Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Malay, Chinese, Indian? Portugese? Malaysian-lah!

I’ve been wanting to blog about this.

Take a guess – which ethnic origin am I from?

For many, at 1st glance, I’m Malay…until I start to talk then they realize I’m not Malay. Especially when I speak in English. OK, then suddenly I burst into some Chinese dialect and they get even more confused. And they start wondering. That was 1.5 years ago. And that is also before they know my name.

Now, if I speak anything other than Malay, they get confused.

So, have you managed to guess my ethnicity? Try laa…

Don’t cheat…no peeking...

OK, I’m of Chinese – Indian parentage (Chindian or Inches if you want to call it) and the my son, is a ‘Malaysian’….why you may ask – cos hubby is Malay. So officially AIR is true Malaysian (of the main ethnic mix).

No, no, I'm not trying to talk about races and religion whatsoever. Even from young, when people ask me what ethnicity am I, I will always say I'm Malaysian. I'm proud to be from mixed parentage. And when you're a child, you're not bothered about all these racial issues.

Only when you finish school and start working, these things come into play.

I believe it's really unique and well, as also posted by Afong (though she's not of mixed parentage) people always judge by the outlook of the person. I enjoy listening (ya, call me rude) to other people talk bad about others in front of me, thinking I don't understand and even some would comment about me thinking I don't know what's going on. So far, thankfully people whom I know haven't gone overboard and soon they realise that I understand. I've not yet come across cases of people bad-mouthing me right infront of me and having me confront them.

Remember the Petronas advert on TV couple of years back about 'balik kampung' for the festivities? A group of friends commented on this Indian girl, also wanting to go back for the long break, thus adding to the already crowded atmosphere at the bus terminal. They were talking in Cantonese thinking she didn't understand until she answered back in Cantonese.

MAlaysians are a lucky lot. We have the best of things - multiracial, multicultural all living in harmony. We eat all sorts of food and we understand each other's customs and beliefs. Somehow there are just some who don't care and not considerate.

In my case now, many misunderstand. People automatically think Muslim=Malay, but its actually not. Anybody can be a Muslim - be it Chinese, Indian, Malay, Caucasian, 'White', 'Black', 'Brown' whatever or however you may want to describe a person. This perception is definitely not true. Seriously, some educated people have approached me and asked me that.


I used to get weird looks from the hawkers stalls order food from when I speak to them in fluent dialects. Somehow, after that initial shock they will start to talk to me in dialect again. Some curious ones will even ask how come I could speak. Up till today, if they don't ask, I won't tell and let them assume that I don't understand. My colleague took more than 4 months to realise I could speak dialect. That also because he overhead me talking to another colleague. Later only did he ask that colleague about it.

Anyway, whatever it is, we are all Malaysians and I'm proud of it. I will always remember the time when AIR was born, all the nurses exclaimed, 'I want to see the Malaysian baby!'....I was still in the delivery room when hubby was 'escorting' AIR to the nursery.


oli said...

oooo...ok dah faham!!!!

re: burqini tu ambil kat sini...

Anonymous said...

hehe..finally dah nampak pn.reita kita ye ;)

Fong said...

Hey, i totally agree.. nice post...

Fong said...

ya, wa lang si hokkiean lang... =)