Singapore, my home! I spent the day in Singapore with my family to celebrate my mother’s birthday.
On Peace Boat, I took on the role of the ambassador of Singapore ambassador and gave out many travel brochures (courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board). With a fellow Singaporean Dennis, I conducted a presentation a few days before Peace Boat arrived in Singapore. The participants were all very excited about their Singapore visit. We shared basic information about Singapore like demographics, language and culture and of course food recommendations. We also introduced a little about Singlish.
Talking about Singlish, there was a rather funny episode related to Singlish. A group of GET teachers and I were in a computer shop in Vivocity. My Canadian friend Daffy asked the shopkeeper about purchasing a keyboard. After the shopkeeper explained everything to her in perfect Singlish, she turned over and looked at me in total confusion. So yes, Singlish is totally incomprehensible to non-Singaporeans!
During our presentation, we also shared some challenges Singapore is facing like migrant population issues. We had some interesting discussions with the participants about Singapore beyond Merlion, Marina Bay Sands and the icons of “Singapore’s success story” usually depicted in media.
I definitely learnt so much about my country through how people of other nationalities view Singapore. Perhaps sometimes one has to leave for awhile in order to gain new perspectives of his homeland – and to be more appreciative as well as more critical.