Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The colour between two hearts

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner won the Academy Award in 1967. It was a film even more controversial than our own Sepet.

The movie concerns the romance of a young white American woman with an African American - in 1967, the term African American wasn’t yet coined, so you guess what he would have been described as – nope, not even black American.

It was groundbreaking because it dealt with the controversial subject of interracial marriage, when in 1967 such a mixed marriage was still illegal in 17 Southern US States up until the US Supreme Court legalised it in June 12 of that year.

I recall a close friend of mine who, after having undergone circumcision, was frustrated in his mixed marriage plans when the girlfriend’s parents stopped the union. Despite very heavy Malay brass coming to the rescue of my friend, by interceding on his behalf, the woman’s parents still weren’t amenable to the marriage.

Then there was my friend’s mum, a Chinese who married a Malay. She advised me not to marry a Malay woman because, in her words, “KT, listen to Auntie, it’s not worth the effort. You’ll be continuously beset by heartaches, frustration and tears.”

She was obviously talking from her own experience.

Well, over at BolehTalk, I’ve blogged on the celluloid aspect of that in our Malaysian Guess who's coming to dinner?


  1. That's why I'll do what it takes NOT to marry in Malaysia let alone raise a family in Malaysia. I'm a product of a mixed marriage and I will probably raise an interracial family and I will NOT let my family go through the same problems as I did.

  2. A friend of mine who married a Malay actually has a happy marriage. Lucky for him, she's a very modern, broad-minded lady and keeps a good relationship with his Chinese extended family, even learnt some basic Cantonese.
    But I agree this is a very exceptional case.
    In most cases, it leads to a very difficult adjustment, with the non-Malay partner virtually having to submerge their own cultural identity.

    My advice to Guys especially, is not to let the "lower part" of their anatomy do the thinking....