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.
Hi Marisa! Its nice to know that they are other local races in Malaysia that are mixed Japanese. I’m half malay and have been living in Msia all my life. I can speak Japanese very well but can’t write nor read it. Hope you like Msia as its your home too :)