Everything is bountiful in South East Asia; food, beauty, language. They are all bewitching, but its the language which entwines them: English. The wonderful thing is, there are no English here, they packed their bags and left long ago. It’s just that, somehow, their language slipped out of their handbag on final embarkation. Like a lost boy, it’s still here, floating, drifting looking for its master, but it has none. An orphan whose lost it’s parent, but knowing that, it’s decided to survive, change, thrive, adapt, forge, live, It links the Malay, Chinese, Indonesians, Thai, Indians, Philippinoes, and in the resorts, Russians, Arabs, Australians, and, OK, me a lone Brit.
I wonder if it gives us hope. This week in Malaysia, I’ve again felt the tension between the races. There’s the Malay, the Chinese Malaysians, the Indians, the indigenous people (I had thought this was the Malay, but Wikipedia separates the Malaysian Indigenous people differently). They combine to make a country, but they rival and mistrust each other, to a degree.
I could tell you some of there differences and gripes, but I would paint a pastiche of the depths and complexity of their relationships. Like all inter tribal rivalries, it is based on historical stories, and these stories are adapted to suit the side of the story teller.
A while ago I was in Southern Ireland, and I heard the same thing sung in the bars of Kerry. Stories with emphasis on persecution, deprivation and extortion at the hands of an adjacent tribe. We could keep living that past, it has a safety to it, or we could look to the future and muddle a way through where we don’t trash each other, or this place we live. To do that we need common understanding, common language and that language, at least for now, is English. Let’s hope so.
You are free to adapt any words here to suit your needs, and the needs of your listeners.