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City or countryside?

By Arisha Auji Kamarudin

Before townships and cities developed, people lived in villages in the countryside.

Facilities are, no doubt, better in cities, but city life has become associated with stress, crime and pollution.

Life in the city is very hectic. Traffic congestion is a perpetual problem.

At work, fierce competition, deadlines and meetings await the city dweller.

Always in a hurry to avoid rush hour traffic jams, to be in time for appointments or to stay one step ahead of others, people in cities have little time to relax.

In the countryside, life is much more relaxed. There is little hassle and no point in competing. Villagers go about their tasks during the day and rest in the evenings.

Living in towns and cities is also becoming dangerous. Houses in cities are fenced in and many house owners install grilles and alarm systems to safeguard their homes.

With the rising crime rate in cities, a woman walking alone at night or displaying glittering jewellery is courting danger.

In the countryside, houses may not even be locked or have fences. People usually know one another and outsiders are easily spotted. Any villager who commits a crime will be ostracized or punished, or both.

Furthermore, villagers help one another and will join in efforts to catch or chase away thieves or robbers.

Finally, pollution has become a household word in cities. Exhaust fumes from cars and other motor vehicles pollute the air, and there is always the noise of the traffic.

Anyone who has lived in one of the crowded housing areas in the city also knows that residents are often involuntary eavesdroppers to a neighbor's family quarrel or are forced to listen to music from somebody else's radio.

In villages and small towns in the countryside, houses are further apart but there is close rapport among villagers or townspeople as they meet frequently.

The countryside is also known for its fresh air and quiet surroundings, which is good for one's physical and mental health.

The countryside, has, unfortunately, few job opportunities and places for entertainment. It also lacks an adequate public transportation system.

If I could live in the countryside and yet enjoy the same opportunities as I have in the city, I would definitely prefer the countryside because life is not as stressful as that in the city, and is much safer and healthier.

(Arisha Auji Kamarudin is a student of International Islamic University Malaysia)



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