Sentiments of a Brown Southeast Asian Malay Woman - Minda Terjajah (The Colonised Mind)
Minda Terjajah (The Colonised Mind) – I feel called to share this term that resonates a lot with me since I was a child, to shed light on the current matters. My dad would mention this phrase to my sister and I in our early days. He used to say that our people were colonised but that our minds are yet to be uncolonised. Growing up, it did spark a bright light in me to love history and educate myself about my brown ancestral experiences, oppression and white supremacy that runs deep in our lineages as Malay people. I lived my life in various cities and privileged to be travelling doing what I love. One thing I’ve always acknowledged is that part of my reality involves being surrounded by people with The Colonised Mind and The Colonisers’ Mind. I can only look at life as a brown Southeast Asian Malay woman who have always experienced life as a Minority within a Minority anywhere she goes. Living in this vessel experiencing life in these lenses is my strength. To know my ancestral stories and trauma deeply and to be strong and uncolonise myself as I thread through this life gently. Some days are harder than others, I feel you and I am with you.
Colonisation runs DEEP.
I particularly feel the strong force of colonisation when I interact with my grandparents (pictured here with my aunties, c. 1959) and observing how deeply embedded systemic racism, oppression and division tactics have been for my ancestors. Let me reiterate, DIVISION TACTICS DUE TO COLONISATION HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AROUND. Colourism is still very prominent everywhere in the world and I’m shouting out to all my dark skinned Southeast Asian community and all people of colour, you are BEAUTIFUL. Here’s an inspiration from a previous post of @mosaiceye:
Symptoms of colonisation:
Elevate your voices people of colour! Share your stories. There is a strong unified purpose as non-Black people of colour to escalate the awareness and vibration of #BlackLivesMatter.
I am in solidarity with you as a Southeast Asian brown Malay Woman, in hopes that this recent event be a reminder for people of my community to raise our awareness and truly understand we too in Southeast Asia go through what everyone of colour go through - the same systems.
To my privileged friends (Privileged experience - If your race/class/ethnicity/gender/body never impacted the way the world identifies you), How can you use your privilege for good? I’ve observed how easy it is for privileged people to share what they see online but do ask yourselves if you’ve got any close friends of colour and know their stories? Often times when you are far from it, it's easy to speak up and voice your opinions.
I give credit to all of you who are making the effort to educate yourself and recognise how we are all experiencing it together and will stand together!
I will call out on racism, as should we all – in your family, friends, community, environment. We cannot allow ourselves to opt out of the work against racism! You might have been feeling an overwhelming flow of emotions lately and feeling that you’re not doing enough for the community. I was that person this past week and here I am, voicing and vowing as a reminder to myself to always shed light on the strength of melanin power, existence and richness of Southeast Asia, re-writing the stories of my ancestors to honour them as I thread through this life doing what I do & being. Ultimately, to hopefully pass on a deep consciousness and awareness to the succeeding generations to come and free them from Minda Terjajah (The Colonised Mind).
Profound. Commendable vow and movement. The colonized mind or Captive Mindset (Hussin Al Attas, 1979) are mindset created by white supremacist and orientalist who wish to learn more about our rich heritage in South East Asia by dictating a belief system that are predominantly a colonizers worldview and deductively enforced it into our Asian lifestyle, which are more superior in its natural habitat long before European civilization.
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