hey everyone welcome back to our tea chat with Monica
This is the series that I and Monica will spill the tea and just talk random things that have something to do with us … I guess
how are you today Monica?
I’m very good at how are you?
very good, very good
What are we going to talk about today?

when it comes to marketing, you have digital marketing and they do identify you based on heritage and such as and uh and also like you know your age group or married marriage or something like that um have you ever come across some ads that you feel like what why am i seeing this?
yes i have actually those uh you know especially these days on social media platforms they use a lot of AI and suddenly when you’re scrolling and something pops up they’re like oh what’s this you know
is it me is that because they know this is me or they think this is me so it is a very interesting topic what actually identifies us it’s a little bit like i think for me um i i identified me for myself because i just felt that um i would be more comfortable to go with what i want in life instead of what people expected of me because in so many ways i just ain’t too stressful and for me i don’t work well with stress so it’s a little bit like why do i want to like step into [ __ ] without like you know and just like you know i rather just avoid it i just avoid it and so i just put together my own life my own way but then i do understand that in the way that when people’s perception or like well look we’re human beings human beings do put people in pigeonholes and things like that and then you know look i mean come back to the ads um stories a little bit i even received ads to learn english so i was like is it that bad i mean am i really that bad i mean it doesn’t make sense i mean yeah um so actually on that one that how about how about yourself because you know sometimes that um i think well i mean not specifically to you but i think some uh many of the ai they have the ability to guess out what the person’s like gender heritage and such as for but i i i like you know because you do have a more unique last name more unique than mine chance which is uh so do you how do you feel like you know sometimes that like do people presume of you based on for example your your your your family life or your married life or your like your professional life and that mix of things must too much in the mix too much you know i thought it’s like sometimes i don’t even understand why well i understand why they think that way many people think differently when they either see me i have been asked or are you from hong kong are you from vietnam are you from thailand are you from china i i’m like okay so my look is not very unique i guess so they are now guessing where i’m from even one once when i was studying in canada a um asian classmate came up to me and said are you one of those ray indians like native americans i’m like no what yeah then she asked me because at that time i had very long curly perm hair oh okay and then i i just came over from malaysia my skin tone was a bit darker and so then he’s like you must be one of those red you know i’m like no i’m not oh okay i speak chinese oh okay and then in australia one of my colleagues told me oh you actually look like some of those south americans i’m like oh my god it’s too confusing the look is too confusing

each it is actually quite interesting because um i know you for quite a bit of time now like you know but um i actually only know that you are malaysian chinese today i because the funny thing is i think that’s why we get along because for me i don’t really care where what the heritage of the person is i care about if i get along with the person or not and this is like i personally i think that’s what defines me like you know i want to look beyond the person of who he or she is what they’re thinking is and like you know do we have similar thinkings like you know do we do we connect well uh or do we have like similar professions that we can talk a non-stop or like you know similar experience that we connect to and sometimes it connects you first to someone that you never expected in your life and you know it but then it’s um it’s true because i um at the moment that i i have a contract to work uh with an organization that worked with migrants in australia and most of them that lived in australia for the first five years and to me i found that is that it’s an opportunity for me to communicate with um the clients of this organization and just let them know that like um you don’t need to ask me where i’m from because if someone asks me where i’m from i’m just saying i’m from sydney because i lived there most very much most of my life and then um uh yeah so but then if you want to know what my heritage is you can actually ask what’s your heritage and then i can tell them that i’m hong kong chinese one of the things that is how we see ourselves it’s different from how others see you oh sorry how are the presumed of you sorry how other that’s right it can be from a name like you know i married my husband but i didn’t change uh my last name until recently one day my son was like oh you’re not a durian i’m like oh what does that mean i’m like uh what you are a 10 you know yeah 10 we are durian

i’m your mother no i mean you can just you just just tell your kid it’s a little bit like well if i highlight my name i’ll be a tangerine that’s right that is the reason why after 10 years i married to my husband i didn’t i was considering and i always talked about this combination with one of my friends and she always say do you want to be a tangerine i’m like well i want to be a tangerine or she’s like what about ten heisen durian well not just children what about you know we are like working out the combination took me 10 years and i was like okay i put everything in my name now everything okay so so then now my son stops saying that sort of things but to a kid they they see the name as an identity maybe many people that’s that i don’t know and then the other thing is that we we travel to europe one time and then at the airport my husband sitting next to me and then there was this german lady uh we were transiting to thailand and she said i always go to thailand you know for business i said oh yes and then she said she looked at me she said where are you from i say melbourne

uh no seriously where are you from oh i hate that i’m like seriously i live in melbourne and then my husband said i think she’s asking where you originally from like where you’re born i say she asked me where i’m from i’m from melbourne that’s my answer it’s it’s such a strange thing that it’s a little black i actually had another really interesting conversation with a a very nice friend of mine who works at melbourne multicultural hub and uh it’s actually on the channel curator channel check it out the links below or around the screen or something like that but it’s so true because in so many ways that is we um i think for me if i really want to find out someone’s heritage i would actually ask what’s your heritage instead of saying where you’re from because where you’re from means so many things uh where you’re from can be the suburbs that you live in or the university you study because i mean i’ll just call it oh i’m from uni new south wales uh that would be good enough uh but then it would just kind of like ah and i do find that it can become an uncomfortable conversation um yes it can be an uncomfortable conception however once you get through that you can go beyond that and look past whatever presumption you have with that whatever cultural group that is then yeah you can become a real friend of that person and of course like you know there are some [ _ ] who doesn’t care we just use that presumption to run with it then they can just stay being [ _ ] for me if you ask me i’m proud of my heritage but of course that i’ve grown to become someone else like not someone else something different and you know i think uh that’s actually one of the reason that i think it would be great for us to do this episode because i think no matter what your identity is no matter what your color is um we want to build this environment for people to feel comfortable to talk about themselves and sometimes talking about what’s your heritage or where are you from it’s actually a great conversational point that’s right and i think you are making a very good point that you know identity is such a complex thing and even it can be a complex process in the making because you know identity is not made up made out of one construct but multiple constructs that define us and what we experience in our life that certain parts of our life perhaps we do not want to associate with maybe because we grow up and we develop you know a different set of values or because of our experience we come across different things then we readjust some of our values and also develop new ones perhaps along the way and and then we collect a set that we wish to be most identified with right like when i was a kid because i grew up with my mom i was the only child i always tell all my friends i’m the only child like like when you ask me that question do you have any siblings i say i’m the only child and then when i grow up um older and i start saying ah yeah i’m the only child uh but you know i have three half sisters one my friends say you’re not the only child then i’m like but i have been living as an only child you know you grew up as an only child you grew up as a child experience so then of course directly i’ll say i’m an only child and then i justify that i have other siblings and and my friends go no no that’s not so you can see to them they see a different set of things to me my experience is different so identity i i think we ish it can be a conversation you know if people don’t get it the first time it’s okay is to just elaborate and say you know it’s because of these that’s why i am who i am i think and then you understand yeah i think you uh you grew up as a single child and then you grew out of it having the new sisters joining you and i think it’s a good thing because you got the best of both worlds

i think i mean i think look i turn everything into an advantage like you know it’s just i’ll put sprinkle and [ __ ] to make it sounds good so it’s a little bit it’s part of marketing like you said earlier that we grow the way that our surrounding our family my parents or something like that they gave us something to begin with but of course at any point in time we will grow out of it with some but you know i don’t know about you i felt that in my 20s to mid 20s that’s when i diverged from the identity that i was expecting off very quickly very fast uh but of course to me um i would never deny my past and i would never deny my heritage and i’m actually proud of it and i’m proud of having all of those things to construct the person that i am today but i think um yeah so that’s why i think it would be a really good opportunity for people or people like for example people that are the

the clients organization or the new migrants to learn this kind of communication because you know i mean we all have expected of something and wherever our past might influence us so i would imagine that these peop these new migrants may be their past experience might influence the way they are but um look i mean it’s all about being open you know yeah that’s right being open and and also being to acknowledge um that our identity can change over time yes and to embrace it you know sometimes um like like what you have just say

people expect you to assume certain identity um your family members do your friends do the people that you work with do but that’s fine but we also need to communicate as we grow and adopt different roles and you know adopt different identities perhaps in our life because we play many different roles right we it could be challenging to just manage one identity it sounds like crazy like we you know we have split personality but it’s not we can have multiple identities at the same time and just be open and talk about it and and acknowledge it with people around us and say yeah that’s why just to elaborate what you say i don’t think identity should be a block it should be our blank it should be a wrap of different things coming together because you know i i it just feels like it’s because we all have different hats like i would presume that for you that you have your professional head you have your family hat and your social habits such as and so am i about but i think you know it’s it’s really interesting and well i think if this this is the time that i think i want to talk about something a little bit interesting if you make uh i want to ask you monica you told me once that you identified by a building oh yes yes have you had that experience so i i studied in america for a bit and me and my friends malaysian all malaysian group of malaysian exploring america went to chicago and then we were on this bus tour and they were taking us around the city and they say oh look at this building this sears tower which used to be one of the tallest building in the world but no longer now because the malaysian has taken over the tallest building in the world by the twin tower and technically that’s not true because they built two this is a single tower and before that no one knows about malaysia nobody cares about malaysians and we say oh we are from malaysia and they go oh are you oh wow and then you know back to the uni we’re trying to get our credits for foreign language okay that was the most confusing time after because we learned mandarin in school we also learned bahasa which the national language of malaysia and we learn english right so definitely english is our foreign language and we wanted to get credit so me and my friend went to the mandarin school department and we talked to the teacher and say oh can we please get credit for mandarin and she looked at us like aren’t you chinese it’s not your mother tongue because you can’t claim credits for foreign language if the language is your mother tongue okay we said no no no revelation with malaysia okay well yeah so mandarin is if i was you by that time i was like [ __ ] at malaysia

and then she said okay then take this proficiency test it was so hard and so i told my friend maybe we go and try bahasa how’s that so we went to the bahasa department and say can we claim credits for like use basa as a foreign language and she’s like show me your passport your malaysian ah no no no we are chinese we have chinese heritage bahasa is not our mother tongue oh really so you can see how confusing it is you can be defined by a building people who don’t know much about malaysia they go oh you’re from malaysia they only remember that building okay there you go you can be defined by language whether a language is your mother’s tongue you can see how like like you say identity it’s not a block but to some people who have limited knowledge is a block it’s a building it’s a language it’s the way you dress like in in a costume

that is disturbingly right it’s it’s it it’s true because it’s like it is so weird because i didn’t know how complex it was until you explain what you but trust me i’m gonna re-watch this a few times to really just get a hang on it and it just it must be frustrating

and and i think this actually draws our attention to working with community of reasoned migrants we shouldn’t put uh our you know clipper on and it’s like oh are you from this country and we assume they are all like you know behaving certain way yeah it’s not true we cannot do that to people you know what also like you know let’s put it this way that usually like i swear a lot more than other people that share similar heritage than i am but uh so you know i can’t help it it’s a personality thing it has nothing to do with my chinese heritage [ __ ] you and i think for me that this is the interesting thing because for me that my experience on that side kind of come with my dating life so i mean i’m not so fortunate to have a husband and a child just yet you never know but it’s so interesting that i because some of the things that is when people have an expectation or perception of someone’s heritage for example asian heritage when it comes to dating especially these days with the dating apps and such as that i do find it very uncomfortable when sometimes race being fetishized like it’s one step worse than perception like i don’t think perception is a bad thing perception is something that can be changed but if someone fetishized someone just because they’re asian or something like that you just feel like no thank you don’t thank you and yeah because because sometimes and also dealing with um because look i mean i’m i’m quite flexible with the men that i date like you know whoever it is it’s really um an idea of like you know am i getting along with that person but i noticed some common things if i’m dating someone a little bit older than me then i find it very difficult to explain my how my heritage is different from how i identify myself while if i’m dating someone younger on the other hand i have a different type of problems which is kind of explaining the complexity of identity themselves too like you know it’s a little bit like okay there’s no wind in here isn’t it like older or younger both of them just doesn’t work that way so i just kind of like yes so um very complex you know one of um one of my friends who told me she’s she’s also using a dating app and she has a south asian heritage and she said to me monika when i list myself like you know ethnicity i say asian right i’m from asia i say yeah you’re from asia yes but when they found out that i’m south asian they go you’re not asian

they these people have in their mind asian looks like you monica asian don’t look like me what the hell it’s a little bit like pointy eyes it’s a little bit like they want fancy nation she’s like why i’m not so asian i say i know but i don’t know why they they have certain block in their mind that this is asian this is not asian it’s like what the [ __ ] i mean what what it’s a little bit what’s wrong with people it’s a little bit like well i mean we don’t have five hours to go go over what’s wrong with people these days but i think this is the thing because like you know just like what we were talking about before like digital ads or dating app and things like that it’s way easy for the developers usually very monocultural or very even mostly male uh mostly white as well uh and and then they they just have this concept of a very easy identify short list of pigeonholes to put people in and then suddenly that’s how our world these days are constructed to look after it’s a little bit like um it’s very complex and and the thing is it you know i mean it’s so weird it’s a little bit look i mean well hey i never i never give up hope that one day i’ll find someone good for me uh that i can feel equal with but then i also accept the fact that it’s a little bit like hey i might be by myself for a longer period of time but hey if i survive a culvert locked down by on my own i can survive this don’t worry either you’ll find someone just for you i can tell you before i met my husband for a period of time i did not date anyone okay and one day my mom called me and she said i am fine as long as you are happy i say what do you mean i mean even if you want to have a girlfriend that’s fine with me i was about to say that you probably think you’re a lesbian yeah because i have many gay and lesbian friends and they it’s funny so then she’s like i say but i’m not a lesbian i’m not gay she’s like oh okay okay

oh now you are happy she’s like no no no i’m just saying i’m happy regardless oh okay then i found my husband right the first thing i told him i said i have a phd because that has been a problem in the past oh i can tell you that’s part of my identity that works against me okay so he’s like so i say did you hear me i have a phd degree he’s like what’s that it has nothing to do with me i don’t care there he’s my husband now i think it’s wonderful because i feel that yes it is the complexity that we are going through but uh remember the place that we met that place has a lot of um people who are from a particular culture where they don’t reward individuality they don’t reward development and many of them just in this limbo state that waiting for someone to tell them what to do and i feel really bad for them like you know i don’t feel bad for for the shitty md that they have there like you know just kind of like just yeah anyway uh but then i feel really bad for the young people that working there they are like in their 20s or something like that it’s a little bit like they they finished university a few few years ago and they barely have an identity and i feel really bad for them of course they have a really easy to explain identity they are most of them are uh from like they can just say that they’re chinese because they fit every single description that we were talking about before but what i’m really concerned about them i’m not saying that that’s what all chinese are but i’m just saying that for this particular group that we met is that they they don’t feel empowered to step out of where they where people presume they are and this can lead to a lot of issues because uh for me i think both of us have that in companies like you know if there’s something wrong we stand up for ourselves and say something about it and this is important because this is how we improve the society and this is how we can make better and this is also how we can prevent some of the bad things to happen to people and when you are not feeling empowered to do something and grow out of what people expected of you then it can be really detrimental for someone’s health well-being development and everything in between so yeah so i think um you know what i i think this is maybe this is also my marketing marketer side of looking for a silver lining or just an other side looking for a silver lining is that yes having this complex identity sucks when you have to deal with idiots uh yes but um yeah but it’s i think i’m learning to see it as a blessing in disguise what do you think yes and i i’m happy that i have the identity that i have and it will keep changing

but at the same time i acknowledge it’s quite challenging

i i don’t expect everyone to understand uh if those people who wish to spend a bit more time understanding i’m more than happy to have engaged and have a conversation about it and that is just part of life others so what identifies me i i’m learning about it i know what identifies me and and i’m happy to share it with people who wish to understand and sometimes i remind myself don’t try to put a block identity on others because i am complex so are other people we all are and i think um and at the end of the day that i hope that just like our other videos that we’ve done so far is that this would help opening up the conversation connecting with people with similar experience or someone just want to aim interested in knowing someone else’s experience to talk about it together uh so um i guess on that note uh monica how people can find you on the on the fast space of the internet you can drop a message below this video if you’re watching youtube or you can actually send a private email to us if you don’t want to put a message in public we completely understand and we will respect that it can be a sensitive topic it can be so that’s why um you don’t have to comment if you don’t want to but of course if you want to like and share or watch another video uh that you’re absolutely welcomed and of course that um once again thank you so much for watching this channel and monica thank you for your time today thank you other tea time