Monday, January 19, 2009
PBS is bringing back an old friend, The Electric Company, from the 70s! Yay!
The people of Malaysia, an ex-British colony, speak English, albeit one sprinkled with local idioms informed by the Malaysian language and various Chinese and Indian dialects. But as I was growing up, my young country was still establishing itself as an independent sovereignty and cutting ties to its colonial past. School curriculum reflected that goal and the medium of instruction went from English in many of the schools to the national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Text books were translated, teachers had to brush up on their Bahasa, and the teaching of English took a back seat.
Watching TV and listening to music became an avenue to learn English. (Pop songs weren't exactly the best way to learn English. I remember my mother correcting us when we belted "But she don't care!" or when I happily proclaimed, "There's a kind of rush, all over the world, tonight...")
But The Electric Company was great! My cousins and I looked forward to watching the program every Saturday when I was a middle-schooler. I still remember the sketch in which a man relaxing in a TUB suddenly found himself stuck in a giant toothpaste-like TUBE because the evil Silent-E just paid him a visit.
I hope this new version of my old friend will become just as beloved by the current youngsters.
The Electric Company-y-y-y!