2. In referring to Appendix B, the “Excerpt from Taxi Tales”, discuss race, ethnicity and culture in Singapore.
Race, ethnicity and culture are independent of one another. Even if ‘race’ is defined to be encoded (i.e. genetic), culture (how one lives and the practices involved) isn’t. The concept of race is rooted in biological classification and more of ‘attributions’. Ethnicity on the other hand emphasis more on culture rather than biology and incorporates the idea of social grouping and their response to situation, history and circumstances. Culture is then based on shared traits and behavioral patterns within a particular group.
In Singapore, ethnicity and culture are treated as if derived from ‘race’ and ethnicity as unchangeable and irreducible fact of life, which individuals come to term with. (Geoffrey, 1976)…show more content… The passenger rejects the idea of being ‘Indian’ based on her father’s race mainly because she doesn’t speak any Indian languages and considers English her mother tongue. This is fairly prevalent in Singapore whereby we see people of mixed-races, who don’t even have the habit of speaking either one of their mother tongue languages. English is after all the de facto lingua franca of today’s Singapore.
Furthermore, race no longer determines the choice of second languages in school. Perhaps, now, we can see that Chinese is the current racial majority, making their mother tongue the dominant second language. For this very reason, Malay or Indian kids may learn Chinese as their ‘mother tongue’.
The taxi driver then moves on to commenting the need to learn one’s mother tongue language in order to understand one’s culture. The passenger also doesn’t consider herself to be an Indian simply because he/she doesn’t relate to any of their practices or culture. But instead, he/she mentions, “My culture is Malaysian. I can speak Malay