I always get a little nervous before getting to Malaysia. No matter how much i try to prepare myself, I just am not. The more I think of the notion of “returning”, the more I feel isolated from the reality of it.
And then there are the usual mistakes and misunderstandings that constantly underline my existence there - the misconception by everyone, no matter what race or background, that I’m Malay, not Indian - and therefore by default, that I’m Muslim, not Hindu.
Hence, my nose-piercing gets stares, as does my uncovered head, growing sinfully lustrous hair. I’m too fair to be Indian ( as per the horrifically stereotyped notion in Malaysia that all Indians are the colour of charcoal ) but too well-spoken to be Melayu-mari. Many taxi drivers jump to the proud conclusion that I must be ‘kacukan’, or to be less elegant, ‘campur’ - of mixed parentage. Despite my polite ( and these days plain bored ) efforts to say otherwise. One even went so far as to try and convince me that my parents must be of mixed breed ( operative word being convince ).
Sometimes, we are too quick to judge and categorise people not knowing that stereotype in Malaysia is scary to some…
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Filed by Anon.Y.Mous on November 16th, 2006 under Uncategorized
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