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“When Will You Sunat?”: What It’s Like To Unapologetically Love A Malay Girl As An Agnostic.

“When Will You Sunat?”: What It’s Like To Unapologetically Love A Malay Girl As An Agnostic.

So What if I Dated a Malay Girl?

Well, I guess it matters because I’m agnostic (can’t be sure whether God exists) and she comes from a Muslim family. You can see how that’s a huge problem for my then- malay girl friend’s family, right? On both ends, our family members would constantly question us and doubt whether we should be together. Honestly, it was tough. 


“Eh your wife is Malay, will you still eat pork?”

The worst part was when unfamiliar and irrelevant people approached my wife and me with nasty comments. They range from weird, common-sense questions like “Eh your wife is Malay, will you still eat pork?” to personal and private questions like “When will you sunat?”. How would my answer even affect them? 

Most of these comments came from the older generation. Were we surprised? No. Were we affected? Yes, of course, we were. We did what we could to educate and bring awareness to how our relationship isn’t that big of a deal, nor is it a negative thing. Despite rounds and rounds of explaining, the response was still the same – rejection after rejection. So we gave up.

Over the years, we grew tired of this ignorance and decided to stop trying to explain our relationship. We realised that we were preaching to people who never had meaningful relationships with any other people from different races and religions, so no matter what we said, they wouldn’t understand. 

As long as we have each other, my wife and I feel happy and okay. Unfortunately, these “busybodies” started to include our friends and family members. 

Cutting Off Toxicity 

Thankfully for us, most of our family and friends supported us. For those who didn’t, we cut them off. When it came to cutting off acquaintances or hi-bye friends, it was really easy. We stopped contacting them as much and let our friendship slowly drift away. There was no doubt for us. 

However, when it comes to cutting off close friends and families, it gets significantly tougher. It can be so, so painful. Imagine growing up with these people and knowing all there is to know about someone, and then having to cut them off because they couldn’t accept you. It sucked. It took a lot of resolve from my wife and me, and we often questioned our decision. 

More often than I’d like to admit, I also wondered if it was my fault that they couldn’t accept our relationship. I wondered if I could have done more to educate them and to get them to understand our relationship. I wondered if we put in even more effort to interact with them, could we have cleared their misconceptions? Nevertheless, my wife and I concluded that we already did what we could and they would never understand because they are not and will never be in our situation. 

After these toxic ties were severed, we felt much lighter and happier. Although the initial phase was tough, it got easier as time went by, and we saw it as a necessity. If we kept these toxic people by our side, we would be the ones suffering and living unhappy life. 

Find out what is essential for both of you and then start from there

I know it sucks. It’s 2023, and yet, we still have such unevolved people in our community. I wish everyone was more accepting and could see beyond race and religion. Unfortunately, we’re not living in a utopia, so we’ll just have to make do. 

If you’re reading this and need some words of advice, it is essential first to remember that you cannot please everyone, even if you want to. Ultimately, you must ask yourself what matters the most to you – What do other people think? Or are you and your significant other happy together? 

Do not let insignificant factors, comments or people decide for you. As long as you’re at peace with what you have decided, roll with it. Silence the noise and put all your focus on what you’ve decided to do. Nothing else should matter more.

We established the insignificance of race and religion between us from the very start

As for my wife and I, we decided that our relationship is the most important thing to focus on. This works because we established the insignificance of race and religion between us from the very start, and we’ll never fight over it. If you have not, speak to your significant other. Find out what is essential for both of you and then start from there. 

Even though I have lost some important friends and family members, I have also gained better, more supportive friends and family. One of our favourite family members is Hamlet. Hamlet is our dog, and she is fearless, loyal, sweet and supportive. Unfortunately, she passed away last year, and we miss her terribly. Though she’s no longer physically here, we hold on to her fearless spirit as we continue to live our most authentic lives without a care for what anyone else thinks. 

Have you ever had to give up love because of cultural differences? Do you regret it?

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