"I thought you're chinese. You look like one", she said politely without apologized.
"I'm from West Malaysia", I replied. "Oh... ", she said. I assumed she tried to recall her history lessons and then continued, "Sabah?"
"No", I chuckled. "Sarawak. I'm an iban."
The conversation continued and even I don't have discount for my meal that day, I'm leaving the stall with a thought in mind: "Be proud of who you are!”
Sometime it is quite frustration when I heard people say, 'Don't tell people that I'm ..., I don't want people to know. I'm embarrass of the fact!', 'I don't like my small eyes and curly hair, why I didn't born somewhere else?', 'We are stupid tribe/race!' and even some people I knew well, refuse to rise up their hand when someone called out their ethnic group.
Once in collage, someone makes fun of the words 'iban' and 'bidayuh'. He would sing his 'funny songs' and dance with extremely confident. When he asked me, where I'm from, he soon realized that his audience was not a fan but a 'flaming coals'. I wish to revived 'headhunting' practice that day but the Word of the Lord stopped me from doing it, 'Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you.' (Matthew 5:39) So I show my protest through silent and I won't let this dude to steal my day. Secure people don't have to settle things with violence. Be proud of who you are!
Where are you from? Who you are? This are very basic questions that we need to answer... we need to provide a very good answer to this. If you can't, go out there and find it out. In the surface, our answers could be; where are we from geography factor and who we are from our background such as nationality, race, ethnic or tribe. Can you answer it? Now asked deeper questions;
WHERE are you from? WHO you are?
Humble with what you have because what you have is not yours and soon disappear. Be proud of who you are! With confident and assurance, say together with me... I'm from the Creator of the Universe and I'm the most precious children of God. With this in mind; treat and approach others the same.
WHO you are?