I'm a Monoligual Malay | Thoughts on Language & Culture

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

I'm either going to be proud or regret this entirely. 
I guess we'll have to see.

I recently got a comment by a girl from the 'Worst Malay Q&A' video. She stated Bruneians 'need to uphold English on a pedestal' and to 'enjoy being monolingual.' While I think she may have misinterpreted the video, the comment itself did raise some questions. At least to me. 

Why did it affect me so much? Was it because its true? Or was it because I heard these statements all my life?

An overwhelming feeling to answer these questions arose. So I did.

"You're so whitewashed."


"White girl."

It's strange to feel alienated by your own culture. I've felt alienated since I was a little girl, and I've accepted it since I was a little girl. A little girl shouldn't accept alienation, a little girl shouldn't be alienated in the first place. 

I do not speak Malay as eloquently as I wish I did. People laugh, and people joke, and I poke fun of myself for it. I see the irony and accept it, and perhaps, some don't. That's fine. What is not fine is excluding us because of the irony. 

Regardless of language, I am still Malay. I was raised Malay, I identify as Malay. I am Malay.


I made a video because it was easier to express it there. 

It's a interesting topic I wish we would discuss more. Our thoughts on cultural identity and its significance to us. For me, cultural identity is knowing where I come from, and who I am. To others, it could be something entirely. Perhaps including language. 

Do you think language is an important part of culture?