Growing up looking different has always been one helluva awesome journey for me.
My mom is Dutch, Malay and Javanese, whereas my dad is half Chinese and half Malay-Bugis. My sister inherited most of the Dutch features whereas my bro, lets say that he has gotten most of his looks from my dad’s Chinese genes.
Since I’m the middle one, I’ve got a little bit of everything, duh! (That didn’t make sense, moving on!) So that makes us mixed by heritage! Yay!!
During high school, my Moslem teacher(s) got the shock of their life seeing me reading verses of the Holy Quran as they thought that I was pure Chinese and Buddhist.
I was 5 ft 11′ and I look mature than my own age. As I grew older, and was about to enroll in college. I started to have more Dutch features. People everywhere started speaking to me either in Chinese or in English. I had no idea how to speak Chinese, I had to stop them.
And sometimes, for an instance, when I went to education fairs, people would think that I’m an international student. Meanwhile in college, lecturers would stop teaching, asking me “What are you?”
I’ve gotten tired of answering that effin’ annoying question. I told them that I am a little bit of everything and sometimes I just tell them that I’m pure Malay. But my mom didn’t want me to tell them that I’m a pure Malay, because then they’ll start to assume that I am adopted, along with my bro and sis. And sometimes, its nice to make heads turn :-P ssshhhhh no one needs to know that!
I know what it feels like. I think my daughter will have to answer a simple question: “How come you can speak Chinese?”