Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Somewhere I belong..

Usually, people think that being a mixed-blood is a big advantage for being able to master more than one dialect since young. In short, you have two mother tongues because you speak in two languages since young. Being a mixed-blood myself, I do enjoy mingle with people from different races and cultures, the ones from my Chinese side and also the ones from my Melanau side. It was the best during festive seasons. When I was small, we celebrated both Christmas and Chinese New Year though it was costly. Our relatives from different backgrounds, Chinese and Melanau came to gather while visiting our home for Christmas nor Chinese New Year. That's why it is no surprise if mixed-blood people tend to be able to adjust themselves to different cultures easily because they are exposed to different cultures since small.

But, there's not always a too good to be true situation. Something that seems so good has its bad side too. Yes, there's also a bad side for being a mixed-blood. I used to hear my father's colleague, who was a mixed-blood too, said that being a mixed-blood made him faced the dilemma many times. He is a mixed-blood of Chinese and Melanau too, like my family. So, he said that, whenever he is with his Chinese relatives, he felt that there's an invisible gap because he is half Melanau. Then whenever he is with his Melanau relatives, he's always called anik Kina (anak Cina or Chinese child) which automatically made him felt distant from them, though related.

I felt the same too. Whenever I tried to embrace the Chinese culture, I felt as if it doesn't suits me wholly. I mean, yes, I can practice some of the Chinese culture during Chinese New Year, but to be totally Chinese just to fit in with my Chinese relatives, that is something I cannot wholly embrace because first, some of it doesn't fit my religion. Then, there's the language gap I had. I did not study Chinese formally, so I was more exposed to the national language and also English, though I couldn't really master both languages. The one language that I am sure I mastered was Rojak language. So, I couldn't really fit in with my Chinese's relatives interests, which was more to the Taiwan pop cultures. Then, there's Melanau part of me. Honestly, I never attend the Pesta Kaul which was an important event among the Melanau society. Though I looked Melanau, my slang and clothing style was more to Chinese, and I felt like I could not embrace the Melanau culture as good too. I could only embrace some of Melanau culture, which is its language, and that's it. It was as if I have to accept both culture only shallowly, but not too deep. It's because I am mixed, and I wasn't really exposed deeply to either culture.

It hurts much sometimes to know that you don't really belong to either one culture, when you thought you were supposed to be the one rich with cultures. That is why sometimes, I could find comfort in someone who is mixed-blood too, my first cousins, my best friend and also some friends here in Penang. Maybe it's true that mixed-bloods doesn't really belong to either culture, like the colour purple. It was a mixture of red and blue, it is neither red or blue. It's both. So, it seems that I have to embrace both cultures to be comfortable with myself and be sure that this is somewhere I belong, not to one culture but BOTH.


Petite Amanda said...

Hmm.. Mau.. I didn't know u felt this way about being a mixed blood. But I can understand why. I know how it's like to have people treating you in a different way that u want to be treated. Most people wants to feel that they belong in a group. I doubt that anybody likes feeling of being left out. Yea, i suppose the only way to not feel like that is to embrace both cultures.. Let them accept you for who you are - a mixed blood. Which I think is a really nice thing btw. (despite the cons lah..) :) Cos i think that is one of the things which makes you special in my eyes. hehe..

In my case, it's a bit different from u.. As u know, I don't look like Chinese. Bcos of that, i tend to be treated rather differently from those who are Chinese. I'm not sure it's a matter of being 'racist' or 'kua soi' or whatever, but i can feel the diff treatment. =/ So my problem is that even though I'm Chinese, I dont feel like I belong in that race.. Sometimes I even force myself to speak Mandarin to people in hope that they would acknowledge me as a Chinese. haih.

Mad Maureen said...

Hi Amanda.. Thanks for saying i look special in your eyes... :) Ya, deep down inside i always have this dilemma as if i don't really belong to a group which i thought did share the similarities with me... That is why i felt like i don't really belong to a group in matter of physically nor mentally for being mixed-blood. Yeah, i don't know why people like to focus on the small differences when we share big similarities with them.. huhu.. (;_;)

Ping Ping said...

Don't follow the crowd, make a new 'race' group yourself!!!!! =P So you don't have to fit into Chinese nor Melanau. =P I got a very Cina face so I guess I'm spare from all those. Some mixed-blood get better treatment especially if they are mixed with Western blood. Ah all those discrimination.

Mad Maureen said...

Ping Ping: Hehe.. Great idea.. This race group will be called 'Cinanau'.. hehehe... You're right about the Eurasian got treated better.. First of all, they looked amazingly beautiful, like some of the celebrities here in Malaysia.. I'm glad I have a friend like you who can mix with all people from different background, though you are of a pure race... Definitely a true Malaysian.. ;)

Sometimes, being different has a good side, but it has a bad side too.. People thought it's good to be able to have both things, but

Mad Maureen said...

if we really look deeply, mixed-blood tend to be confused because when we want to embrace one side of our cultures, we felt guilty for ignoring the other culture,and vice versa.. I bet the Eurasian will get this kind of dilemma too since it's a bigger gap, eastern versus western, because there's always the different thinking style between the two..

Anonymous said...

we all seek belongingness.. after all it is a need. But reading your post, I have one thing to say, embrace your uniqueness. You have different pieces from different cultures building up to a person who u are right now. And that makes you different and an individual. No 1 person can ever belong fully to a group because we all have different personal values & views. Embrace the good!

*btw, I suck with Chinese language too although I am mixed chinese. haha*

Mad Maureen said...

Miss Confession, thanks for sharing your thoughts in this.. It's really true.. I agree to your point that "No 1 person can ever belong fully to a group because we all have different personal values and views." Yes, the belongingness to a group is not just in terms of the surface similarity, such as race and religion, but it's also more to personal values and views. Looking it at this way, I don't feel that left out, because though i am different just from the race aspect, i am similar to my friends in many other aspects, such as in terms of way of thinking. Thanks girl for this comment.. ;)

Aiyishelelu said...

lol hi hi girls ;)

About the mixed-bloodness. I am really happy with this one. I think I never tell you (i forgot,maybe), clare and Amanda about my face... anyway I am a chinese-Malaysian born cos I am mixed-blood ( but all of our parents of asia born and same blood and different race and different country).. just let u know that i am half Msian and half indonesian. =D

girls, how do u think it is pretty like "western blood"? haha i love it very much like i am crazy about it. ;)

Mad Maureen said...

Oh, i see.. You're half Malaysian and Indonesian, interesting.. ;) Yeah, children from a mix of western blood plus asian blood always look so pretty and handsome.. ;) so, i think it's an advantage, but behind all that advantages, there might be some feeling of being different, where we lose the sense of belongingness..