'Others' Is Not A Race: Being Eurasian in Singapore and Malaysia
- About the Author
Winner, Singapore Literature Prize 2018 (Creative Nonfiction)
What is a Eurasian? Are Eurasians truly Singaporean? What does it mean to be a Eurasian living in Singapore?
European + Asian = Eurasian
Despite existing in Singapore for as long as any other community, Eurasians continue to be somewhat enigmatic to their fellow citizens. Unlike the Chinese, Malays and Indians, who have their own category under Singapore’s multicultural race policy, Eurasians are classified as ‘Others’.
'Others' Is Not A Race is a vibrant tapestry that weaves together narrative fiction, creative nonfiction, literary food writing and intimate family memoir. This eclectic mix provides a unique perspective into an underrepresented community, all viewed through the candid lens of the author’s personal experiences of growing up and living as a Eurasian in Singapore, as well as visiting family in Melaka’s Portuguese Settlement in Malaysia, where the Eurasian community has thrived for over 500 years.
Memory, language, identity and cultural reclamation punctuate this journey of self-discovery, exploring what it means to exist at the confluence of being Singaporean and being Eurasian, and to interrogate the liminal space between two cultures, Asian and European, occupied by this community.
“The thought-provoking collection of short stories and essays reflects on being a Eurasian in Singapore, explores the Eurasian identity and culture, and questions the concept of race as a social construct.”
—Her World, Singapore
“A most Singaporean book, from its grapples with life’s purpose and meaning to its scrummy paeans to local food … It is the coming together of these micro-biographies that eventually shape what we call collective national histories too.”
—Judges of the Singapore Literature Prize 2018
Melissa De Silva was born in Singapore. She believes in the power of stories to foster empathy, allowing us to inhabit (momentarily) other lives, and understand more deeply what it means to be human. She is currently working on a novel and exploring the possibilities of filmmaking as a storytelling platform to explore the themes she is most drawn to: cultural alienation and cultural reclamation, loneliness and human kinship, memory, forgetting and loss.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 144
Year Published: 2023