• Melissa Kartini

You Know You Are Multiracial When...

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

1. People stare at you. They stare at you at the mall, on the street, at convenience stores... everywhere.

2. People suddenly lose all tact and common sense by suddenly asking you for your race and at times, religion. Even if they've only known you for less than five minutes.

3. At worst, they go, "WHAT ARE YOU?" without realising how that sounded like.

4. Your name doesn't look like it belongs to you.

5. People ask you which country you are from.

6. You have at one point experienced an existential crisis as to which race you relate to.

7. You feel guilt for not particularly relating to or knowing too deeply about one of your races.

8. You have trouble remembering all the cultural facts about all your races.

9. You feel as though you don't quite fit in with any of your given races. Sometimes, you feel envy towards those who aren't multiracial, because to you, they get an immediate sense of "community" with those like them. Whereas you are on your own island.

10. That said, this envy doesn't last for long. You appreciate the cultural freedom that being racially ambiguous has given you.

11. Grab drivers ask you if you're a tourist and how long you're in Malaysia for.

12. People feel compelled to tell you all about Malaysian culture. For instance, well-meaning waiters, thinking that you are a foreigner, start explaining Malaysian food culture to you.

13. Friends affectionately give you nicknames like "rojak" and "1Malaysia".

14. When identification is needed, instead of asking you for your IC, they ask you for your passport.

15. You sometimes get cultural rules mixed up.

16. People speak to you as though you are some rare, exotic creature.

17. Playing "guess my race" is a totally a game you play. If you really look that multiracial, you up the ante by playing "guess my country".

18. You don't know which racial box to tick on forms.

19. Sometimes people hit on you specifically because of your mixed ancestry.

20. Complete strangers have stopped you on the street just to inquire about your race. It's weird, but it happens.

21. While you sometimes dread having to dive into your family tree all the time, you have to admit, your multiracial look is a good icebreaker with new acquaintances.

22. Your family sometimes mixes things up a little during certain celebrations. For example, you could be at a (Halal) Chinese restaurant watching a performance held by church members during Hari Raya.

23. If you look even slightly Malay, people feel the need to tell you that the dish you just ordered has pork in it.

24. You get a lot more money packets than the rest of your friends, thanks to your lineage. Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas, anyone? Ohohohoo.

25. You get to enjoy a lot more holidays.

26. This means you have a reason to apply for leave for all major holidays, much to your colleagues' collective envy.

27. That said, this can also mean approving your leaves isn't prioritised because you get to celebrate everything. Damn.

28. You feel as though you're a part of a big, big, big family thanks to all the cultures and celebrations mashed in.

29. Despite not feeling as though you truly belong to a particular race, you find it easy to relate to different races. Growing up in the household you did, you learned to see the world from different viewpoints.

30. Because of this heightened cultural sensitivity, you sometimes feel like a chameleon. You often adjust your behaviour in accordance to those you're hanging out with, not to be fake, but to avoid causing offence.


31. People speak to you in various languages you do not understand.

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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