Today I saw something special, someone we don’t usually see in our everyday lives, but still a perfectly normal child whom we can find everywhere else. Now, that is weird right? So listen.
I was on my way home taking a 40 min ride train. At one of the earlier stops, the most interesting thing today happened. A child, a girl, with dark skin accompanied by a middle-aged Chinese woman entered the train and sat three seats away from me. Okay this is not exactly interesting yet. Another 5 minutes passed and I heard a child’s voice. She said,“妈咪，那个是什么？” (Mum, what is that?)
I turned to looked and took a double-take to assure myself that the voice came out from the girl’s mouth. This time, I took a longer look at her. She was about 6 years old, with super curly super short hair, pink lips, big eyes and very dark skin. She’s definitely African, my inner voice assured. I’m not expert in distinguishing the races of dark skin people, but I can tell from the features and the nature of her hair that she was definitely of African blood. BUT SHE SPEAKS CHINESE!
Her mother was reading a Chinese book while she was busy entertaining herself with the decors of the train. Was she a mix-blood? I thought so too, but no, she was not. Unless the laws of genetics has undergone a round of legislative changes, I can safely say that she has zero, or near zero Asian blood. She don’t look anywhere Asian at all. Was she adopted then? I don’t know, but highly likely.
What’s the big deal about it? The big deal is that, this is one of the little things in life we missed out on. Thought provoking events that can make you think about society and life. This girl, she will be someone special in the Singapore society. Not that she needs the attention, but it just can’t be helped. We look at different people differently. Come on, a Chinese-speaking African?! Wow. She will be bombarded with questions regarding her relationship with her mother and her childhood. She will not like it, but she has to go through it. Because she is different.
Her mother will of course not be spared the piercing gazes of many others, especially her relatives. She will be treated differently because she acted differently. But I admire her courage and her decision to take this child. I chose to believe there isn’t any other motive except for the fact that she took the child as her own. Of course there are many possibilities (that she only called mother because she was told to), but in this case, I prefer to trust humanity.
I wish her all the best in her life.