Monkey, and in a few months Bimble, goes to an International school here in Singapore. It is predominantly British, follows the British school curriculum, and maintains a 60% British ratio. Thus it made an enormous effort over the weekend in celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee. They held their annual summer fete on Sunday, and the school was resplendently decked out in red, white and blue.
There were lots of little stalls like the Tombola, bouncy castles, Digging for the Crown Jewels, slime Dip, and the stall that I helped man was called “Bat the Rat”. If there were any frustrated individuals yesterday, ours was a welcomed stall.
I do love that our girls are a quarter each Australian and Malay (me), and English and Welsh (The Rock). They look predominantly Caucasian, but I try very hard to remind them of their ethnicity. Although I have failed in teaching them to speak Malay, they do understand a few words. Important ones like “eat”, “love” and these ones I use often “Hurry up!” and “Sit down!”. They live in Singapore which is very much like my country of birth Malaysia. It’s multicultural, and they are as comfortable in a western community as they are in an Asian one. In fact, Bimble who looks more Caucasian than Monkey with her blue eyes and blonde hair, has very Asian tastes. Anyone who has had the pleasure (or displeasure) of tasting the durian fruit, can attest that it is an acquired taste, of which Bimble has certainly acquired one.
It’s important to us that our girls have ties to the UK as well. As they don’t live there, we want them to feel British and be familiar with all things British. So the fete was a wonderful way for the girls to get a taste of that.
In the Pilates studio where I teach, the instructors come from Singapore, France, Germany, Japan, Philippines, UK, India and of course myself from Malaysia. It’s a great atmosphere, and the clientele reflect the multi cultural emphasis of the studio. When you are fortunate enough to live in a different country, it would be a shame not to take advantage of having local friends and of understanding their culture. Similarly, to give them a taste of where you come from.
In my family, I’m proud to say that we have a mix of these following races/nationalities : Malay, Chinese, Indian, Australian, New Zealander, British. It’s all fun when we get together and say we’re a family, and just get quizzical looks from people. Bimble and Monkey have 6 cousins, of which no sets of cousins share the same ethnicity. But do they notice? Do they care? Not a bit.
In our household though, I’m worried about where my daughters’ sporting allegiances lie. Especially when Australia and England play rugby. Remember back in 2003, when England thanks to Jonny Wilkinson, won the Rugby World Cup against Australia? The Rock and I were merely dating then. Being half Aussie, I desperately wanted Australia to win, but knew that if they did, then The Rock would be in the foulest of moods for a very long time. Just two months after Jonny brought England their victory, The Rock proposed to me under an old Oak Tree in the English countryside, in true English weather (it was grey and wet), and I was even dressed like I belonged in the country (I was wearing Wellies). I wonder if he would have asked me to be Mrs Rock if the results had been different? Well, thankfully, I never have to worry about that.