I am from

a place where death by humidity
Is a very real possibility
The streets are clean
And graffiti is stowed neatly away
Its people are a riot of colors
They speak a multitude of tongues
The tv aired Beijing operas and the neighbors jabbered in broken Malay, Tamil and Chinese
Or once did
But then the Americans came
And a new generation grew up
Gorging themselves on Macdonalds, queuing at midnight for the latest iPhone

And when the Koreans came
They were glutted with choices
Shopping at étude house
Caught between the Big Bang Theory and the Big Bang Boy band
Described as the “lost generation”
Some claw back their heritage
Others drift
Their footprints across the continents
Their souls trapped in purgatory
Neither here nor there

But then we slap on the label “uniquely Singaporean”
A Singapore Tourism Board gimmick
A half truth within a truth
And so our lack of an identity becomes our identity
We find ourselves in negatives
The English that we cannot speak (singlish la)
The qualities that we do not have
For we are not geographically obese,
Or natural resources millionaires

Nationalism can be summed up in symbols
The flag the pledge the NDP music
But a home is something I cannot quantify in language
The silver tsunami
PAP
Dengue fever
Family
Bubble tea

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Categories: Stories and Casual Thoughts

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. Enter this into a poetry comp Jessica, it has the chops

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