In some Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia which were once British colonies, English has been a language widely used, along with the languages of the different ethnic groups. In Singapore, English serves as a bridge between peoples of different ethnicities. I grew up as a schoolboy learning English as my first language and Mandarin as my "second" language, so I do not consider myself a native Mandarin speaker. I also speak the Cantonese dialect as a result of being brought up by my maternal grandmother, and I love being surrounded by Cantonese conversations. Sadly, the younger generation do not know any dialect well. I see this as taking a step back in exploring the beauty of languages in its diversity.