Saturday, November 11, 2006

orientalism

Reading for this MA has sorta rekindled my fondness for things ancient. I used to love history and wanted to be an archaeologist. Then somehow, somewhere...well in JC really, that love vanished. I couldn't see any connection between what I was reading, desperately cramming for, and well, myself. We were learning all this stuff about South-east Asian history, and then when it got to second year and it would be all about China, I faltered and dropped it (plus I did really badly overall in first year and was in that group which was "encouraged" by the school to drop a subject). I realise now I should've dropped economics but that's a different story.

But here, now, as I'm reading all this stuff about places I've never been to (Africa and South Asia), it's fascinating. I suppose it's partly cos I'm not a teenager wanting to go against everything anymore. But also partly cos I realise how much it's like a jigsaw puzzle, all this history, all these European representations of the Other. And how it affects so much today. And how myself, as an Other, being here in England, the land of the colonisers, am learning about myself by being here. Yes, you were all right, being here makes me realise that I am Chinese. I still don't really know what being a Singaporean means though. But does anybody?

1 comment:

Melanie said...

sounds like a fun course, and more importantly, it's making you think through stuff. :) i figure it takes at least 3 months to rev up the intellectual juices and verbal "smokiness" :P