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I have always loved music and I have been completely mesmerised by Asian folksongs I heard as a little girl, and ever since becoming a mom to my son Hugo, it’s been my dream to share the true meaning of the music and stories from my heritage. And that’s where baba baa’s first children’s product, the Rasa Sayang Sing & Record Fun Book comes from.
Rasa Sayang translates to “feel the love” and that’s the core value which sits at the heart of my children’s brand. In Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Rasa Sayang is a well-known folk song, one which is taught in schools throughout the Malay Archipelago. There are many, many speculations about where this beautiful story first began; some believe it to be created by an Ambonese many years ago, others like to refer to the first ever Rasa Sayang tape recording made during the Dutch colonisation in Indonesia, others believe it to be a folk song written in Sanskrit which has been sung by the people of Malaysia for centuries. To us, Rasa Sayang is a song of love, a song for everyone. We believe it to be the song of the Nusantara people, long before there was a Malaysia or an Indonesia. Long before the Southeast Asian Archipelago was divided.
The story of Rasa Sayang is filled with a kind of cultural romance, and I like to think that the story of baba baa shares something very similar. Both stories, mine and that of the Rasa Sayang folk tale, are about love and family. And I think that’s what very much pioneers our brand and the products which we produce.
I am a lawyer by trade but firstly and most importantly, I am a mom to 2 year-old Hugo; the heart of my inspiration and the soul of my brand. Hugo has loved nursery rhymes and storybooks his whole life and since he was a baby, I have been singing Rasa Sayang and other folk songs to him to share with him our wonderful heritage. Now that he is 2 years old and able to interact with me, when I say “rasa sayang”, he will go “hey” and when I say “chan mali chan” he will go “hey hey”. As a parent, is there anything more beautiful than that? If this touches your heart like it touches mine, read my story of how it all began for us…