Being “Half Hakka”: Identity Among the Children of Intercultural Marriages in Sarawak, Malaysia
Elena Gregoria CHAI Chin Fern
Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences,
University Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan. Sarawak. Malaysia
This paper presents the voices of children from intercultural mariages about their perceived identities. The approach applied in this study is through the analyses of life histories of six half Hakka offsprings from parents of different ethnic backgrounds, with at least one of them, either the father or the mother is a Hakka. This paper does not attempt to dwell deeply into the complexities of ethnic identity but aims to elucidate the social construction of self perceived identity. The state of Sarawak in Malaysia has at least 27 ethnic groups, creating social dynamism that offer a form of inclusivity and sometimes exclusiveness for the contruction of ethnic identities. One’s identity also changes with the progress of life-cycle, which adds on to the conundrums that arise from cross-cultural family setup or background. This paper attempts to offer an alternative way to look at self perceived identity of being “Half Hakka” in contemporary Sarawak.
Ethnic Identity, Hakka, Half Haka, Intercultural Marriages, Life History, Sarawak