By Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew
What function does race, geography, faith, orthography and nationalism play within the crafting of identities? What are the origins of Singlish? This booklet deals an intensive research of previous and new identities in Asia's so much international urban, tested throughout the lens of language.
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Extra resources for A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism
In 1810, with regard to the Chinese, there were two Cantonese schools – one at Kampong Glam with twelve boys and another at Peking Street with eight boys (Doraisamy, 1969: 16). By the turn of the 20th century, there were many more Chinese schools founded by the different clans and dialect communities. Some well-known ones were the Cantonese’s Yeung Ching School (Yangzheng Xuetang) founded in 1905, the Hakka’s Yingxin School and Khee Fatt School (Qifa Xuetang) in 1906, and the Hainanese’s Yoke Eng School (Yu Ying Xuetang) in 1910 (Wee, 2009).
Once identification by race became forefronted in the general psyche, races such as the Chinese, Indians and Arabs who had traditionally freely intermarried or assimilated with Malay culture and customs began to more consciously hold themselves apart from the Malays, following the European style of exclusive religious affiliation and racial superiority (Hefner, 2001). 24 With such a legacy, it is not surprising that in present-day Singapore, language has come to be regarded as a metonym of race and religion and potentially a surrogate arena for ethnic conflict.
British travel writer John Dill Ross (1898: 69) wrote a series of articles entitled “From Moscow to Vladivostok “ in the Singapore Free Press, with typical impressions such as: of the Malay ... I have found them horribly lazy, dreadful liars and incurable thieves. About the Chinese, his comments were, typically: It is pleasant to see the Chinaman in the Straits developing into something very different from this, and that he can, under favourable circumstances, become as sleek, gifted with nerves as sensitive as could be wished.
A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew