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Literary Arts

little red comma: The Gift

A nonfiction work about learning Kristang to bring comfort to an ailing grandmother, and how it led to an exploration of Eurasian culture.

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Published: 28 Sep 2020


Time taken : ~10mins

An unexpected journey, through Kristang.

When Melissa’s grandmother is unable to speak due to illness, she discovers that speaking the few Kristang words she knows seems to revive her. In order to bring her comfort and a few laughs, Melissa sets out to learn more Kristang. This takes her on an unexpected journey to discover aspects of her Eurasian culture like food, festivals, music and song.

Read it here

Contributed by:

Melissa De Silva

Melissa De Silva is the author of ‘Others’ is Not a Race, winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2018 (Creative Nonfiction), about Eurasians in Singapore. Her fiction has been published in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Vol. 3, Singapore Quarterly Literary Review and LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. Melissa has worked as a journalist and book editor and is Singapore’s Education Ambassador for online global creative writing platform for teens, Write the World.


little red comma

Singapore literature, reimagined. little red comma comprises digital adaptations of six diverse literary works by Arthur Yap, Latha, Melissa De Silva, Mohamed Latiff Mohamed, Samuel Lee and Yeng Pway Ngon, released from Aug to Nov 2020, as well as stories, essays and podcasts inspired by these literary works.

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