Growing Up Rojak

As strengths go, our smorgasbord of cultures and ethnicities is one of Malaysia’s main selling points – and evidence of it is rife everywhere you turn. From the hawker centres where the heady aroma of Indian curries and spices mingle merrily with the unmistakable smokiness of a good char kuay teow and the fragrant, sweet-smelling steam rising from a fresh batch of nasi lemak; to the local neighbourhoods where a ten-minute walk will unearth a mosque, a Hindu temple and a church, all along the same street; to overheard conversations at the local mamak, where English, Malay, Tamil, Mandarin and more are happily mixed and mashed together to form a distinct local patois. But what is life like when this blend of languages and foods, cultures and traditions all come together in one family? Three young people talk to us about what it’s like to grow up mixed in Malaysia.

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