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Seeking out fellow dialect speakers on social media

Singaporeans look up others on social media and meet up to interact in their Chinese dialects

Published on Feb 9, 2014 7:48 AM
TeoChew Nang Facebook group members tossing yusheng at Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant last Friday. The 12 spent the evening conversing in Teochew over a sumptuous meal with dishes such as Teochew-style braised duck and pomfret. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Over a sumptuous meal of Teochew-style braised duck and pomfret, a table of 12 Teochew nang (people) spent a Friday evening conversing in their native dialect.

The session was peppered with quips and anecdotes shared in Teochew.

"It's really great to be able to speak in our dialect over traditional food. The conversation flows as we find common ground eating the comfort food we've grown up with," said the event's organiser, Mr Goh Beng Yeow, 34. Mr Goh is also a council member of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, the umbrella body of clan associations for people from eight Teochew districts in China's Guangdong province.

The 12 are members of the Singapore TeoChew Nang Facebook group, which was set up in 2012 by IT support officer Yeo Kia Liang, 42. It has more than 430 members.

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Background story

Dialect link

"Speaking in dialect has a way of bringing people closer and it's easier to get your ideas across."

MR EDWIN RALPHAEL WONG of the Cantonese Meet Up Group