Reverse mentoring


When asked what languages she spoke, this young lady living in Singapore told us that she speaks Dutch, English, Malay and Singlish. Singlish being the Singapore accented English.

I was so tickled until her father said that she had no problems understanding the aunties and uncles in the neighbourhood markets and often played the role of interpreter for her parents.

Indeed this was something my European colleagues who sent their children to local schools discovered, that their children had less of a problem assimilating in local schools and picking up the local accent proudly.

“A” taught me that morning on car-free Sunday to be proud of my local culture. I shall proudly declare, I speak Singlish. Do you?

Reverse mentoring is when an older person is paired with a younger person to learn from the younger one, fresh perspectives and new technology.

I am hopeful for the iGen who are culturally versatile tearing down all superficial divides, friends without borders and generally more altruistic.

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