A message from Jason Kalaichelvam:
“Today is my firstborn’s first day reporting to a Chinese school as a Standard 1 student – it wasn’t easy for me to prepare her.
During orientation, her friend asked her “why your Papa is black and your Mummy is white?” Well, I do believe it’s an honest question from a curious child. Arianna stood up for her Papa by answering “he is not black! He is brown! Because he is an Indian. My Mommy is not white. She is yellow. Because she is Chinese!”
On a different note, we walked pass a mother/child couple and overheard the mother telling the child “you are sitting next to a malai zhai (street lingo for Malay boy) woh! Huh? How? You sitting next to a malai zhai. You happy ah?”
She lowered her voice when she saw us coming towards and looking at her.
We were shocked to hear that passing conversation. I mean, really, children are not born racist. They don’t even know you can discriminate a person based on their skin colour until they learn from the adults – the way we speak of a different race, the terms we use to label a different race, the tone and body language we use when speak of a different race.
Folks, don’t just blame the government and the society alone for the racism that happens around us. Education starts from home. Respect others, so that you will be respected.”