Noose 3 – Mother Tongue Survivor Group
The recent debate about the review of the Mother Tongue education policy has opened a floodgate of painful memories for a large group of Singaporeans.
Yes, in fact, a Mother Tongue Survivor Group has been set up to help them. Andre Chichak has the news.
VISUALS: Teacher holds up simple flash cards in a language class, a man sobbing as a teacher guides his brush to write Chinese calligraphy strokes, people sitting and talking in a circle – group therapy, group hugs.
Andre Chichak (V.O):
Every few years there will be a debate about our Mother (pause) Tongue languages in the schools. Unfortunately, this brings back painful memories for some Singaporeans who have suffered humiliation and embarrassment in their classes. Thankfully, the Ministry of Education has formed a support group to help them reverse the years of psychological damage in their minds.
One of the members of the Mother Tongue Survivor Group is an ex-expat from France, Arthur Lim.
Arthur Lim, Ex-expat and Mother Tongue Survivor: (insert thick French accent)
Why are they always debating about my Mother (pause) Tongue language? Why? Why? My family was forced to migrate to France because of the old Mother Tongue education policy. We are Mother Tongue refugees! I still have nightmares of my Chinese teacher giving me spelling tests. Horrible. Some of us are born with no Mother Tongue, you understand? We only speak one language at home – Hokkien. An Chua Ar Ni Kuan?! (Translated as “Why like this?”)
Andre Chichak (V.O):
The battle lines between the monolingual revolutionaries and mother tongue loyalists have been drawn. Some demonstrators have even gathered at Speaker’s Corner to show their displeasure against the education review board.
VISUALS: A group of Mother Tongue Loyalists dressed in red. One shouts, “Support our Mother!” Another shouts immediately after, “Tongue!”
Geok Pok Lim, Mother Tongue Loyalist:
Don’t make our Mother Tongue lose weight in the PSLE! If you do, we will pour buckets of duck tongues, chicken tongues and the double-forked snake tongue at the school gates!
Andre Chichak (standup):
In order to help students learn their Mother Tongues, the Ministry of Education has decided on a new and creative campaign. Here’s an exclusive Noose preview of the latest music video released by acclaimed local musician, DJ Gor-Kak. My Mother Tongue.
VISUALS: DJ Gor-Kak’s Mother Tongue music video. Really nonsensical. Dancing with various ethnic groups like a multi-racial harmony video.
DJ Gor-Kak raps:
Yeah, yeah, it’s me. Gor-Kak.
This is a song about my mother, tongue, yeah!
I grew up in the streets, fighting with many people,
Some speak English like they very powderful,
But they can’t beat me, you know why,
Cos I can scold them back, in my mother tongue!
Chorus! I am bi, lingual. So don’t try to fool me. You can’t fool me.
I have an English tongue, I have a mother tongue.
I love my tongue. I love your tongue.
(Repeat from above till fade out.)