ConnieHaleI enjoyed Connie Hale’s personal essay, The Languages in My Heart, on growing up “bilingual in English” and how it shaped her as a writer. It pubbed on Outrigger.com, a Hawaii-based website.

Here’s how it starts: “When you grow up as I did, in the 1960s, on Oahu’s North Shore, amidst cane fields and cattle ranches, plantation shacks and tumbledown beach houses, you don’t realize the richness you possess, especially when it comes to language. I called the annoying kid in class bakatari. I loaded up on Li Hing Mui before stepping onto the bus after school. I sat on the seawall ‘talkin story’ with Mr. Tamura, understanding every word of his Japanese-accented Pidgin as he pulled fish like kumu and manini from the reef. And when my auntie looked at me and asked if I had eaten the last malasada, I said, ‘No, I nevah.’”


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