This is a great post (and one of our longer submissions) from suchda. It gives a lot of insight into the thought processes of Asians that have today become more like “bananas” and “twinkies” than embracing their culture. Enjoy!
What do you think of when a banana is mentioned? There is more to it than being a yellow elongated fruit. Let me explain. The fruit is native to the tropics, and so is the subject of this entry. for the bananas I refer to are not edible, but are Singaporean Chinese. In case Singapore does not ring a bell, here are the facts: an island nation 1 degree north of the equator in south east asia, which became a first world country within 40 years. I have to say, through these 4 decades, not only have the HDI risen, but also the ‘illiteracy’ in Mandarin. I believe they are directly proportional. Why do I call my fellow 3rd generation Singaporean Chinese bananas? We are yellow on the outside, but white internally. Banana.
It is strange that the standard of Chinese is so low when the population is dominated by chinese: 70%.
After independance our British eduacted leader decided that all citizens must be literate in English, having less emphasis on the native tongues of the three races. This has resulted in a generation of kids who regard anything Western or English to be cool, anything orient or traditional, not.
Recently, Kelly Poon (潘嘉丽), a Singaporean singer, was invited as a special guest on a Taiwanese reality show. There was a acrobatic performance and each special guest was asked to describe the performance with a 成语(idiom). when it was Kelly’s turn, she said非常厉害.Oh the embarassment. She made news and was branded a disgracement to Singapore. Forums from China belittled, derided, hooted, jeered, lampooned and mocked Singapore, the atoll of bananas.
Even more atrocious is the fact that our founding father Lee Kwan Yew does not speak Chinese fluently. An example of the few 1st generations who are so.
I witness the effect of Lee’s mistake in this day where my classmates classify exchange students from the Motherland ‘China Bastards’. It shames me to be a Singaporean.
In light of rising China, the use of the language is now advocated, free tickets to 相声performances are given out to students, and the words ‘华语cool’ can be sighted on bill boards, buses, propoganda adverts and, basically every where. It is as silly as injecting yellow dye into a banana, hopeing that it will turn out to be a lemon-yellow inside out. All these efforts are in vain. The textbooks must be revamped; they are not. Enough said.
I find solace in the fact that there are still a fraction of us who are not bananas. There is still recognition of our culture. Lunar New Year is celbrated where some travel hundreds of kilometers home, Mooncake is served during the observance of the Mid Autumn Festival. We are still essentially, Chinese. English speaking Chinese.
Disclaimer: I do not pretend that I am not a banana as well.
Last 5 posts by Peter
- #144 Donnie Yen (Ip Man 3 DVD Release) - April 27th, 2016
- #143 Managing Restaurants (ft. Professor Chen) - July 20th, 2015
- #142 "Lindorsements" (Being Linteresting) - October 2nd, 2014
- #141 - The Colbert Report / Conan O'Brien Show - January 23rd, 2014
- #140 Linsanity (The Movie) - January 2nd, 2014