Greetings to all Hapas,
My name is Marisa and I want to share my story with you guys.
My dad is Japanese and mom is a Malaysian Indian. I’ve lived in Japan for most of my life, and I’ve had a Japanese upbringing. Being half Malaysian Indian is extremely rare in Japan, and I have not met another of my kind apart from my sister (seen but only on TV).
When I was small I wasn’t really fond of the fact that I am “hafu” as they say, and I experienced some problems in almost all levels of school. My life got better when I started high school, as I got to go to Australia for 10 months to study there. This is probably the time I improved in my English, which gave me a boost of confidence. Many people I’ve met in Japan expected my to be bilingual in the first meeting, although I still am not fluent in English.
When I tell people that I’m half Japanese and half Malaysian Indian, they have a few patterns of questions to as me, such as (in Japan), “Can you speak English? Can you speak Malaysian/Indian? What Languages do you speak?” Or even “Where is Malaysia?”
In Malaysia, I introduce myself as half Japanese and half Malaysian when asked, because I feel it is easier to create bonding with more people here that way. I also feel that people in Malaysia are a lot more racially conscious, and most people ask me “What is your mother’s race?” after I introduce myself.
Among Japanese, Malaysian, and Indian culture I embrace and cherish Japanese culture the most. At the same time, I am very much proud of having the other two as a part of my heritage, as it makes me unique in most places I go, and uniqueness is cool!!!!!!! Unfortunately I didn’t have much exposure to Malaysian culture in my childhood, but I’m glad I came to Malaysia for my uni, because in Malaysia there are more people like me who share similar interests.