Someone talked about people who saw colours in numbers today. “So weird,” she said.
I thought it was beautiful. I would love to see numbers in colours, or colours in sound. It sounds like such a wonderful perspective.
When I was in uni, a visiting professor looked at us, a crowd of Singaporean students, and said almost wistfully, “Do all of you know two languages? How amazing it is, to see the world in 2 languages!” I thought that was strange then. You don’t know what a pain it was to learn a second language, I wanted to tell her.
But over time, I’ve learnt to appreciate her comment. It is amazing to have access to the cultures of two languages, just as it is amazing to know that people access the world in so many different ways so different from your own.
The lens of bureaucracy — one way. The lens of food — another. Of animals. Of long bus rides home.
(To add on in the inundation of LKY speeches after his death, a quote from a 1977 speech:
Way back in 1965 we found ourselves suddenly independent. If you lose that Chinese education and you go completely English-educated, you will lose that drive, that self-confidence. That is what is wrong. The danger is, if you are Chinese-educated and only Chinese-educated, you are monolingual, then your source of literature will be communist. That is big trouble. But if you are bilingual, you have binocular vision, then you see the world in 3-D.