Southeast Asia

Why do Singaporeans speak Mandarin?

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?

Southeast Asia

Halo Halo: Thoughts on the Philippines

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