Hi! My name is Sarah Eve. My father is Malay with some Indonesian ancestry while my mother is a Caucasian Australian of English, Scottish and Irish heritage.
Being a biracial person (who appears mostly white-looking) in Malaysia wasn’t always easy. People I meet often think I cannot speak the native language, Malay, and create a type of awkward situation. One thing I used to get confused about as a child, was the colour of my skin. In Malaysia, amongst predominantly dark skinned people, I appeared very fair. During visits to Australia, people would say my skin was tanned. I also contrasted heavily with my fellow school friends as I had bright auburn hair which people would seem to point out alot.
Words such as mat salleh, ang mo, gweilo and orang putih (all meaning “white person”) were thrown around a lot between both friends and strangers. Being the token white friend, I’ve tended to have trouble relating to other people regarding my western culture. But as I get older, I realize it is not something to feel uncomfortable or ashamed about, but rather a reason to feel unique. I wasted my time trying to fully fit in with one culture over the other, when I could always just as easily enjoy the fruits of both trees.