Well, most of us are. You see it everyday in the streets or at a mall, couple from the same racial background enjoying the company of one another. But it’s more of a peace of mind, safe approach type of decision.

This not only subjected to relationships, even the friends we choose to surround ourselves with. Just look at a random table at a mamak.

But why is that? Is this behavior purely racial or are there any other factors that determines who we end up with?

Coming from a country with rich multicultural heritage, most of us strongly adhere to our ethnic stereotypes. Whether it is positive or negative.

The topic for today is relationship, whether it be romantic or friendly. The main cultural differences when it comes to relationships we have in our country are as follows:-

1. Sense of Humour

How often do you find someone from different racial background genuinely funny? We often make movie/series references as jokes or something inherently funny to just our culture.
A Malay guy’s approach to a funny situation could be vastly different from a Chinese girl’s.

Especially when both are not native English speakers or watch the same type of movies.
The humour gets lost in translation. Some jokes are offensive to a certain ethnicity, some are just dumb(unrelatable). Bottom line, if you can’t make em’ laugh, it’s a dead end.

2. Romantic Relationships & Expectations

We can all agree when it comes to a relationship some are comfortable with simplicity and while others have higher expectations. We are made to think that some ethnic groups largely think gifts are a form of affection and that’s enough to keep things going.

Whilst some ethnic group would prefer something more intimate and personal like spending time with each other doing various activities. The “knowledge” we gain growing up allows us to group people’s ethnicity with their possible expectations.

3. Conflict Resolution

This in fact can only be discovered in a later stage of a relationship, after the “honeymoon phase”, but we often jump the gun. Assuming one from a specific ethnic background handles thing “rougher” than one from our own ethnicity would.

We are pre-programmed to think that people with a different skin color have a different set of ways of handling conflicts. Steering more to the negative side than the positive. So, we choose a “familiar” route.

4. Language Barrier

Living in this country where language is still an issue, this could discourage a person’s willingness to adopt a multicultural circle, and of course a romantic relationship.

It is still mind-boggling that in 2018, there are two individuals out there incapable of having a conversation with one another just because they didn’t care enough to learn a common language. It’s simple, if they can’t understand you, they are not going to date you or even hang out with you.

5. Social Stereotypes

Just go to any controversial Facebook video/post depicting any certain race and you’ll see why this has to be a point. People being judged and criticized for their actions based on their skin color rather than their individuality.

This mentality is being carried out into everyday lives as well. A guy on a motorbike is always gonna be labeled as a “rempit”. Well, depending on the motorbike. Someone with a lot tattoos will always be labeled as a gangster.

So, are all Malaysians like this? No, we’re not. Sadly, a huge number of us are. We see it in our daily lives and even on social media, it can’t be denied.

Kudos to the small minority of Malaysians who do not adhere to any of these points we made above. They often come off as more easy-going and fun to talk to. They are not going to judge anyone purely based on race and focuses more on how one carries themselves in public. Chances are they have more friends from a different ethnic background and are extremely open when it comes interracial relationships.

So, what’s your take on this matter? Is this even an issue for you?


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