What’s in the name?

The world is changing but we will always proud of who we are. For many people, other than Malaysian, perhaps name doesn’t represent anything. As what William Shakespeare said ‘Whats in the name’. But it is the opposite in Malaysia. Name represents everything…our race, and most probably our religion. The main race in Malaysia is Malay, Indian and Chinese. Apart from these, we also have others like Punjabi, Eurasian, and Indigenous tribes like Kadazan, Iban and many more. I can write on and on about people in Malaysia but not on this page. Perhaps later.

To describe this scenario in detail, I should give an example to this. In Malaysia, if a person says he/she is Malay, that means that he/she is 99.9% Muslim. How do I know this? Let’s just say it is ‘as easy as peanut’ like the Malaysian love to say to describe how easy some things is. In Muslim religion (Arabic base), the ‘daughter of’ term is known as ‘binti’ and the ‘son of’ is known as ‘bin’. For example, Jamilah binti Rahim and Ridzuan bin Johari. I assume by now you too will notice which religion and what gender they belong to. ‘As easy as peanut’ isn’t it?

For Malaysian Chinese it will be slightly different. But still you can ‘assume’ what race and religion they belong to. For example if the name is Chan Siew Leng, I somehow know what gender and religion it belongs to. Comparing to Sally Chan Siew Leng, the first name is an additional to sound ‘westernised’ and belong to certain religion.

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