Ten Sticks and One Rice – A Singaporean graphic novel
We had a lot of talk last week in parliament on what makes a true Singaporean core. Well, nothing beats a picture that paints a thousand words, and all the better when you have an entire book of them and a good story that goes along with it.
I would like to recommend this local Singaporean-written, drawn and published graphic novel Ten Sticks and One Rice, which tells the story of a man’s journey from a fast growing local society in the 1970s through to present day Singapore.
Ten Sticks and One Rice is the life account of a man and the difficult relationship he had with his wife and family as he struggled to hold down a regular job, being at various times an illegal bookie, a secret society member and a satay seller in constant fear of the 地牛 (National Environment Agency officer), and yet managing to bring up their four children.
Reading this book, you will realise how real it sounds and how it could well be the story of your own family or someone you know. During this festive period, a story like this is fitting as it brings to mind the traditional Singaporean family unit and all the stories that remain untold, whether happy or sad, in our everyday lives amongst thousands of such families that make up our country and society. I hope it will resonate with you as I did with me.
Happy Chinese New Year!