Mali

Singapore

This is
Mali James (1980)

Country of origin
Singapore

In the Netherlands since
2001

Profession
Artdirector en maakt pins (www.pppinapples.com)

Singapore in Amsterdam
The Hortus Bontanicius

Still would like to
Exhibit her art

First impression Amsterdam
Artistic, even at Schiphol Airport you can find art

“Amsterdam has given me everything I could ever wish for, and more. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made, but one of the best. I wasn’t happy in Singapore, because my life had already been mapped out. I was in my second year of medicine, which hadn’t been my choice but that of my parents and family members. I didn’t enjoy it and wasn’t happy. Then I met my ex - a Dutch boy - and went with him to the Netherlands. We lived in Almere at first, and when we split up in 2001 I moved to Amsterdam.

When I told my parents I wanted to go to Holland they tried to stop me. But I was stubborn and said, “I’m old enough to live my own life’. That was a big shock for them; they were used to my doing as I was told. In Singapore, living alone is not the done thing. You only move out when you marry. And if you never find a partner, there’s a big chance you’ll never move out of your parent’s home.


My mother has since accepted that I live here now. She can see I’m happy and that I can be myself here. I never became a doctor, but am now an art director. I enjoy my freedom in Amsterdam. It is very open-minded here. Sometimes you can call that laziness like ‘do what you want, as long as it doesn’t affect me’. In Singapore it’s the opposite. You follow the rules. I was a rebel. That kind of rebellion which Amsterdam is so famous for. So I really feel at home.”

233 people in Amsterdam have the Singapore nationality

180Nationalities.TextByStorySupply

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