Jessie Tan

Former journalist

Jessie is a stay-at-home mother of two adorable (but occasionally annoying) kids in Beijing. When she is not busy breaking up fights and changing diapers, she enjoys reading a mix of fiction and non-fiction books or watching a good show with a cup of bubble tea. She is curious about the world and loves to ask questions, sometimes silly ones. 

A two-year-old boy pointing a toy rifle at my son, wanting to play with him.

A Singaporean mother in China: The war games Chinese kids play

A Singaporean mum living in Beijing observes that the theme of war and violence is surprisingly pervasive in daily life. School kids know war-themed rhymes by heart and chant them in playgrounds as they play at war. Realistic-looking toy guns and ammunition dot corner shops and even the children’s section in bookshops has reading material on guns. Add to that the plethora of war-themed dramas on screens and it seems that the Chinese are taking the manly mantra to the extreme. Or is it an unconscious “making ready” for real war amid international tensions? Whichever the case, hopefully, the kids skipping off happily will never know war beyond their playground games.