On a family trip to Canada, we stopped by the Montreal Chinatown, where my dad tried to order dinner in Mandarin. The waiter embarrassedly admitted that he couldn’t understand, saying, “Only Cantonese, English, and French sir.” This was not the first time I saw the predominance of non-Mandarin Chinese languages in Chinese communities outside of… Continue reading Why do Singaporeans speak Mandarin?
Visiting Singapore means that I’ve now completed my pilgrimage to all Four Asian Tigers—South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. (I hate the term, “Asian Tigers,” and all its orientalist baggage, but I must admit it does sound more dramatic. haha) Anyways, Singapore was the second and final leg of my mind-blowing week-long trip. In… Continue reading Musings on Singapore
Up until now, the most diverse country I’d been to in this corner of the world was Taiwan. Compared to Japan and Korea, where most people speak Japanese and Korean, Taiwan is way more diverse. My parents call home to their parents in different languages; my mother in Hokkien, and my father in Hakka. To… Continue reading Halo Halo: Thoughts on the Philippines