Friday, November 5, 2010


Race. It's not really an issue but it is sad how we tend to make it into one and then blow it out of proportion. It's difficult to define someone by his or her ethnic background anymore and to do so is only going to invite endless debates and arguments. To me, there is only one race. The human race. There are no other races in this world unless you count the aliens who are yet to prove their existence (that's why we still produce human babies FYI). Still, there are many in our community who are still obsessed with skin colour and ethnic background. What we fail to see is that many of us are not only of one ethnic background anymore. The only thing that we have succeeded in doing is putting people in categories that we ourselves or someone else have chosen and set. That might have worked hundreds or thousands of years ago when racial superiority and racial discrimination were a common practice (for obvious reasons of course). At that time, interracial marriages were very few and far between (almost unheard of actually) but nowadays, marriages of that sort are no longer seen as strange. So how do we categorise the children of interracial marriages or do we even dare to categorise them? It's time we look beyond the physical attributes and ethnic background of a person and go deeper than that. A person should not be judged based on what he or she looks like. I, for instance, am quite dark in complexion while my younger brother is very fair. Most of us do not even look like our ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The issue of race in Malaysia might not have reached a truly complex level since children from interracial marriages are often brought up in the dominant culture of one of their parents but it can and will be when children do not want to or no longer can identify with only one culture or race due to the complex nature of their family background. There will be many who will refuse to be labelled as 'Malay', 'Chinese', 'Indian', or the discriminating 'others'. Even right now, there are many around us who are proud enough to embrace their various heritages and do not want to be of only one. This racial labelling is often social and political in nature and to continue putting labels on people will only heighten racism, prejudice and mistrust. It's still not uncommon to hear parents who are against interracial relationships and there are many who are totally against interracial marriages. Love is universal and it knows no boundary. Love is not just one shade but a rainbow of colours. Whatever thin, invisible line that we have created will one day break and we'd better pray that it will not break all of us too.