Americanized, sort of

I was listening to Elanor talk in the following video a few days ago and it struck me how thoroughly she has assimilated into the US.

By comparison, this is what she sounds like now

Elanor has lost every last trace of Singapore in her accent, almost as if she never had one. I had wondered what it would be like when we went back last December, if she would pick the accent back up when hanging out with her friends, but she didn’t. I think we can safely say she’s been Americanized.

To be fair, we always had a pretty American household. We bought western brands like Jif and Cheerios and made dinners like pot roast. We celebrated Thanksgiving. We went trick or treating. We watched US tv for the most part. While we adapted, and even assimilated into Singaporean culture, we still were an immigrant household full of artifacts of that previous life.

Has she completely assimilated? No, and my regular trips to Patel Brothers in Santa Clara attest to the fact that she has not lost her taste for Maggi Noodles (and will accept no substitutions). She talks longingly of chicken rice. She misses her friends at school. She misses the heat. She misses our helper. She misses our old apartment. She considers the indoor play place we were told about an imitation of her favorite indoor play places in Singapore.

But she’s also made friends. She enjoys US birthday parties, and enjoys whacking at piñatas, which are quite common at parties here. She has had sleepovers, which weren’t on the table in Singapore. She likes shopping for clothes and cute things at Justice. She has adjusted.

Rhi never quite had the local accent, but I assume it would’ve developed had she gone to local schools. Had she gone to private school (more likely given her special needs) I don’t know what would’ve happened. But her accent is pure US.

Rhi is the one who actively talks about moving back, but I’m not so sure that it isn’t on Elanor’s mind as well.

As for us? Ask again if Trump gets re-elected.

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