Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ethnicity of my kids

I was given a form to fill at my daughter's pre-school. We were required to provide some details including her ethnic background, language spoken at home and religion among others. According to a friend, who's been a long time resident in the UK, this is a recent development and he was not very happy about it as he considered it as a case of Big brother being too nosy. Anyway, I was not really concerned with that. After all, it not something unheard of in Malaysia.

We were a bit confused what to fill in under Ethnic background and we finally ticked the "Mixed others" option.

It's quite funny but the issue of our kid's ethnicity has come up on more than one occasion. When we first arrived here in Coventry, some people were surprised when I told them that my kid's birth certificate says "Melayu" under Keturunan (meaning ancestry or descent), meaning my kids are Malay.

I guess they normally follow the father's ethnicity.

My wife once joked that is precisely the reason why they say "Masuk Melayu" (join Malay) whenever you marry a Malay. Melayu Boleh lah!

I am OK with that as long as my kids don't forget the father's (my) side of their heritage and start waving a Keris around.

BTW, the definition of "Malay" according to the Malaysian constitution may differ from that given by anthropologists. Refer to Article 160 of the Malaysian Constitution for more details.

Related posts:
- Mixed marriages and the melting pot


1 comment:

lainie said...

i dislike the ethnicity question :/

anyhoooo....should they ever begin waving a keris, though i doubt it, hopefully they'll learn to follow the hang tuah of the second hikayat and be WAY more mature than that :P


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