chapter  7
8 Pages

Nonghao, I am a Shanghai Noenoe: How do I Claim my Shanghaineseness?

I grew up speaking Cantonese and eavesdropping on Shanghainese at home, and learning English at school. My personal identity is tied intimately with my languages and cultures. Growing up in Hong Kong, Cantonese is my first language. I was encouraged to learn and speak English well. My relationship with Shanghainese has always been a difficult one: I can understand but can not speak the dialect. I have to admit that I have not put in enough effort to learn my ancestral dialect. But my frustration with Shanghainese is also a product of the language and cultural policies of the time. In this chapter, I will revisit my linguistic upbringing in light of the discourses on Hong Kong identities, language and cultural policies, both officially and academically.