Whats the big deal about interracial relationships?

I first saw this clip from Hillary and later on, I found out from Mintea that the clip was directed by Yasmin Ahmad – an acclaimed film director. She also told me that Yasmin Ahmad directed the Petronas ads that never fails to make me feel so sappy in the end.

Seeing how easygoing their innocent love for each other made me ponder if we as adults putting in too much emphasis on race?

Here in Singapore we would have our annual Racial Harmony Day each July 21st which is supposed to make us more appreciative of each other’s races.

Racial Harmony Day
Racial Harmony Day 2007

But somehow along the line, this seems to have backfired as it has made each other more aware of their differences and ironically now, people would rather stick to their own. Its odd as time ago, before the implementation of racial harmony day, we were already mixing around naturally, happily.

For me, I believe that people should mix around with the people that they enjoy being with, rather than focusing on their skin difference.

Like the little girl in the video clip, I had a best friend back in primary school. His name was Micheal and he was a Chinese. Being in the same class as well as neighbours, we’d always roam around the neighbourhood together.

Moon over Lakeside, Singapore

And I remember the first time when I celebrated Lantern Festival with him, holding candle lit lanterns in the playground and then eventually a group of Malay girls came up and chided, “You’re not a Chinese. You shouldn’t be playing with Lanterns!”

I was lucky in the sense that mum was open minded about letting me celebrate the mid-autumn festival and I’m glad that I didn’t listened to those group of girls and continued  to befriend Michael. I didn’t care that we were of different races, he was a nice friend and most importantly we had fun together.

So how on earth did race become such a big deal?

I can still remember a section in my geography book that I read at 14 about population on how there are countries that has a homogeneous population like Italy and Japan. But we know that it is not true in today’s context as we see so many once homogeneous countries now teeming with migrants from all over the world.

This is inevitable. And as the world advances, naturally it is so much easier to socialise with different people. Even interracial-relationships isn’t something new. On a micro level, I read through blogs and printouts, and hear from friends at how they are involved with someone of a different race.

rinaz and cart

Truth be told, before I met Cartcart, I’ve always assumed that I’d end up having a serious relationship with a Malay guy and settle down here in Singapore – same race marriages makes it all the easier and more convenient.

Interracial-relationships does has its own problems. But regardless of race, doesn’t all relationships have its own problems? A better judgement on how your partner is suitable for you is when you ask yourself :

Does he make you feel safe? And does he makes you smile and does his presence alone lifts your spirits?

To me, the most important part is the person’s character rather than his race.

 

21 thoughts on “Whats the big deal about interracial relationships?”

  1. the big deal is that different races tend to mean different religions. you’re lucky your other is ok with converting. its all sweet and romantic; he loves you so much he sacrificed his religion to be with you. but what if he had refused? would you convert to another to be with the man you love?

    anyway, i dont really buy the racial harmony day. why do we need to have this day to appreciate other races? i’ve been mixing with other races way before this day was invented. sure, i was very much aware of the differences between our races, but that’s what makes it so great. despite the differences we got along and even became best of friends. it seems like just another excuse to have another “(something) day”.

  2. well.. think of the racial harmony day as a reminder that we, esp we Singaporeans need to be tolerant of each other’s difference (not only race). For if we are not, we are all dead meat. And, tolerance and understanding is really not that simple. Even I, sometimes can’t tolerate my own religious stuffs e.g. buring joksticks is so smelly, e.g. the 7th month ge-tai is so noisy etc… so see it as a constant reminder would be good… or at least so I thought!

    oh abt the flim, they should just show the film to all those extremist in the world. They have lots to learn from these two children.

  3. Eh, Tan Hong Ming is taken ler, hehe.

    You know what, this video is sweet and funny and at the same time, it causes us to think so much. Brilliant, isn’t it?

    And thanks for the link 🙂

  4. MmmM the person is the most impt… not the religion directly but religion/race/nationality does affect the way one speaks/thinks/behaves. 🙂 But I’m very glad that it hasn’t given the two of you problems. Thats the most impt.

    Added you to my links dearie so that I can check back often!

  5. Leong Him Woh

    Indeed 🙂

    6

    Yes, I agree, that I am very lucky in the sense that I have a partner whom is open minded enough to embrace new beliefs. In our initial years together, I did state my opinion that in a relationship, both parties would have to sacrifice for a common goal.

    It would be senseless to keep oneself in a relationship that goes nowhere regardless if both parties love each other very much.

    About the racial harmony day, maybe it is something to make concrete something that is already there? Or perhaps a flourishing of trumpets to ensure that people would be aware of it 😛

    Precious

    No worries … hehehehe … and yes, it was a brilliant ad! I’d wait 20 years for Tan Hong Ming! 😛

    And cartcart said to tell you his thanks 🙂

    Kev

    If only it were that simple, letting extremist see this video and then they will be more open … but maybe, there is hope :]

    Miccheng

    HEHEHEHEHE!!!!

    Malique

    I agree, but people still has a stigma over each other’s differences :

    Bedok

    Terima kasih atas nasihat anda dan terima kasih kerana melawat laman saya. Tetapi dengan hormatnya saya tidak setuju dengan pepatah “biar mati anak jangan mati adat”

    Benar, kita harus bangga dengan adat. Sebagai orang Melayu, saya cukup bangga dengan susila orang Melayu dan Insyallah saya akan mempraktikan budaya Melayu dimana jua saya berada.

    Tetapi Ibu yang mana sanggup membiarkan anaknya mati kerana adat. Ini bagaikan gadis-gadis di negara Iran, Afrika, India dan lain-lain yang dirogol dan dibunuh kerana “ADAT”

    Maaf jikalau tersinggung, tetapi saya tidak berfesahaman dengan peribahasa yang kuno itu.

    Kita sepatutnya mencipta kehidupan yang terbaik untuk diri kita sendiri. Rohani dan Jasmani.

    Bobo

    Not to say that interracial relationships doesnt have its own problems, sometimes I’d take for granted that he’d know my cultures and beliefs. But I think the way that a person treats you is one of the most important part of all.

    No point being in a same race relationship where the other party takes you for granted and even worse, causes harm to you …

    And thanks for the link pretty Bobo!!! 😀

  6. bedok, that is highly offensive. for non-malay readers, “biar mati anak jangan mati adat” is a malay idiom that literally means – its better to let your child die than let tradition die. one wonders what you are trying to imply by citing that. credits to marina for replying so eloquently to such a foolish reply.

  7. there is not a differences between interracial relationships because we are all the same people but different colors.. why do people hate interracial relationships it aint nuthin wrong datin other races.. i am white and i have a black boyfriend ma whole life i been datin black dudes i only dated two white dudes in ma whole life but i dont think there is ntuhin wrong wit it… so if yall got something to say bout dis then comment on ma shit and i will say something back to u or u can email me on ma yahoo.com page iight duces bruh bruh

  8. anyways i think that race isnt an issue at all. rather its the religion aspect of things that brings about more problems. it doesnt really matter wad race is placed on ur IC, but rather the beliefs, the cultures and the way of life is the one that matter the most. so personally i feel that religion rather then race is the biggest stumbling block of all. it would be best if there is a compromise, but wad if there isnt?? it could just spell the end of things….

  9. i love interracials relationships! Currently in one now. But i gotta say that Singaporeans have a long long way to go in terms of accepting it. My experience people.. We are all the same on the inside,the only difference is our skin colour. Its a pity that there are still people that couldnt accept that and what more teaching their kids n all that they are different and superior than other races. Racist!

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