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Penang Hokkien can survive


IT was interesting to read Wong Chun Wai’s “Fearing the death of a dialect” (The Star, Dec 3). I’m another hardcore Penangite. As the saying goes, “You can take a Penangite out of Penang; but you can never take Penang out of a Penangite”. And like Wong, I am a sentimental Penangite too.

I actually feel “offended” when I’m addressed in Mandarin when I am in George Town. I simply refuse to respond in Mandarin. Though I speak, read and write Mandarin, I always firmly and loudly, but respectfully, answer in true blue Penang Hokkien ­whether it’s the coffee shop, wet market or shopping malls. It doesn’t help that my father-in-law’s shop is right in the city centre. As we walk around the area, I’m frequently approached by the traders in Mandarin.

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