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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Have our parents generation caused the rift between races in Malaysia?

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A letter, written by Nitya Kamalanathan, a Malaysian student currently in the UK, asks the pertinent question of why is the racial rift among Malaysians growing.

She postulates that it is partly our parents' generation to blame...

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I am currently a PhD student in the United Kingdom, my first time in England. When people ask me about Malaysia, I beam, telling them how wonderful our country is and our food! Oh that is my favourite topic of discussion.
We come from a country bursting with flavour, warmth, culture and diversity all of which have been the building blocks of the country. The three representing races of Malaysia each have rich traditions and cultures, which have blended together to produce a Malaysian culture of which I am proud to say I am a part.
I remember as a kid celebrating the lantern festival with my neighbours, buying little lanterns and watching them float away into the darkness of the night; I remember in school making ketupats during Hari Raya and hanging them around school and I remember for Deepavali having little girls dance bharata natyam in school, and sharing murukku and mixing with my friends.
As I grew older, I felt the rift between the respective groups. What caused this?