Commenting on the recent debate over an American teen wearing a cheongsam, SMU Professor of Sociology and Dean of Students Paulin Straughan said the notion of cultural appropriation does not apply very well to Singapore because there is not much “pure” about the different cultures here. “By the time our grandparents came here, they had already adapted somehow to Singapore," said Prof Straughan.
She added, "And my mother, who grew up here, has a different knowledge of Chinese culture to my grandmother, who grew up in Canton. You must celebrate culture so that it stays a living culture. You have to allow people to live it in a manner that suits everyday life, which includes the notion of mixing and matching. Culture has to stay relevant in order to continue through the generations."
Last updated on 16 May 2018 .