I’m not into Asian tradition and customs.
It may have something to do with growing up on a diet of Enid Blyton books. I only wanted to drink lemonade and eat liquorice. After all, the Famous Five did not lohei or eat long life noodles. I much rather climb the Faraway Tree with Saucepan Man into some magical land than go on a Journey to the West with Monkey King.
But slowly, my mindset is tuning into the need to play a part in increasing our canon of local literature. I think it’s partly to do with this thing called “parenting”. I want Caleb to have rootedness in his own culture even as I expose him to others.
Another strong influence is my favourite literary event each year, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I have been a speaker annually at the AFCC since its inception three years ago. This year, I have the pleasure of also being on the Festival Committee. The increasing buzz and momentum of the event each year convicts you to tune into the Asian channel more frequently.
Of course, I still love Enid Blyton. But now, I am also a fan of Taiwanese author and illustrator Jimmy Liao. The best of both worlds.
The 2013 AFCC is now open for registration!