I am a Chindian. Yet my birth certificate and MyKad denotes that I am Indian by virtue of my father being Indian.
And I whole heartedly agree with YB Hannah Yeoh and her husband Ramachandran Ram on refusing to label their daughter, Shay Adora Ram as an Indian or Chinese.
That’s because she (and I) are a whole different category – we’re Chindians.
And there should be enough of us around to have our own race on forms – Chindians. Or Sino – Indians.
Of course, we’re all Malaysians. And I agree that there is a difference between ethnicity and nationality. (The fact that the race tick box and race based discrimination should be abolished is a whole different story altogether).
Up till the point I was 18, I naively told people I was Indian when asked. Therein arose issues of why don’t I look like an Indian, why don’t I speak Tamil, why don’t I go to temples (my birth certificate states I’m Hindhu, following my father and attempts to get my MyKad changed to Buddhism has failed), and numerous racial identity issues fell on my ears.
It was only in college, hanging around more Chinese friends that I wisened up and embraced the Chinese blood in me when identifying myself as a Chindian. This immediately solved many identity issues and people understood me better once they knew of my heritage.
When filling up forms, I had to tick Indian as my birth certificate dictates so. However, I always loathe doing so as it deletes my Chinese heritage. I am proud of my ancestry and having to choose one or the other makes a mockery of my blood lineage.
Take for example Eurasians. They are not classified according to their father’s race. If they are a mix between an Asian and a European, they automatically get classified as Eurasian. None of this follow your father’s race nonsense.
In the US, the Census Bureau, since 2000, has allowed citizens to tick more than one race box. It is increasingly receiving this response as the younger generation acknowledge their ethnicity.
Speaking of which, bearing in mind that I think it’s ridiculous to choose between your parents race, I think it’s perfectly all right that Shay Adora Ram be classified a Chinese. Frankly, I never understood why a father’s race should be dominant over the mother. She already carries her father’s surname, so that shows acceptance of the father’s influence. Whatever race the parents agree the NRD Officer to label her as should be irrelevant since, in the words of Ramachandran Ram, “they’re both wrong labels.” There’s no justification in having to choose which is the more right option between two wrongs.
At the end of the day, Shay Adora Ram is Chindian and should reserve the right to be proud of her ancestry and be able to acknowledge her heritage in legal documents. The government has no right to delete the lineage of one race in legal matters.
Milk and black coffee separately gives Cass diarrhea but combined together is a staple in her morning routine. She believes that Chinese (milk) and Indians (black coffee) naturally blend well together and that inter racial marriages should be lauded. When not spilling her guts into a keyboard or spilling coffee over the table, she’s tweeting “I’m sorry but our government has serious racial issues to think about” 100 times.