Balli Kaur Jaswal

Balli Kaur Jaswal

Balli Kaur Jaswal's novel Sugarbread, a multigenerational story about racism in Singapore, was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018.

Language spoken
English
It’s time to have an honest discussion about prejudice in Singapore
Two years ago, I was invited to a public panel to discuss writing about minority characters in Singapore fiction. “We can’t talk honestly about race though. How to fill the time?” I asked another writer. He replied, “We’ll just get the conversation started and then the race riots will take over.” The race riots: Singapore’s biggest bogeyman. Growing up, we were taught that the island state’s success depended on peace between ethnic groups. From race-based housing quotas to prevent ghettoization to annual Racial Harmony Day celebrations in schools, the government promotes the coexistence of Chinese, Malays, Indians and Others (this is an official category). If you believe the rhetoric about s