Category: Nationally Speaking

No, I Don’t Speak Tamil: Understanding Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTIL)

By Samyak Jain (21S03A) and Snehal Sachde (21S07C)
Cover image by Neo Xin Yuan (21A01D) 

Chances are, you’ve complained about taking Mother Tongue before. We sure have. However, some of us have more to complain about than others. On top of the regular boredom which many associate with the subject, students who take Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTILs) face a unique set of challenges that are generally not considered by the wider school population. 

Chances also are, you know that most Indians in Singapore speak and learn Tamil. However, this isn’t an accurate representation of the languages spoken in India at all. 

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“Where Did All Our Art Gogh?”: Forgotten Art in Bishan-Marymount and How We View Art’s Worth

This was written in collaboration with EJC Press as part of Issue 2 of Cross Island Impressions, an inter-JC Press collaboration. You can read Issue 2 here.

By Jolene Leow (20-E1; EJC), Samyak Jain (21S03A; RI), Thet Hninn Zin (21A13A; RI)

If you have been in Raffles Institution (RI) or Eunoia Junior College (EJC) for at least a year, you have probably passed by the mural below. As you walk from the North-South line towards the gantry at Bishan MRT station, a bright hue of pink hits you with quirky characters, oversized cats (who doesn’t love that) and even a reference to Junction 8. Despite the thousands of commuters who pass by this mural repeatedly every day, few would have stopped to try to understand the meaning behind this piece of work. 

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Fathers, Brothers, and Sons

By Raffles Press

In our earlier article entitled A Home Away From Home, we explored how migrant communities in Little India have imbued migrant workers, both Indian and Bangladeshi, with a sense of belonging. 

From Bangla Square to Mustafa Centre, there are numerous spaces for foreign workers to mingle, enjoy food from their own culture, and buy goods to send back home to their loved ones—in other words, spaces where they can feel connected to their motherland. And foreign workers have rated Singapore as one of the best places to work: an MOM survey found that close to 90% of foreign workers say they are satisfied with working in Singapore. 

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A Home Away From Home

By Raffles Press

When we think of Little India, the typical perspective of a tourist comes to mind: bright lights, flavourful Indian cuisine, and vibrant colours of ethnic architecture all pander to the exotic imagination of the tourist gaze. 

Yet, many Singaporeans neither consider the living, breathing community of everyday people trying their hardest to make a home in a foreign land behind the glitzy veneer of a cultural showpiece, nor see the diverse patchwork of ethnicities and cultures weaved together behind the popular perception of a homogeneous Little India.

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Voice for the Dead: Unearthing the Stories of Bukit Brown

By Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A) and Kuang Shane Qi (19A13A)
Photos courtesy of Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A)

Home to around 100,000 graves since its opening in 1922, Bukit Brown became the epicentre of heated debate in Singapore in 2011 when the Land Transport Authority announced plans to exhume the Chinese cemetery for a highway. Now in 2019, 4000 exhumed graves and a completed Lornie Highway later, Bukit Brown’s area space and grave numbers may indeed have shrunk, but public interest in conserving its history, stories and inhabitants have only grown.

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