Well, UMNO, you guys are so adamant about putting road signs in Chinese. Well, this MALAY girl here speaks Mandarin. Perhaps you guys should shoot her down for learning this language.
Sunday January 25, 2009
The Star’s very own ‘truly Asian’ girls
By YUEN MEIKENG
PETALING JAYA: Many people stop and stare when Noorsila Abdul Majid and Rashitha Abdul Hamid talk to each other. The two can let fly with a torrent of fluent Mandarin.
But for the two journalists in The Star, it is simply part of who they are.
Noorsila, a Galaxie magazine journalist, said: “Many Malays ‘doubt’ my Malay roots and ask me ‘You Cina kah?’ (Are you Chinese?)”.
But it’s not just the Malays. The bubbly 38-year-old also gets the same reaction from her Chinese acquaintances. She said she learnt the language after studying at Chinese-medium primary and secondary schools with her sister.
“People on the street would also look at my sister and me with raised eyebrows when they overhear us talking in Mandarin,” said Noorsila, who is also fluent in Cantonese.
She added both of them were so used to speaking to each other in the language that they chose to stick with it until today.
However, Noorsila, who is of Malay, Chinese and Indian descent, embraces her muhibah (united) identity and is proud to be truly Malaysian.
Crime reporter Rashitha, who went to SJK Chung Hwa in Klang, said her ability to speak and understand various languages proved to be an advantage for her, especially at work.
“Some interviewees are not comfortable speaking in Malay or English. It really helps to know many languages because I can still converse with them in a language they prefer,” said the 25-year-old, who also speaks Mandarin, Hokkien, Tamil and Malayalam.
Rashitha, who is of Indian-Pakistani parentage, has encountered many people who were surprised to hear her shift from one language to another with such ease.
“I was dubbed as ‘a truly Asian girl’ by my friends because I know so many languages,” she laughed.
Rashitha is also no stranger to Chinese New Year. She celebrates the festival with her best friends from school every year.
“I will join them for the reunion dinner. I make sure that I never miss it,” she added.
Noorsila and Rashitha recently interviewed feng shui Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai in a 28-minute Mandarin programme in Studio V at the 1 Utama shopping mall, Bandar Utama.
Studio V is a two-storey multimedia hub situated at the Rainforest area of the mall and features The Star Media group’s content, from print and online news to mobile, radio and video under one roof.