Sunday, January 2, 2011

Identity Ignorance

We were queueing for SBS service at JB CIQ to bring us to Woodlands Checkpoint when an 8-year old boy, son of an FT from India asked his mother: "You are an Indian, are you?"

Mother: "Yes, of course. Why you asked that?"

Son: "Then, why you can speak English?"

Mother: "English is an international language. Spoken by people all over the world."

Son: "But you are not a Singaporean like me, are you?"

Mother: "Why?"

Son (pointing to me): "I can speak a little bit of Malay to her. But you can't. So you are still an Indian. Not Singaporean."

A case of too much 'chicken rice' and 'nasi lemak'?