Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Durian by Any Other Name (Would Smell as Stinky)

Somehow, our forefathers, of various races, knew how to pakat against common enemies, were able to kongsi their resources, and in the process of all that champur became kamcheng with one another. The product of their alliances, friendships and inter-marriages is reflected in the language they have passed on to us. To lose this legacy is to sever a vital connection not only to the historical origins of the Nanyang Chinese, but also to Singapore’s dynamic multicultural past.
In this fascinating piece, Singaporean poet and playwright Alfian Sa'at ponders the movement of words from one local language to another.

(My thanks to Jason Erik Lundberg for Tweeting this.)

1 comment:

gnute said...

Fascinating article! And some of the comments left by readers are just as engrossing. Alfian Sa'at is one of my favourite authors from that side of the Second Link.