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Title: Nation, race, and language: Discussing transnational identities in colonial Singapore, circa 1930
Authors: Ai Lin, C. 
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Citation: Ai Lin, C. (2012-03). Nation, race, and language: Discussing transnational identities in colonial Singapore, circa 1930. Modern Asian Studies 46 (2) : 283-302. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Around 1930, at a time of rising nationalisms in China and India, English-educated Chinese and Indians in the British colony of Singapore debated with great intensity the issue of national identity. They sought to clarify their own position as members of ethnic communities of immigrant origin, while remaining individuals who identified the territory of British Malaya as their home. Readers' letters published in the Malaya Tribune, an English-medium newspaper founded to serve the interests of Anglophone Asians, questioned prevailing assumptions of how to define a nation from the perspectives of territory, political loyalty, race, and language. Lived circumstances in Malaya proved that being Chinese or Indian could encompass a range of political, cultural, and linguistic characteristics, rather than a homogenous identity as promoted by nationalist movements of the time. Through these debates, Chinese and Indians in Malaya found ways to simultaneously reaffirm their ethnic pride as well as their sense of being 'Malayan'. © Copyright Cambridge University Press 2012.
Source Title: Modern Asian Studies
ISSN: 0026749X
DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X11000801
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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