and your friend are selling similar products but your friend generated more $$$ than you and so you went to check out his/her secret and copied it?
You're kiasu.

Not only humans, this applies to animal too.

Remember the story of the dog who got itself a bone and then while it was crossing a bridge, the dog saw its own reflection but thought it was another dog with a bigger bone (because the reflection on the water somehow made the bone looked bigger)?
Then the kiasu dog wanted to bark at the other dog to scare it away so that it will drop its bone for him.
However, he dropped his own bone in the river in the process and got nothing in the end.

Moral of the story :
Don't be so kiasu lah. =)

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