Racism: Semua cina pun macam tu ke?

I generally won’t give an opinion on sensitive issues, but this has been bugging me for some time and I can’t seem to forget it completely.

Prior to my wonderful Penang trip, I went to Sekinchan with my family on a weekend as well. We basically drove for 2 hours just to eat seafood porridge and seafood mihun for breakfast. Then we proceeded to buy all the seafood and pandan coconuts and goreng pisang and rice and cucur udang. Our car was filling up rather quickly as my mother kept asking my dad to stop and got down to buy the shop (okay not the shop, but at the rate she was going).

Then we came across this lady selling fruits and roots. Basically what happened was that she sold the banana and tapioca for RM42 and my mother asked for RM40. According to my mother, some of the fruits didn’t look like they were in good condition and she didn’t know if the banana would ripen properly. The lady said she couldn’t decrease the price because she was selling for others. Anyway, my mother insisted on RM40 to which the lady asked:” Semua cina pun macam tu ke?” (Are all Chinese like that?). Of course it annoyed me that this melay lady who probably hadn’t had much exposure to chinese people would suddenly generalize all Chinese based on a single bad experience. It also goes to show that she was in an environment that told her Chinese were different from Melays, otherwise she would have known that, just like the Melay people, each Chinese people are made up of a variety of characteristics.

This incident would have been easy to forget if it wasn’t for the banana that my mother bought. The thing is, it was slightly green at the time of purchase and my mother asked (a few times) if it would ripen properly. The lady assured my mother every time, but after a few days of being slightly green, the banana only because more spotted. Then one day the banana became black with white fluff growing out of it.

Now, do I say that all Melays are liars and cheaters? NO. Because I have made a lot of Melay friends, and I have met a few honest ones as well.

What I’m trying to say here is that, no matter how many people of the same race (or skin color) you see with the same characteristics, it is unwise to automatically finalize that everyone with the similar physical attributes are the same within. So you’ve only got 100 Melay friends who are lazy, but don’t forget you had the 100 friends in the same environment! You have not gone to the places where hardworking Melays become great professionals. So you’ve only got 100 Chinese friends who want to hoard as much money as possible, but you’ve never met the other Chinese who are all about happiness and peace with no regards to money whatsoever. All these friends may also react differently in different situations. So please, don’t stereotype one race based on a single experience, good or bad. We’re all just Malaysians anyway.

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