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  • Writer's pictureKyx

BI

“Bilingual education”, they say

Is that really true?

When we use the “white man’s” language every day

And only bring the other out at night

To talk to old relatives still dreaming

Of their homeland, when there were no “white folk”

No angmos milling about, and Asians seeming

More Western than Eastern.

Peel open our coloured skins, we cry

And inside us is white flesh,

Put there by the men that came by

When they came on our screens.

But when we grow out of our teenaged years

Out of the last remnants of childhood

And into the grown-up world bundled with fears

Of being mocked when we don’t speak

Chinese, Malay, Tamil, Hindi

To our parents, colleagues, friends, spouses

Will we still agree

The “white man’s” language is the best?

Or will we be proud that only we are

The ones the company send

To talk to that client from afar

The one from our homeland long ago

Now we sneer at the ones who only

Say “你好“, “hei sana” “Vaṇakkam” and “namaste”

In twenty years time that could be

Us, walking down corporate hallways plastered with English posters

Now we only think about the us that speak

One language, the one that makes us sound more polished

But what about the us that shriek

In two languages when we are older?



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