Constructing a Singapore Chinese Cultural Identity

Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce

in Rebuilding the Ancestral Village

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028818
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207332 | DOI:
Constructing a Singapore Chinese Cultural Identity

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This chapter examines how the Singapore Chinese attempt to establish a cultural identity within the Singapore polity, using their experiences in both China and Singapore. There is an increasing desire among Singapore Chinese to explore parochial cultural identities through dialect affiliation, ancestry, immediate lineage, and other kinship networks. They are not content with knowing themselves only as ethnic Chinese, or even as Fujian or Chaozhou Chinese; they also search for their ancestral roots, to provide themselves with more specific identities. There is thus a continuing growth and production of a multiplicity of identities in resistance to the homogenizing influence of the Singapore state, which attempts to turn Singapore Chinese into a uniform Chinese community with Mandarin as its lingua franca.

Keywords: Singapore Chinese; cultural identity; China; dialect affiliation; ancestry; lineage; kinship networks

Chapter.  10627 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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