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Chitchat Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times article

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by Papsmearer, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Papsmearer

    Papsmearer Alfrescian (InfP) - Comp Old Timer

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    [h=1]In Singapore, Chinese Dialects Revive After Decades of Restrictions[/h] 查看简体中文版
    查看繁體中文版


    SINGAPORE — The Tok and Teo families are a model of traditional harmony, with three generations gathered under one roof, enjoying each other’s company over slices of fruit and cups of tea on a Saturday afternoon in Singapore.
    There is only one problem: The youngest and oldest generations can barely communicate with each other.
    Lavell, 7, speaks fluent English and a smattering of Mandarin Chinese, while her grandmother, Law Ngoh Kiaw, prefers the Hokkien dialect of her ancestors’ home in southeastern China. That leaves grandmother and granddaughter looking together at a doll house on the floor, unable to exchange more than a few words.
    “She can’t speak our Hokkien,” Mrs. Law said with a sigh, “and doesn’t really want to speak Mandarin, either.”
    This struggle to communicate within families is one of the painful effects of the Singapore government’s large-scale, decades-long effort at linguistic engineering.


    Starting with a series of measures in the late 1970s, the leaders of this city-state effectively banned Chinese dialects, the mother tongues of about three-quarters of its citizens, in favor of Mandarin, China’s official language.
    A few years later, even Mandarin usage was cut back in favor of the global language of commerce, English.
    “Singapore used to be like a linguistic tropical rain forest — overgrown, and a bit chaotic but very vibrant and thriving,” said Tan Dan Feng, a language historian in Singapore. “Now, after decades of pruning and cutting, it’s a garden focused on cash crops: learn English or Mandarin to get ahead and the rest is useless, so we cut it down.”
    This linguistic repression, and the consequences for multigenerational families, has led to a widespread sense of resentment — and now a softening in the government’s policy.
    For the first time since the late 1970s, a television series was recently broadcast in Hokkien, which in the 1970s was the first language of about 40 percent of Singaporeans. Many young people are also beginning to study dialects on their own, hoping to reconnect with their past, or their grandparents.
    Photo [​IMG]

    Students learning the Hokkien dialect at a community center in Singapore. Credit Sim Chi Yin for The New York Times And in May, the government endorsed a new multidialect film project, with the minister of education making a personal appearance at the film’s release, unthinkable just a few years ago.
    The government’s easing of restrictions amid public discontent makes Singapore something of case study for how people around the world are reacting against the rising cultural homogeneity that comes with globalization.
    “I began to realize that Hokkien was my real mother tongue and Mandarin was my stepmother tongue,” said Lee Xuan Jin, 18, who started a Facebook page dedicated to preserving Hokkien. “And I wanted to get to know my real mother.”
    For Singapore’s first generation of leaders, those sorts of ideas sounded like sentimentalism.
    At the time of the founding of the Republic of Singapore in 1965, it was led by a charismatic and authoritarian prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who was a self-taught linguist. A product of the English-speaking elite who rarely spoke Chinese dialects, including Mandarin, Mr. Lee held the popular idea, discredited by linguists, that language was a zero-sum game: speaking more of one meant less mastery of another.
    In short, he considered dialects a waste of the brain’s finite storage capacity when it should be filled with, above all else, English.
    “He felt that since he couldn’t do it, the rest couldn’t do it,” said Prof. Lee Cher Leng, a language historian in the China studies department at the National University of Singapore, referring to Mr. Lee’s inability to fluently speak multiple languages. “He felt it would be too confusing for kids to learn the dialects.”
    As the government considered which of Singapore’s many languages to focus on, Mandarin Chinese and English were the logical choices. China, although more than a thousand miles away, was the ancestral homeland of most Singaporeans and was embarking on economic reforms that captivated Mr. Lee. English, the language of Singapore’s elite since the British established a trading port here in 1819, was the dominant global language of culture and commerce.


    But neither language had much to do with the people who lived in Singapore when the government launched its policy in the 1970s.
    Then, as now, roughly 7 percent of Singaporeans came from southern India and most spoke Tamil. Another 15 percent spoke Malay. The ethnic Chinese, who then as now make up 75 percent of the population, had immigrated over the centuries from several mostly southern Chinese provinces, especially Fujian (where Hokkien is spoken) and Guangdong (home to Cantonese, Teochew, and Hakka). Only 2 percent spoke Mandarin.
    Although called “dialects” by the government, some of these Chinese tongues are at least as different as the various Romance languages. The government’s policy was something like ordering Spaniards, French and Italians to abandon the languages they grew up with in favor of Portuguese.
    The policy was rolled out in waves. In 1979, the government launched a “Speak Mandarin” campaign. In some schools, pupils who spoke dialects were fined and made to write out hundreds of times, “I will not speak dialects.” The population was bombarded with messages that dialect speakers had no future.
    Photo [​IMG]

    The government clamped down on Chinese dialects like Hokkien for decades, but now many young people are eager to learn them. Credit Sim Chi Yin for The New York Times By 1981, television and radio were banned from broadcasting almost all dialect shows, including popular music. That left many people cut off from society.
    “Old people suddenly couldn’t understand anything on the radio,” said Lee Hui Min, a writer whose best-known work, “Growing Up in the Era of Lee Kuan Yew,” recounts those decades. “There was a sense of loss.”
    Then, in 1987, to foster unity across Singapore’s three major ethnic groups, Chinese, Indian and Malay, English became the main method of instruction in all schools. Today, almost all instruction is in English except for a class in the student’s native tongue: Tamil and Malay for ethnic Indians and Malays, and Mandarin for ethnic Chinese.
    The dominance of English was captured in a recent government survey that showed English is the most widely spoken language at home, followed by Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Only 12 percent of Singaporeans speak a Chinese dialect at home, according to the survey, compared with an estimated 50 percent a generation ago.
    “Sometimes people say the Singaporeans aren’t too expressive,” said Kuo Jian Hong, the artistic director of The Theater Practice, an influential theater founded by her father, the pioneering playwright and arts activist Kuo Pao Kun. “I feel this is partly because so many of us lost our mother tongue.”
    But as Singapore has prospered, many are searching for their cultural roots, a trend that has picked up since the passing of former Prime Minister Lee in 2015. Some are trying to protect historical monuments, others challenging official versions of history, or passionately defending “Singlish,” a local patois of English, Chinese dialects and Malay.
    For some, it means committing to learn their ancestral language.
    At the Hokkien Huay Kuan, a community center founded in 1840 to promote education and social welfare among immigrants from Fujian Province, classes have been offered for the past few years in the Hokkien dialect.
    One recent Friday evening, about 20 people sat in a small classroom learning phrases like “reunion meal,” “praying for blessings” and “dragon dance.” Three students were doctors specializing in geriatric care who wanted to understand older patients. Others were simply curious.
    “I think it’s to understand our roots,” said Ivan Cheung, 34, who works in Singapore’s oil refining industry. “To know our roots you have to know dialect.”
    The head of the community center, Perng Peck Seng, said that it, too, had seen the effects of the government policy. When he joined in the 1980s, all meetings were held in Hokkien and Mandarin. Now they are held in English and Mandarin because too few people, even in his organization, speak Hokkien fluently enough to conduct meetings.
    But Mr. Perng stopped short of criticizing the government. Instead, he said Singaporeans themselves had to take responsibility for the loss of their language diversity.
    “Sometimes I think we are too docile,” Mr. Perng said. “Leaders said if you speak too much dialect it’ll affect your success in life, so many people dropped it on their own accord. The biggest problem is our own consciousness.”
     
  2. Papsmearer

    Papsmearer Alfrescian (InfP) - Comp Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Sinkie apuneh ambassador not happy, but still do not want to sue. Why?

    [h=1]Government rebuts New York Times article on dialects in Singapore[/h]
    SINGAPORE - Singapore's ambassador to the United States has rejected claims in a New York Times (NYT) article that there has been a softening of Government policy towards the use of Chinese dialects after decades of what the paper described as "linguistic repression".
    The report, titled "In Singapore, Chinese dialects revive after decades of restrictions", was published on Aug 26.
    In it, author Ian Johnson wrote about the dearth of dialects among the young, and described a three-generation Singaporean family, in which a Hokkien-speaking grandmother and her English-speaking granddaughter struggle to communicate.




    This, the article noted, is a consequence of "the Singapore government's large-scale, decades-long effort at linguistic engineering" as it moved to effectively ban Chinese dialects in favour of Mandarin.
    "This linguistic repression, and the consequences for multi-generational families, has led to widespread sense of resentment - and now a softening in the government's policy," wrote Mr Johnson, a Beijing-based contributor to the NYT.
    But Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, in a letter sent to the NYT on Aug 27, said these assertions of "linguistic repression" in Singapore and a "softening of government policy" towards dialect as a result of public discontent are mistaken.


    The NYT did not publish the letter, which Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs made public on Tuesday (Sept 12).
    Mr Mirpuri said Singaporeans adopted English as the working language because it was the international language of commerce.
    He noted that parents, "convinced their children had to master English to survive", sent their children to English-language schools in droves from the 1960s.
    "Notwithstanding this powerful trend, the Singapore Government strived to keep the mother tongues (Chinese, Malay and Tamil) alive, by promoting bilingualism as a fundamental education policy," said Mr Mirpuri, who is based in Washington DC.
    Chinese Singaporeans had to choose between maintaining multiple dialects and adopting Mandarin, he added.
    Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew pushed for Mandarin "because of its economic value, the sheer impracticality of teaching multiple, mutually unintelligible dialects, and to establish a common language amongst Chinese Singaporeans".
    "This remains the Government's policy," wrote Mr Mirpuri.
    Mr Johnson had, in his article, said that television and radio had by 1981 been banned from broadcasting almost all dialect shows, including popular music, cutting many off from society. A television series was recently broadcast in Hokkien, he added, for the first time since the late 1970s.
    Mr Mirpuri's letter said dialect broadcasts are not new, and have always been around for older Chinese Singaporeans.
    And while grandparents want to communicate with their grandchildren, they do not want their grandchildren to learn dialects at the expense of English or Mandarin.
    "Most Singaporeans are not linguists with a gift for languages. They know first-hand how difficult it is to master multiple languages," wrote Mr Mirpuri.
    A young nation like Singapore will continue to develop its own culture and identity, he added.
    "We encourage young Singaporeans to learn about their communities' history, culture, heritage and language," he wrote. "But we have to recognise that for Chinese Singaporeans the future is in English and Mandarin."
     
  3. Scrooball (clone)

    Scrooball (clone) Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    If got balls, come to Singapore and fight the case la. Only good for sucking up liberal nutcase balls and fake news press.
     
  4. steffychun

    steffychun Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Will PAP sue?
     
  5. tyudm

    tyudm Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Got s/steel balls also must have in good conditions brain leh otherwise anyhow come back sure die lah.
     
  6. gingerlyn

    gingerlyn Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Ian Johnson has strong link with China and he is a good friend of Huang Jing and he is married to PRC wife.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Ian_Denis_Johnson

    This NYC article is most likely sponsored by China PRC
     
  7. Pek Kim Lui

    Pek Kim Lui Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    here kangeroo boxing only..........
     
  8. Papsmearer

    Papsmearer Alfrescian (InfP) - Comp Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    If they sue in New York, they will be kicked out of the court in disgrace.
     
  9. tanwahtiu

    tanwahtiu Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Angmoh hv too many crimes committed in the past 400 years.

    Go get fuck off angmoh Slaves owners. Go commit more crimes against humanity.

    Millionaires Slaves owners in Britians

    https://youtu.be/CTtGVCwiCvw
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  10. steffychun

    steffychun Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    Harry hated the British, dumped his Ang Moh name. Then loved PRC, but his children had old Cina name. Then he made his grandchildren all PRC names--Lee became Li.

    When Shengwu has sex and the wife give birth change to what name ah?
     
  11. tanwahtiu

    tanwahtiu Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Re: Shengwu Harvard alumni buddy, Ian Johnson, whack PAP good good in NY Times articl

    LeeLi sounds good.
     

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