Challenges and Opportunities of Intermarriage in Malaysia
According to Wikipedia, Intermarriage occurs when two people of differing racial groups marry. This is a form of exogamy (marrying outside of one's racial group) and can be seen in the broader context of miscegenation (mixing of different racial groups in marriage, cohabitation, or sexual relations).Its quite common here in Malaysia to have intermarriage because Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that lived there, along with the Malays who later moved there. There is a lot of influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began in the area. Other cultures that heavily influenced the culture of Malaysia include Persian, Arabic, and British culture.
In Malaysia, the majority intermarriage are between Indian and Chinese, and informally called as “Chindian”, which commonly classify them by their father’s ethnicity, in another word, if the father of a “Chindian” is Chinese, then the girl or the boy will carried the surname of the Chinese family like “Tan, Lee, Lim, Loh and etc. While if the father is an Indian, then it will be the girl or the boy’s name comes first followed by daughter of or son of (D/O –S/O) then the father’s name behind. Now I’m going to discuss about the intermarriage between this two beautiful ethnic.
The challenges faced by intermarriage couples between Indian and Chinese are some very typical orthodox Indian family hard to accept a Chinese descent in laws, because of their different cultures, some even said because of their skin color too! It sounds silly, but the mentality of some families not even grown enough to accept a Chinese in laws. Besides that, its also because they don’t want to lose the originality and inheritance of their family, a very good examples in this cases is when an Indian girl married to a Chinese guy, their children have to follow the father’s surname, the girl’s family might not want to lose their hereditary by naming their daughter’s children in Chinese name, and that’s the end of the their family inheritance.
Another challenges are if the couples are connected with love based marriage, then acceptance of the both families again may occurs some problems, because the families don’t know each other before and may have the kind of misunderstanding that they spouse families will ill treated their daughter, the only way to satisfy themselves is only by giving some time to each other to accept.
However, there is also considerably opportunities for this intermarriage context.When there is two different cultures of peoples joint together, it also celebrates the joining of two different legacy,practice,faith and life.Both the husband and wife will get to learn more about their differ diversity and accept each other differences.Basically either Chinese or Indian cultures full of varieties types of foods like mooncake(Chinese),tossai(Indian);festivals like Chap Goh Meh(Chinese),Ponggal(Indian).
Most Chindians are able to speak the main two languages in Malaysia which is Malay and English. They can also speak either one of the parent’s mother tongue, which is Chinese like Mandarin, Hokkien or Kantonis and also Tamil, or even sometimes totaling up to four to five languages. A common misconception is that chindians whose mom are Chinese tend to be fairer than a Chindian whose mom is Indian.(in other words you could tell them apart). Having met quite a number myself, i can say with a degree of certainly that this is not true. Its genetics, what says you?
Last but not least, whether it is challenges or opportunities,in my opinion,intermarriage does brings a lots of good than bad. Religion, faith, skin colors, heritage doesn’t coming up from the ground,it is what us as a human invented it,so as long as we remember in our heart and mind, that everyone is just the same,and there is no religion in this world asked us not to accept others belief.