I was having my Christmas lunch in a restaurant (yeah, it’s a while ago but I only decide to launch my blog now mah) and sitting next to my table was this Chinese young couple together with a young daughter. After placing my order, something about this family caught my attention. No, it’s not that the mom is hot, nor was the daughter a babe, the daughter was just about to pick up the art of speaking (which happened to be the point of this blog).
The peculiar thing about this couple was that the husband and wife were speaking in full swing Cantonese with each other but when they turned to their daughter…”don be notti la, daddi gip u sotong, u eat sit down don run here run there la”. This went on up till the point I left and hear this, not a single word of Canto was spoken to their daughter.
For goodness sake, what the fuck is wrong with people nowadays. I am not saying that my English is stupendous but if you’re struggling to speak English yourself, don’t drag your lil ones into the Manglish gang. Maybe you think getting your lil ones to speak English is gonna make them blend in with the yuppies. But if your lil ones ended up going “hilo, my lame is xxx, I cum flom peejay. U wat lame ah?”, that ain’t gonna go far either I am telling you.
And more importantly, what is wrong with teaching your lil ones Canto? There seems to be a growing community of ‘bananas’ nowadays. But go ask any sensible banana and you will realise that most of them really wish they could speak their mother tongue, particularly Canto. When your name is Tan Ah Ching or Lee Ah Kau but you can’t differentiate between “chau hai” (fried crabs) and “chao haeii” (smelly … err, you know what), it ain’t funny.
Hey, if you’re a Malay and laughing at us Chinese, don’t laugh too soon. On another table was 4 young angmo-wannabe Malays speaking English with each other, some were clearly struggling. The funny scene began when they wanted to place their order. They speak to the waiter in English, waiter replied in Malay + little English, process kept repeating till orders were placed.
Can you imagine if the Malay community loses command of their language? Imagine some Malay yuppies dunno what is the meaning of ‘batu seremban’. That fellow may go overseas (cause he is probably rich) and proudly declare to his overseas friends that our hero astronaut is conducting some research on a rock taken from Negeri Sembilan.
So folks, teach your kids some Canto if you’re a Chinese and your mother tongue where appropriate. It’s never a lost cause.