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European Heritage Gallery gets a B

“Daddy, why are my classmates so different from me?” Pangzi said, almost philosophically.

“How different? You mean they are all smart unlike you?” I said, almost encouragingly.

“You know, they look different. Many of them have parents who are not of the same race.”

“Oh, we have a word for this kind of kids. It starts with B.”

“How did you know? That’s what we call them in school!” he said.

“Really? Didn’t know your school is so tolerant,” I noted. “Anyway, let’s go to European Heritage Gallery where you can learn more about some of them.”

“What is European Heritage Gallery?”

“It’s a museum of sorts that celebrates the Eurasian community. You know Eurasian? That’s what you get when you mix a European with an Asian – the B word. The more you mix, the more of a B they become.”

Anyway, it’s getting hot again, so maybe it’s a good idea to find somewhere indoors to laze for a few hours.

However, European Heritage Gallery turned out to be a little smaller than I thought. Hidden in a corner at Katong, it’s on the second floor of an aptly European looking building comprising three rooms of cultural exhibits.

Inadvertently, this completes our visits to the museums of the four main local races: Chinese, Malay, Indian and now Eurasian.

Free to visit, European Heritage Gallery is the least elaborate among them, and perhaps the oldest.

“Look, I know this B person – Joseph Schooling!” Pangzi pointed out excitedly.

“Yes, there are other Eurasians honoured here for making significant contributions to the country, from musicians to presidents,” I explained.

“Why are these people so talented?” he wondered.

“Maybe you get the best of both worlds when you mix them up,” I shrugged. “Like Pfizer plus Moderna.”

“Yes, yes, my classmates are not just bicultural but also bivalent!”

“What did you say, bicultural?”

“Yes, yes, the B word!” Pangzi exclaimed.

“Oh, so disappointing. Thought you’re calling them another B word,” I fumed.


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