Friday, 27 September 2013

Balik Cina, India & Indonesia

Malaysia has the best of Asian cultures. Different types of people live here. Different roots, religion, language all in one country.

There are also those with mixed parentage known as Eurasians. We call them Orang Serani. They have been living here for centuries as a result of intermarriages between the Portugese and Malays.

The Orang Serani
Whichever tribe, ethnic or religious group we belong to, we share the same citizenship, Malaysians. It is our citizenship which holds us together in this country. This citizenship is also what brings us closer when we bump into each other in a foreign country.

But it looks like some do not appreciate it. Whoever you are, you should love your own tribe or race but you should also strive to bring people closer in the name of friendship. That is what we should be doing.

But some of these racist bigots are much more interested to say "balik Cina, balik India, balik Indonesia".

Why balik when we are all citizens of this country? We are not refugees, not tourists, not visitors, not illegal immigrants. 

We pay tax for this country. Many have even died fighting for the freedom of this country. Many are still working hard for this country.

If someone has to balik because of ethnic origin, then let it be that all who came here balik for good. Back to where we all came from.

Want to take a look at the origins?

Most Indians in Malaysia are from Tamil Nadu. My family is from southern Tamil Nadu. The remaining Indians are from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Bengal etc. The Malaysian Ceylonese are from the nothern and eastern region of Sri Lanka.

The Chinese as we know are from mainland China. We also have many Chinese with roots in Taiwan and Macau. Back in China, they are identified according to their language, region and clan. The Han ethnic forms the majority among the Chinese.

The Malaysian Malays have their own divisions too. Today, the term Malay is a very loose definition. 

Malay is a ethnic with its own origins. Indonesia's definition of a Malay is not the same as Malaysia. 

The actual Malay race is made of Tamiang Malays, Riau Malays, Deli Malays, Jambi Malays, Bangka Malays, Belitung Malays and Samba Malays. Many Malay settlement already exist in peninsular during ancient times.

Most modern day Malaysians who call themselves Malays today are not real Malays. Most of them are not the direct descendants of the ancient Malays who lived here. Alot of them do not belong to the divisions which I mentioned above.

The Bugis, Minangkabaus, and Javanese of Malaysia have begin to call themselves Malays today. These people have their individual  language and are different from the actual Malays.

The Bugis people are from Sulawesi. Our Prime Minister Najib is a Bugis. He still visits his ancestral village in Sulawesi each year.

The Minangkabau people are from Sumatra. Those from Negeri Sembilan are mainly Minangkabaus with roots in Sumatra.

The Javanese are from Java region of Indonesia. They form the majority back in Indonesia.

Although they call themselves Malaysian Malays for official purpose, they are actualy different from each other. 

They even have associations like Persatuan Anak-Anak Bugis Selangor, Persatuan Ikatan Keluarga Minangkabau Malaysia and Persatuan Penggiat Kebudayaan Jawa Malaysia.

Basically, we all came from somewhere. We came from different parts of the Asian region, from different countries, from different kingdoms, from different tribes, speak different languages, believe in different religion and finally settled down in this country. 

We are all Pendatangs
So who are the actual natives? If you were to ask me, the correct definition of a native is the first tribe to settle down in a region.

The natives of Borneo have lived there for many centuries before any empire flourished in the thick forest of Borneo or in the coastal regions. They have their own language, customs and way of life.

Genetic studies has proven that the Orang Asli, particularly the Semang people are the first tribe to settle down in Peninsular Malaysia. 

For these people, all of us are pendatangs regardless of who we are.

It does not matter whether we are technologically more superior or more civilized, the fact remains that they were here first before us.

I know my roots and I accept it. It does not make me less Malaysian than others.

What about you? Do you know your roots? Do you accept it? Or are you living in denial?

If you are still unhappy and want to say "balik Cina, balik India, balik Indonesia" to a fellow Malaysian, then I suggest that you pack your bags first and return to where your ancestors came from.
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