Hi, I'm Amy, I'm 18 years old. Right now I'm studying in LASALLE in creative direction for fashion.

What’s your family’s cultural background?

So I'm born in Scotland, Edinburgh. My mom is Singapore citizen and my father is from mainland China. They both met in Edinburgh while they were working, and then they had me. Until High School, I was in the UK. I moved here about a year and a half around July. But now, we fully live in Singapore.

"I was always exposed to more of an Asian culture. That's why I felt outcasted with my Western friends. So when I come here it's quite a comfortable feeling."

What’s your relationship with the Singaporean identity?

Because of my mom's side, I really resonate with it. As much as I was lived in Scotland, I feel there’s always a connection with my Chinese side, because in the UK, I preferred and really liked Chinese culture. Like the TV shows or the music, I was always exposed to more of an Asian culture. That's why I felt outcasted with my Western friends. So when I come here it's quite a comfortable feeling. I'm seeing more mixed races and hearing the Hokkien language at home and people around in Singapore feels familiar and makes me feel like I belong.

Tell us about your chosen objects

I chose a cheongsam. Since young, we always spoke Mandarin, because my father only spoke Mandarin, and he doesn't really understand English. Because of that, we were more exposed to Chinese traditions and Chinese New Year and the culture, even though we were the only Chinese family in the town. So with that, I feel a cheongsam goes back to my roots, and I like to appreciate where I come from even though that I was born in Scotland.

It was only when I came here that I owned proper Cheongsam. The one I own before, was when I was 11 year old, like a small cheongsam which I only use once. And then after that, it was like I've grown out. So I am coming back here, I get a chance to appreciate and wore cheongsam again.

Are there any external influences that have shaped your cultural identity?

Yeah, definitely. Because living in Scotland, their heritage is very strong. So, we fashion the traditions of Scottish. We have like tartan, Kaylie bands, and Fringe Festival - all these types of art and fashion. I always saw, like how the fashion and the heritage has been. So it's an overlapping identity. And I feel that learning Scottish culture really helped me to see another part of Western British culture, because Scottish culture is quite small. I think it's a very special heritage to know.

What are your thoughts on labels placed on one's racial or ethnic identity? 

I have a strong feeling about it. Because when I was in the UK, I was the only Chinese in our whole primary school and when we learned about topics, like exotic foods, the teacher will talk about countries that eat dogs, some kids will immediately think of Chinese. Even in high school, I have friends that asked me, do Chinese people eat dogs? Living in the UK as well, there are definitely names or slangs to describe Chinese and also during the COVID times as well. Words are hurtful and more hurtful when I was younger. There were nicknames, questions like, why do Chinese people eat dogs or things like that? And I don't know, but going through, I felt like I ignored most of these, like nicknames or racist remarks and just lived on.I feel like with that experience, as much as living in western, I wasn't so western. I was still at home, watching Chinese TV shows music. Sometimes in conversations, I wouldn't fit in with my friends, because I was exposed to more of Chinese culture.