random daily encounters- roots and names

as i blogged about manchester, it reminded me of the daily stuff i encounter while on exchange. so yeah maybe i’ll just say a little here before i forget again haha.

 

when i was still in Singapore, i never really felt proud to be a Chinese. sure, there was CNY celebrations and yay it was fun [the hongbaos, banlucks, reunion dinners, goodies n stuff] but you know, i always identified first as a Singaporean, then a Chinese. but ever since I came into Sweden [and thus, Europe]; i realise my racial identity strengthened. for example, during Swedish class, we were told to introduce our main language. and everyone in that class knew english, so it was quite lame to say english again [Engelska, in Swedish]. i stared at my friend and panicked LOL cause i didn’t know if i should say chinese or mandarin (yes that is how bad i am in the language) and he just laughed because it was my turn before his. so i just said mandarin and yeah, reminded me of my roots again. and this happened not only in Swedish class, but also in casual encounters where people would ask me , what language does my country speak. and when i told them english, some of them would be quite shocked. haha. like, why? do you think Singapore is still part of China? LOL. but of course i realise, this was very different from.. say, 10 years ago? i still remember quite vividly, travelling with my family to a different country every year because we had free tickets from SQ woohoo [until the start of uni because damn it no more free tix but im still v grateful]. anyways, people would often guess where we are from. koreans? japanese? chinese? hongkong? thais? vietnamese? but never singapore. never ever. they would ‘ah, i see’ when we told them we are from singapore. but now? i think much more people are aware of the existence of singapore, or at least, know they are not a part of China. i was quite pleasantly surprised to hear ‘ahhh! i know a friend from singapore too!’ or ‘ahh! i visited there last august! i loved it!’ and to hear them talking about singapore’s attractions like the “three towers with a boat ontop” aka MBS, how clean Singapore is, and how they love the food – makes me proud to be a Singaporean. but i think some are still surprised about our language- well, i look like chinese so i guess they assume i speak mandarin. also, i have a super duper chinese name [Wan Xin] with the spacing in between- in fact, some other asians identified me more easily because of this LOL and while I have been giving myself an English name in case people can’t pronounce my original name, i have been quite reluctant to use it because i didn’t really like my english name after a while (LOL indecisive bitch) and because i also read somewhere, people should try to remember your names- no matter how badly they pronounce it. because that is the authentic you. a friend recently tagged me in some post, and it was talking about how our Chinese names have meanings behind it- lol but i asked my mum and she also had no idea what my name meant (WTHECK MUM LOL) but still, i guess i am so used to this name its hard to use another so suddenly. so i’ve been introducing myself as Wan Xin first and foremost, and then Riley as a last resort. actually, its Wan Xin > Woo > Riley. some people call me woo, hahaha and i kind of like it too. omg, i’ve been blabbering i forgot i have been waiting for my laundry- which is 2 blocks away!! which means walking out in the cold sobs but i guess this is part of exchange experience!! 🙂  speaking of which, i really need to practice my Swedish soon hahaha. okay, i really want to blog more but my laundry has been out there for quite long so…. till i have the energy and time to blog again, vi ses (see you later in Swedish)!

 

 

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