what talk you?

I love Chinese culture and traditions. I used to dislike it, shun it, deny it but I don’t anymore. It took me many years to realize that not acknowledging my Chinese root is a disgrace to my own race. Living in a country where English is the mainstream language gave me a illusion that I wasn’t supposed to be born a Chinese. I went to English schools, have friends and colleagues who speak very little Mandarin and can hardly read and write Chinese, I watch English movies, and everywhere I go, people speak English to me. I live in this small country where every signboard is written in English. “I am a Singaporean Chinese but should I have been an American Chinese instead?” I was confused.

Many years went by, my confusion gradually evolved into a state of unhappiness. I began to believe that I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I couldn’t relate to the locals, couldn’t understand their asian mentality, and I didn’t feel belonged to this place. Days after days, the urge to uproot to the U.S. or Australia took over me. I was miserable.

It helped that my previous jobs required me to travel to the U.S and other asian countries, I made an effort to observe minute details of those countries, their people and the cultures. I mentally jotted down my likes and dislikes of what I saw and I compared them with my home country. I asked myself what things I valued most in life that I would never trade them for anything else. I came to the conclusion that my family and friends are of utmost importance to me, personal safety is of equal importance, and a stable society is a must-have criteria where I choose to live. Then it dawned on me that I already have them in this sunny island. How silly I was to keep looking elsewhere.

Today, I am no more confused and I am happier. I have learnt to accept who I am and what I am. I also make conscious effort to maintain awareness of the Chinese festivals and observe the traditions. And, I started a Chinese blog so that I can polish up my Chinese language. Everything looks crystal clear to me now. Yes, I am happy. Lalala.