Category: Nationally Speaking

What’s in a Home?

By Sarah Chen (19S03C)

Without fail, every 9th of August brings with it a sudden burst of patriotism in Singaporeans, me included. It’s both heartwarming and odd — something that can only be witnessed on this one day. As suddenly as this pride arrives, it leaves, and I am left questioning how genuine all this patriotism really is.

A while back, I watched a film called Ladybird. The protagonist of the film in question was a girl in high school, on the cusp of young adulthood, dreaming of leaving her hometown for greater places. As she spent the majority of the film cursing every single aspect of her hometown, I saw in her not just myself, but many other Singaporean teenagers.

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On Racism and Chinese Privilege

By Soh Ying Qi (18A01C)

It’s safe to say that this is not a safe topic.

(The preceding sentence, ironically, may be the only one in this article that’s truly uncontroversial.)

It’s nebulous and complicated and resistant to simplification. It’s hard to discuss sensitively, and even harder to discuss meaningfully. Basically: the odds were stacked against it from the beginning.

So this article won’t change the world. It might not even change your mind. But at the very least, it’ll probably change the way you view “race”, for better or for worse.

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Is Appreciation Enough?

By Phang Yeu Yeou (19A01A) and Loh Lin (19A01D)

Wait. Before you continue scrolling, we know. We know that race as a topic has already been discussed to death, in conversations and lectures and forums alike. Nonetheless, the shoulds and shouldn’ts of tackling such discourse continue to confound us, even as we turn away from it, thinking: What more is there to discuss that hasn’t already been said?

After all, 54 years on from the racial riots that left an indelible footprint in our history — in bloodshed and in policy — racism in Singapore seems by and large a thing of the past. Indeed, today people of all races coexist peaceably in classrooms, offices, and shared public spaces. Long-term governmental policies and a consistent multicultural narrative have gone a long way towards easing the hostilities and divisiveness that once defined race relations. Yet, when we reduce acts of racism to just these overt indicators, we risk turning a blind eye to the more implicit tensions that continue to underscore our interactions.

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Nationally Speaking: Race, as told by an Indian Immigrant

By Zara Karimi (18A01A)

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I remember primary school and its illustrations of Indians in social studies and health education books. I remember advertisements featuring at least one member of every race at bus stops and community centres. I remember secondary school Racial Harmony Day celebrations where my schoolmates dressed up in black t-shirts, sari fabric draped haphazardly, bindis on their foreheads. They would take pictures while doing yoga poses. I would come across their posts on Instagram, and wonder – why was it that the idea of ‘Indianness’ my peers and society held was so different from what I, an Indian, actually experienced?

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