Interracial marriage, which has become very common, signifies the success of our cultural immersion. Whilst there is no record on the number of interracial marriages in Malaysia, it is said that interracial marriage accounts for one in four unions. But then, having a spouse of different race was practically unheard of in the past. It was mainly due to social scepticism and lack of social education.
Parent’s Dojo has spoken to Encik Din Osman, a dedicated father and loving husband, who has great support from his Chinese wife in raising four beautiful children and three grandchildren.
Parent’s Dojo: Briefly describe about yourself and your family
Encik Din Osman: We are constantly trying to change and improvise ourselves. We believe in doing the best and delivering the best.
Parent’s Dojo: How long have you been married?
Encik Din Osman: I have lost count. But I love those wonderful years. She tolerates and smiles a lot though I annoy her most of the times. I find it challenges my patience and at times, testing my capability to stay perfectly in tune with one being, for half a century.
Parent’s Dojo: How did your in-laws react when you first got married?
Encik Din Osman: It took them a while to accept us. They needed time and we respected that.
Parent’s Dojo: What about your family?
Encik Din Osman: My father told me to marry someone that I liked and he was right. I think
my wife had captivated my parents’ heart before we got married.
Parent’s Dojo: How did your children blend into the two different families?
Encik Din Osman: Funny though, they never realised the differences. When they were with
my parents they spoke in Malay and English and when they were with my
wife’s parents, they spoke in English and Chinese. Everything came
naturally. They ate nasi lemak, chee chong fun and rendang. They also
had that fabulous lam min, which is my mother-in-law’s speciality ... you
can never find lam min this good anywhere. I wish she can try one more
fling for Aidil Fitri but she is 93 now.
Parent’s Dojo: Did you face any pressure from society back then?
Encik Din Osman: No. We have great respect for each other, irrespective of race, colour or
Parent’s Dojo: What is your secret in maintaining the harmony in the families?
Encik Din Osman: Always Give, Take & and Compromise.
Parent’s Dojo: What were your battles in the past in maintaining the harmony?
Encik Din Osman: I had no battles. I lived peacefully with my Chinese wife throughout the troubles of 1969 and we have maintained that harmony for 50 years. Insya Allah for more years to come.
Parent’s Dojo: Culture has deep influence in the way we behave. How has that influenced
you and your children?
Encik Din Osman: We never really thought of the differences. My wife and I cultivate
tolerance and respect for others.
Parent’s Dojo: Do you celebrate festivals with both families?
Encik Din Osman: Yes, we celebrate all festivals as a family. Whether it’s Chinese New Year
or Hari Raya, we celebrate together.
Parent’s Dojo: What is your advice to young married couples?
Encik Din Osman: Don’t tie the knot too early. Always do your best for your marriage. It is
important to keep your commitments to each other. You have to stay
committed to your family.
Encik Din Osman and his family are proud Malaysians that celebrate diversity in our multicultural society.
Leong Kim Weng is a writer who writes about parenthood's articles. He uses this platform to reach out to the young parents. Writing for www.parentsdojo.com has given him the opportunity to learn and share interesting perspectives with others.