Fetishized, Stereotyped And More: Chindian Girls Share Unpleasant Experiences Growing Up In M’sia
I’m gonna give it to you straight. There are tons of benefits and privileges one receives as a mixed person in Malaysia. For the most part, people seem to treat you like some kind of rare and precious hybrid, a symbol of diversity or open-mindedness…
Whatever it is, lots of people seem to be under the impression that Chindians get the best of both worlds in every situation- but what happens when your race starts to serve as a welcome mat to stereotypes and weird kinks?
While we’re all familiar with racial inequality and discrimination, the opposite end is commonly overlooked. People seem to think that effortlessly attracting romantic prospects and general interest isn’t something to complain about…
But here’s the deal: We don’t mind if you appreciate our culture; the issue arises when you’re attracted to us solely because of it.
I used to think that the mistreatment we faced was uncommon; I never realized how many others felt the same, until I came across five other Chindian girls who share similar experiences.
Here are their stories… Disclaimer: The names of the girls in this article have been altered to protect their identities.
1. “I like Chinese, but not sepet“
Ah, a classic find in the Chindian dating scene- that one guy who likes ‘Indian features’ on a ‘Chinese-skinned’ girl. This text is wrong on so many levels.
First of all, hello? Stereotyping much? Apparently, our good sister Mikhaela has come across a few such encounters.
“It’s like I’m seated in the middle of a see-saw, and there’s racism on both ends.
“Some guys say they prefer to date Chinese girls, but with exotic looks. Big eyes, thick hair, curvy bodies- all that. I tell them to keep looking, and leave me alone. I get that people have preferences as to how they want their partners to look, but there’s no reason to drag race into it.
“For others, it doesn’t even matter what the girl looks like- the fact that she’s mixed is enough. I’ve literally had someone come up to me saying I don’t date pure Indian girls.
I can’t even explain how messed up that is, and the fact that there are people out there who agree with these sick ideas completely baffles me,” she added.
Mikhaela also explained that most of her peers could not understand her plight, and rather advised her to use it to her advantage.
2. “She’s pretty, but did you know she’s Indian..?”
“Being a Chindian girl is like being a sack of poop, attracting racist flies.” – Lisa, 2022. So provocative, I want it on a crop top.
As a self-proclaimed dumbass, this hopeless romantic admits that she falls in love rapidly and deeply- which has done more harm than good.
“Sometimes the guys I date are fine, but they change due to peer pressure or their family’s influence.
“I’m not the best choice for a daughter-in-law, I’ll admit that. If you dislike me or lose interest in me, I’m mature enough to accept it and move on. But not when it’s a racial matter,” she explained.
Lisa has fallen victim to race-related break-ups not once, but twice so far.
The second instance took place when her ex was constantly teased by his friends for having an Indian girlfriend who had darker skin than their partners, which finally led him to give her a “crappy excuse to end things just because he was too scared to defend her.”
“I have never dated an Indian guy- but I don’t know if doing so can guarantee that I won’t face any other racist comments. I just pray I marry into a family who loves me for who I am,” she said.
3. “I heard Chindians like you are wild ;)”
As a Tinder-using Chindian girl, Nandhini herself says that her choice to include her race in her bio was “the biggest mistake of my life, and I’ve switched my college major twice.”
“I wish I still had the texts, but I unmatched all these guys so fast. They think we’re more rebellious or something.
“I don’t know who started this rumour, but not all Chindian girls are party animals nor do we automatically want to go home with you. Just because you got lucky with one of us, you think you own us all?”
In our chat, Nandhini called out a few of her past Tinder matches in a very angry, very mind-opening manner. While she passes off some of these experiences as a joke, the truth is that comments like these can be very hurtful and sometimes even land some people in dangerous situations.
“Always ask for consent, that’s all I can say. To everyone reading this, male or female- educate yourself on what consent is. Your stereotypical mindsets are far from reliable,” said Nandhini.
She also brought this matter to light:
Another message to our readers- it’s time drop that subtly racist friend.
We don’t even know what to say about this one. All we know is “You’re not exactly my type, but you’ll do” is not something we wanna hear…
4. “Marry me lah, I want Chindian babies.”
We get that sometimes this is said in a lighthearted manner, but that doesn’t make it okay. In fact, it’s even creepier when people don’t seem to understand what’s wrong with saying this.
“Objectified. Flat out objectified, that’s how I feel.
“I’ve never said this out loud because I know people will think, what a first world problem. But I don’t care anymore- this is how I feel and it’s more than valid.”
Natasha explained that statements like these have even come up in conversation with absolute strangers. She’d get introduced to someone at a party, and they’d mention how they want to have Chindian babies.
“It makes me question and doubt people so much. Like, are you with me for my personality or do you just want mixed kids? It’s creepy when it’s strangers, but it’s worse when it’s someone close to you, or a guy you’re really interested in,” she added.
If you think she’s exaggerating, here’s a fun fact: Al Jazeera previously reported that child trafficking rings place higher prices on Chindian babies in Malaysia, as buyers claim they are the most attractive. If you weren’t disturbed before, I bet you are now.
5. “You’re Indian? Since when?”
Ramiya, 26, says she has only had one tough racial experience living as a Chindian in Malaysia- one that has haunted her for 9 years now.
“I was only 17, so I didn’t know any better. I just walked away with tears in my eyes.
“I get that she was just another mean person who had it in for me, but I’ve felt uncomfortable walking into a temple ever since. I was humiliated. It may not seem like a big deal, but it was completely out of the blue.
“After that one incident, I’ve stopped wearing Indian traditional attire and visiting the temple without my (Indian) mother because I’m afraid that other people will look at me the same way. I can’t even open up to people about it because hardly anyone gets why it bothers me so much.
“I can’t explain it either; all I know is that it has created a deep, hollow dent in my life and spirituality.
“My mother made me switch from a Chinese primary school to a sekolah kebangsaan thinking it would help me mix with others more, but I’ve just grown wary of people,” she said.
Ramiya also mentioned that she has never been in a serious relationship before, but she’d definitely feel the need to prove herself if she was going to marry into a non-Chinese family.
6. “You’re doing it for attention”
I saved this one for last, because three out of the five girls I spoke to claimed to have been told at least once that they were using their culture for clout- or witnessed others who were victims of such statements.
“If you’re more Chinese-looking and you post a photo in a saree, people are going to say you’re doing it to attract Indian guys- this is what I’ve noticed on TikTok a few times,” said Natasha.
Lisa confirmed that this was unfortunately true and actually pretty common.
“I look more Indian, like my dad, but I practise Buddhism as my mother does, simply because she’s more religious and I was just raised that way. It’s the same for my brother, but we can no longer post photos of us at the tokong because we get negative responses all the time.
“They mostly say it behind our backs, of course, but it goes around. They say we think we’re being ‘cool’ and showing off our culture. People find it hard to believe that we attend the prayers due to faith.”
Ramiya joined in, noting that she often prefers to conceal the fact that she speaks Mandarin once in a while, as she has been told that it makes her appear desperate for attention.
“I try my best to read the room. Some people get offended when you can’t speak your native tongue, while others have a totally different perspective on it…. Not easy,” she explained.
While I chose to feature struggles faced by girls, no gender is an exception to the issues mentioned above, and more.
Let’s take a moment to listen to each other from time to time.