Not many people know that the great Chinese scholar Jao Tsung-I spent five years in Singapore as the first Chair and Head of Chinese Studies at the former University of Singapore. Appointed to an eight-year term in 1968, he left prematurely in 1973. This poem, which he wrote on his departure, now appears in English for the first time.
What is a Mother Tongue to a Singaporean abroad? What is a Mother Tongue between a mother and a daughter exposed to different cultures? In this humorous but provocative essay, filmmaker and educator Woo Yen Yen reflects on the rich emotional significance of language and the experience of raising her daughter as a Singaporean based in New York.