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A Familiar Sound

A bunch of us Singaporean students caught <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Title?0300471">Shanghai Knights</a> yesterday. We had to. Not because we're captivated by Jackie Chan's stunts (though we are) or Owen Wilson's intellect (he <strong>did</strong> co-write the script for <a href="http://video.go.com/royal/">The Royal Tenenbaums</a> – a splendid movie). We had to watch <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Name?Wong,+Fann">Fann Wong</a>. That's right, she's from Singapore.
Like most Singaporeans, we were all inclined to watch with a highly critical eye. In the first few minutes, we deduced that her acting skills were well below par for Hollywood and that she should probably have stuck to speaking only Chinese. Like most Singaporeans, we are fast to put down our own; it seems to be a trait passed down from colonial days. It is shocking that even many years later and in a more modernised society, a number actually still believe that Caucasians are superior simply by virtue of skin colour. So there we were, half-embarassed that Fann's accent was distinctly Singaporean.
A little less than two hours later, we left the theatre with a firmer sense of identity. There's nothing wrong with being Singaporean, or being different for that matter. We were better off having seen Fann on the big screen, a familiar face that brought home that much closer. Her accent, however un-American, was ours. And we learnt to be proud of it.
So Fann, here's thanks from a Singaporean very, very far away from home. In some odd way I missed you, and it was nice seeing you again.
Maybe we'll meet up for coffee when I get back?

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