Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mother Tongue Values

School holidays almost coming to an end.. gosh! I love the no-school days. Not that I dread driving my darlings to school every single day for the past 16 years, like you, I totally hate the crazy traffic at lunch hour. Sigh.. Arrghhh.. aduhhhh -___-

Little story to share here, still school related.

Deciding to enroll your child to an international school because she doesn't speak the mother tongue is a little bit absurd. Not the enrolling your child into a posh school part, but the part that you HAD no choice but to get your child into an international school so that she won't have a hard time learning because she doesn't speak the local language, that she's supposedly grew up in. The child wasn't even raised outside Malaysia, duhh

I know, I may sound judgmental but... It wouldn't be too weird if one of the parents was a caucation, but when both are pure Malays, having brought up a non-Malay-speaking child, like showing the child that their very own local dialect has less values than English. 

Bringing up children isn't easy, like I've said over and over again. I mean, having a responsibility to prepare a human being to face the world can be very stressful indeed. Like, (as parents) you're doing this for the first 18 years of their lives, and it's an ongoing thing if you kept having children after your first one. No parents are perfect parents. I too, would like to see my children grow to be smart individuals. That includes teaching them to speak a language that most people all around the world understand and acknowledge, the English language. But forgetting to speak to them in Malay since they were born to the time they're 7, errmm.. Look kinda 'ooh-English-is-way-to go-coz-you'd-appear-UP UP-speaking-the-Mat Salleh-language' to me. 


If you are a new parent, try to have a small plan for your little one (ones). Mommy may speak the second language (English) to the child, but daddy must converse in the mother tongue to newborn child. This way, they'll grow to know and understand two different languages, InCluDing the mother tongue. If a grandparent happened to be an Iban, or Indian, get the grandparent to speak Iban/Indian. The baby will grow to know the language too.. Then she's gonna be a 3-language-speaking-kid! Kinda cool ha?? But this has to be practiced from day one, all the way to her toddler years, primary school.

That's a little tip. So, you don't have to trouble yourself looking for a school that would fit your child's need because she doesn't know her own mother tongue. 

me standing first row, 5th from left.. Class Form 3 G (1988)

Most (like 90 - 95%!) of my classmates when I was in Form 1 till Form 5 were Chinese. But I refused to learn to speak Hokkien. I just shut myself out of learning the great Hokkien though I had the golden opportunity to do so.. If you know Mandarin (and you're not Chinese), you're an awesome individual ;)

Enjoy your weekend :) Later peeps! 


Sheila said...

Kak Ida,

I agree with you.

My mother in law stays with us, so she spoke Melanau to my daughter.

I practiced English & local Sabahan with her.

Husband mixed Sarawakian & Melanau to her.

And we sent her to English kindergarten.

If only I am well versed in Kadazan language.. hehehe

Ida BorneoLove said...

Hey Sheila, wahh.. so lucky your child a multilingual!

Well, your anak could teach you to speak Her languages, no?? heheheheee.. Happy new year dear ;)

Marcy J said...

I like this blog post of yours, kak Ida. But in Sarawak, it is kind of a common thing to be multilingual due to mixed marriage. You see, I myself am a product of Iban and Bidayuh, while my dad's parents are Iban and Chinese (my grandma is Chinese mix Berawan). Obviously, I do speak Iban and I actually do speak Bidayuh (Bau, as that is where my mom come from), although not as well converse as I used to when I was young. But whenever I go back to Bau for festive season, I still can understand and speak in Bidayuh. Though, I do wish I know how to speak Mandarin, or Hokkien (my grandma's mother tongue) because recently I come to realize it is so much easier if you're able to converse in Chinese dialects, especially at kopitiams.

Ida BorneoLove said...

Marcy, u can speak 4 languages!! I'm jealous...!

Wait, i know a bit of chinese.

Errm.. Lowteng- Up up there hehehee
Chiak peng- Makan rice hahahaa
Lai lai- come come :p

Ok, you win :p

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