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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Being Malaysian

I've got a ton of stuff that was supposed to be posted up at least a month ago, including some restaurant/cafe reviews and whatnot. Oh, well, which is why I'm not getting much from Nuffnang: wayyy too inconsistent and irrelevant.

My homeland Malaysia has made the headlines again and again, but all for the wrong reasons. First, it was the elections, then now it's MH370.

Both of which, I would rather not involve myself in, though I hate Rosmah's guts. As for MH370, I'm not gonna speculate, nor am I going to read any more articles from anywhere - I'm just gonna pray that they find the plane soon and put a full stop to this story. And please, Raja Bomoh, enough with your stupid coconuts, our country looks like a really mighty joke as it is.

There isn't much of a fixed sentiment about my nationality and home country - I wouldn't say I'm proud to be Malaysian, but I'm not ashamed either. My nationality defines where I was born, where I grew up, and what defines most of my character.

I'm endlessly face-palming at a lot of political stuff that's going on in Malaysia, as well as the seeming amount of idiots that share the country with us fellow Malaysians - y'know, the ones who can't speak a decent word of English.

Other than that, I'm pretty much neutral when it comes to telling people I'm from Malaysia. What used to be "that stretch of land in between Thailand and Singapore" is now a pretty well-known country (apart from the obvious Malacca, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu). How Malaysia stood up on its own as a country in the eyes of the rest of the world, I'd rather not know, but I'm really hoping that it's a good reason.

I mean, what's not to love about this country (other than it's fucked up political system)? No earthquakes or tornadoes. No being snowed in when it's supposed to be spring. The food variety here is practically endless. Growing up with a ton of different people from different backgrounds is a giant plus, because you learn to respect other cultures, and learn different languages.

Jeet Thurai's simple tweet made internet news by celebrating our melting pot of merging cultures and languages. Maybe with the exception of Singapore, but where else can you say something like this and still have people understand you perfectly? And sometimes reply you in a completely different combo of languages as well?

Once you find the way out of the narrow tunnel that some of us have likely grown up in, you'll see that despite the differences, we're all still human - we're all still Malaysian. We eat the same food, breathe the same air, use the same roads (but by god, stop driving like a douche!), and use the same words!

Especially in the recent years where university and my social life brought me to shores that I've never set foot on, I've come to meet people I never had the guts to even talk to in my life. One of my oldest friends is Punjabi, and one of the friends that I share the most with is Malay, and the one who shares my love for Tumblr humor is Chinese-Malay.

Despite the racial labels, that doesn't stop the socializing - we respect each others' religion, cultures, and norms, finding common ground for communication, and developing our friendship from there.

Let's just stop playing the race card, please? 1Malaysia is a beautiful concept, signifying all Malaysian citizens as one regardless of the differences.

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