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The Full Story (ish)

You now know the very basic bits about me from the home page: ''My name is Alia. I'm 24 years old, born & raised in Singapore to a British dad and Filipino mum.'', but that's not much detail is it? My childhood, my history with grassroots football, representing England at the Commonwealth Games.. let's take a deeper dive.

they all had Chinese names that were legally part of their name. She didn't want to keep saying 'Alex' (yes, Alia is just a nickname.. Alexandra is my actual name) amongst all the Chinese names. I'm grateful that she gave me a Chinese name, one I always consider a massive part of my identity and part of my actual name.

Ok enough about my name now. As mentioned earlier, I was born and raised in Singapore. I was being raised SO fully as a Singaporean that I didn't even realise that I wasn't legally Singaporean until I turned about 12 years old. To say I was in disbelief, is an understatement. Every single school I attended was a local Singaporean school, I never went to an international school to receive my education. We lived like ordinary Singaporeans, and were given the full Singaporean experience. I sang 'Majulah Singapura' (the Singapore national anthem), and said the national pledge every morning in school for years alongside my peers. How was I ever meant to know I was actually legally British when I was very, very rarely ever around non-Singaporeans? The day after I found out I wasn't legally Singaporean, I didn't sing the national anthem or say the pledge in school. I got in trouble with my teachers for this as we have to do it, to which I turned around to say to them that I'm not legally Singaporean. My teachers were as shocked as I was, they knew I was mixed race but they never would have guessed that I wasn't a Singaporean. Another important factor here is my accent, I sounded just like any other Singaporean. There was no sign of 'non-Singaporeaness' in me besides my heritage. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely unaware that I'm a mix of British and Filipino growing up. Mum always took us to Filipino parties that had other Filipinos and Filipinas there, serving traditional food and other Filipino traditions. I've worn the national costumes of the Philippines growing up, celebrated the Philippines across different areas, I always blessed my elders (a sign of respect in the Philippines culture, taking the elder person's right hand with your right hand and placing it on your forehead), and used the culturally right sayings such as 'Tita', 'Tito', 'Ate', or 'Kuya' (Aunty, Uncle, Older Sister/Cousins, Older Brother/Cousins). Almost every Sunday we'd have a roast dinner, amongst doing other things that were considered British. However despite all that, because my day to day life was being lived as a Singaporean amongst other Singaporeans, I didn't realise I wasn't legally a Singaporean.

If you look at my social media platforms now, the bio of my pages will always have the three flags of Singapore, England, and Philippines. I always say that I'm triple cultured (which isn't fully true as Singapore is so multi-cultural that I am far more cultured that just triple), and I am so blessed to have been raised with so many amazing cultures around me. I speak English and Mandarin Chinese fluently. Bahasa Melayu (Malay) and Tagalog (Philippines' national language) at a basic level, and I'm now learning how to speak French which I'm trying to get to a fluent level. Why French? Well, I found out my surname is French and Dad's been trying to get me to learn French for years.

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Did you know I have a Chinese name? Yes, it's 爱丽 (pronounced Ài lì). I started learning Mandarin when I was 3 years old in Nursery. In Singapore, it's compulsory to take one of three national languages: Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, or Tamil. My dad chose Mandarin Chinese for my younger brother and I. You study the chosen second language from the age of 3, all the way up to 18 for majority of students. If you didn't want to take a second language, you had to write to the Ministry Of Education (MOE) to get approval. No, my Chinese name isn't legally part of my name but it's a name I will forever count as being my name. My Chinese teacher gave me that name when I was in Primary 1 because majority of the students in my class were Chinese, so naturally 

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