Tag Archives: Singapore

What to cook right now

Look ma, not an April Fools’ prank ! Sam Sifton says he loves my piece.

Here/ now

I’m here because
when I get older,
I’m starting to look back
into the past to find clues
of how my future might pan out.

I’m here because
looking back into the past,
nostalgia hit me
below the belt
when I least expected it.

I’m here because
with a new perspective on what has happened,
I look at the present,
trying to make sense of my identity,
of being a mother to a child with two nationalities.

I’m here because
motherhood led me straight back to my mother
and how she took the last boat out of communist China,
with her mother and great-grandmother,
looking for a better future in the murky seas down south.

A history of Singapore in 10 dishes

Hope I did justice to my motherland. I’ve put my heart and soul into this one. Link here.

The number of steps it takes to build a national identity

I came up with this piece that I performed in a cul-de-sac in Kampong Glam yesterday. The significance of this exact space is I am a Singaporean of Chinese origin in the heart of the Muslim quarter quite like how Singapore is situated in Southeast Asia.

Lee Hsien Loong once said “But for us, national identity will always be work-in-progress”. This piece shows how we strip away our differences and conceal them so that we have one national identity. The number of steps will be as many or as little as one deems it to be. Do more steps mean the concept of national identity is more reinforced and complete ?

I have all the matryoshka dolls opened and arranged on the ground. I take off my sandals and walk along the rectangular perimeter of the cul-de-sac. I would have preferred to walk in circles but it was more natural to adapt to the space this time. Each time I come back to the matryoshka dolls, I will put the smallest one into the one next size up and then I will continue to walk. I do it until I complete assembling all the matryoshka dolls and they become just one doll.

In the future, I will like it to be a longer durational piece (2/4/6/8h), putting the matryoshka dolls back together then taking them apart and repeating the process. The piece ends when the time is up regardless of the state of assembly of the dolls.

Answers to a preschool survey

She is 21 months old and French-Singaporean, her dad French and her mom Singaporean. We are first-time parents and have just moved to Singapore a few months ago so that we can be closer to our family in Singapore.

She is usually at her grandparents’ on weekday afternoons and she has no issue saying goodbye to us when we leave. She is fine spending the night at her mamie’s in Paris or at her grandparents’ in Singapore.

Since we moved to Singapore, we have been traveling sometimes and would leave her at her grandparents’ for a few days and she has no issue being away from her parents.

We are now telling her that she would be going to preschool soon to prepare her for it.

A happy child who looks forward to going to preschool and who finds learning new things and spending time with other children and adults enjoyable.

We have meals together and we also listen to music, read and play together.

Reading, stringing beads, arranging toys in a row to resemble a train, playing at the playground/ waterpark and playing in the bath.

We usually let her try to do things on her own first before stepping in to help her.

We always encourage her to climb and go down steps/ stairs by herself.

We don’t intervene when she plays at the playground unless if it is dangerous.

We don’t play with her all the time so she has learnt to play and read alone.

We usually ask her to help us put her toys and books away at the end of the day.

She watches her mother prepare her meals, sometimes on a stool in a kitchen.

At her grandparents’, she helps to push her high chair to the table at mealtimes and puts it away after.

She helps us take her soiled diapers and other small household trash to the bin.

We give her a Duralex glass to drink water from at mealtimes and encourage her to use the fork instead of using her hands.

It depends — sometimes in the late morning (10/11am) before lunch, sometimes in the late afternoon (3/4pm) for about 1-1.5h and sometimes not at all.

No pacifier as she sucks on her thumb and she has her rabbit doudou if we are at home. She is still wearing diapers but we are starting to potty-train her.

She is sociable, curious and she has appeared to be rather non-confrontational when we observe her at the playground.

She understands instructions well and seems to understand things when we explain things to her.

She is a good eater. She attempts to feed herself sometimes but still needs to be fed proper meals. She is capable of drinking, eating snacks and fruit on her own.

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