The easiest way to make a grandparent or an elderly relative smile is to greet them in a dialect. Say “Ah ma. Jiak pa buay?”, or “Ye ye, lei sik zo fan mei a?”, and watch their faces light up with joy.
More than just making someone smile, such tiny actions help preserve the usage of Chinese dialects. In modern Singapore, the use of Chinese dialects has fallen from 18 percent in 2005 to 14 percent in 2010 and 12 percent in 2015. Dialects are important and crucial as it helps us forge greater understanding of our cultural identity and heritage.
That’s why Keppel Land’s Highline Residences’ #TiongBahruLang campaign (previously launched with a video to teach you how to Lo Hei in Cantonese), hopes to help young Chinese Singaporeans preserve their linguistic heritage.