The Motif of Rice Bowl in Su-chen Christine Lim

Yean was pursuing her own thoughts as they walked silently around the school field. Pei Lan and Ah Huat had been deported to Malaysia, marked forever by their government as dissidents and trouble-makers. They would have difficulty getting jobs. Have they benefited from your dreams? Haven't they been harmed in some ways - their rice bowls cracked? Are they happier for having been rnade rnore aware? More critical of things around them? Yes, Marie was thinking, yes, they would have been happy left alone; happy as only the ignorant are happy; ignorant that they are the faggots of war and the digits of labour to be moved like chess pieces by those who have mastered the economics of survival. Is this freedom and dignity? Is this what man is all about? [260]

'Whether you like it or not people do value I their rice bowls. They want flats, they want houses, they want cars, they want money in the banks and they're getting them under this system!'[144]


Su-chen Christine Lim. Rice Bowl [1984], Singapore: Times Editions, 1991.

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Su-chen Christine Lim