Facts of being a Chindian in Malaysia


1. ‘What are you?’


I am a human being of the human race, thank you very much. This is the unavoidable million dollar question everyone wants to ask you. You get really puzzled looks from people but you end up replying with the same old ‘I’m mix’ like you’re some sort of chap fun (mixed rice)

 2. ‘You sound indian’


This statement will leave all of us Chindians wondering ‘hrmm..should I take this as a compliment?’ It makes us contemplate whether we sound super Indian and slowly revert to talking ‘normally’ – whatever that is.

3. ‘You look Malay’

Living in Malaysia there’s no doubt about this that you will be asked if you are Malay. Curse our kuninglangsatcomplexion! People often get surprised with how are faces don’t tally with our speech, which is pretty awesome lah!

 4. ‘Can you speak Tamil or Mandarin?’

Some people are actually nice enough to ask us this before speaking Tamil or Mandarin. Others however, will mumble away in their mother tongue, leaving us reacting with fake laughs and agreeing nods. There are 2 types of Chindians in this category, the ‘can talk’ and ‘cannot talk’. The ‘can talk’ are very lucky, God bless y’all but the ‘cannot talk’ would probably be shamed for not being able to speak Tamil or Mandarin by the elderly.

 5. We are labelled as ‘exotic’


This happens on rare occasions. I don’t know why but we are considered ‘exotic’. It makes us feel like we are an exotic animal in the Amazon rainforest. The majority states that us Chindians are good looking because the interracial mixture. We tend to have very unique features that are quite attractive, I must say.

 6. We have an Identity Crisis!


Most Chindians experience an identity crisis of being caught between two distinct and different cultures. Many of them are looked and stared at differently because of their mixed parentage. So when it comes to filling in the race column in official application forms, they are faced with a dilemma because they are of mixed parentage.So, Chinese?Indian?Or dan lain-lain?

7. We get the best of both worlds!


Given that our parents are Chinese and Indian, we get to catch a glimpse of both cultures. Chindian parents are pretty flexible when it comes to occasions. We are able to usher in the Chinese New Year, collect red packets, blast the fireworks and feast on the scrumptious food with all of our close relatives AND  also make cookies, chow down some good murukku, light up oil lamps and decorate kolam for Deepavali. It only gets better!

8. Our names.


Us Chindians can have the most Indian names right down to the most Chinese names! There is no in between. Our parents try to be as creative as possible with our names and well, it often ends up unpronounceable. That’s why we have nicknames to tone down our complicated names.

 9. Definition of Chindian


Chindians are neither Indian nor Chinese and whatever name they are given would seem odd because they do not fit clearly into the main racial groups.There’s more to Malaysians than just Malays, Chinese and Indians. We may seem like the minority but we’re multiplying fast. At the end of the day, we are all Malaysians and we are proud to present ourselves in the most unique way possible.

Written by Thila Camillo

Blogger in the making, 18, free spirited, homebody, social butterfly and mad love for pandas.