Saturday, July 08, 2006

I am Singaporean

I grew up in a three room flat, on the eight floor. I got my first education with the PAP kindergarten. I wore a full piece pinafore with a red tie and my mum would bring me to the classroom which was only a block away.

I went to a neighbour primary school with a big school bag. Throughout my 6 years of primary education, there would be 2 huge photographs of our president and his wife on top of the black board of the classroom.

I never know how to speak English until I went to primary school. Even going to the toilet was tough cos the teacher would only recognize English and would not allow me to go unless I converse what I wanted to her in English and that included telling her I need to pee in English.

My results were average and I went to a local secondary school and then proceeded to a neighbourhood junior college. I never could distinguish between "neighbourhood schools" and the 'non-neighboourhood schools' cos all schools are located in neighbourhoods. The only thing that I can make sense of is that they are just politically correct terms for good and bad schools. Implying that I went to bad schools.

I am a Chinese girl, bred by Chinese speaking parents who talk to each other in Teochew. I can handle English better than Chinese. Most of the Chinese characters recognize me but I never recognize them.

I am a Hock Chew but I never know how to speak in my native tongue. I was told that my mother tongue is Chinese though my own mother don even speak Mandarin nor write Chinese well.

After graduating with honors and was in the workforce for 4 years, I still have not save enough to own an apartment or a car. I distinctly remembered my parents telling me to study hard so that I can earn big bucks. I studied very hard, graduated but still have yet to find my big bucks.

I had the chance to vote when I turned 21 but lost the chance when I lost my identity card 3 days before the voting day.

My parents paid my school bills in full and I do not have any debts unlike my peers who already are in debts before they even enter the workforce.

I got my membership for the SDU automatically after I graduate without knowing how or why. I never really understand why me getting into a relationship is the business of my government.

I survived my PSLE, O levels, almost did not survive my A Levels and then got through my degree.

I am a true blue Singaporean, born and brought up with kopitiams, SBC/TCS chinese drama serials, HDB flats and the Singlish language. Tranportation fare increments are known as fare revision. Casinos are known as Integrated Resorts, a strong mandate is 66.6%, and a peanut here is worth $600,000.

I grew up in a 3 room HDB flat and had my education in neighbourhood schools.

I have 3 names; Chinese name, English name and Dialect name.

I am 张晶华 and Zhang Jing Hua and Teo Chin Wah.

And I am a Singaporean.

So says we all.

So says we all.

(In response to mr brown's iamsingaporean entry)


Anonymous said...

that can almost be said abt me anyway... except for the lousy grades and the hilarious chinese name...

so says i

so say i

Iris said...


Lets hear your name and let me decide if its hilarious....


Anonymous said...

Hi Iris,

really like a summary of you life there.. but its well written.. my life was never that smooth but the work world is really a tough n cold world...


Anonymous said...

Hey there....

I don't know you at all, and neither would you know me

I was just blog surfing....

And you know the funny thing?

We both have the EXACT SAME NAME!!

I've never met anyone with the same name as me before...

In chinese pronounciation and dialect pronounciation.

My name is written as Teo Chin Wah in the IC as well.

However, the chinese writing of my "hua" has an extra character.


nice to meet u!!

Iris said...

Hey Teo Chin Wah, glad to know you.. :)

Can I assume that you are a male? Cos my name is rather male, i think.. heh..

chin wah said...

lol.....that's what everyone tells me too...that my name is rather boyish....but actually female!!

noe the funny thing? i'm rather blur and people call me froggie too!!

damn odd...such a coincidence!!

Iris said...

Ok, this may really be a coincidence or it might just be me replying to my own blog while I am sleep walking... heh