Tag Archives: nation state

In new textbook, the story of Singapore begins 500 years earlier

(From the New York Times. Link to the complete article given below)


Singapore has rewritten the history taught in secondary school to expand the story of the island state’s birth.

While earlier generations learned a narrative that essentially started in 1819 with the British colonial administrator, Sir Stamford Raffles, stumbling upon a sleepy Malay fishing village, 13-year-olds now learn of a golden age that started 500 years earlier.

The new story, introduced in January, brings into focus a 300-year period, from 1300 to 1600, when Singapore was a thriving multinational trading hub, with an estimated population of 10,000.

An education ministry official who declined to be named, in line with government policy, called the change a “shift” rather than a rewrite, saying it allowed students to “explore Singapore’s origin as a port of call and her connections to the region and the world.”

Behind the revision is the work of John N. Miksic, an American archaeology professor at the National University of Singapore, or N.U.S., who advised the government on the new school text, “Singapore: The Making of a Nation-State, 1300-1975.”

Professor Miksic has led major archaeological excavations across Southeast Asia, including a dozen in Singapore over the past 30 years that have yielded eight tons of artifacts — evidence of a precolonial history that was largely neglected until now.

Read more at the New York Times link here

Xu Xi’s take on pigeonholing writers

Why is the nation state at all significant for who you are as a writer?: Guernica

I am a New York-Hong Kong writer with a published oeuvre of fiction and nonfiction that addresses issues of the Chinese family and diaspora, cross-cultural and inter-racial experiences (in particular, sexuality, especially transgressive), and contemporary transnational, cosmopolitan and international life. I write what I’ve lived, and still live, to solve what I don’t understand about my sliver of that mortal coil. In forty-plus years of writing and publishing, the pigeonholes that have housed the writer me include Asian, Asian-American, Chinese, Woman, Feminist, of Color, Transnational, International, Cosmopolitan, Hong Kong, New York. The newest slot, one I occupy for its comfortably feathered nest, is “Third Culture.” Read more