Posted in Poems

My lessons began in high school


Majority has the most power.
In school it was the Chinese.
In church it was the Indians.
In government it was the Malays.

High school was a rite of passage.
Minorities get left behind, if silent.
Against all odds, to raise their voice.
To be heard over the drowning noise.

All the girls were Chinese.
A sprinkle of Indian boys.
Amidst all the Chinese boys.
Then me, a single Eurasian.

The Indians had their group.
Did they feel any pressure?
I, a group of one. Singular.
Of a different race and religion.

Usually outside the circle.
But don’t misread me.
We talked, we laughed.
Just… to much effort for them.

Did they try to include me?
Their language dominated.
They kept forgetting I was there.
And revert to speaking Chinese.

It wasn’t on purpose.
Unintentionally, I was left out.
But never deliberately.
I was one among hundreds.

I adapted. I blended in.
I observed. I concluded.
I am Eurasian. Mixed.
No dominance. Equal parts.

My friends talked in Chinese.
Forgetting me. Not on purpose.
If the majority was Malay or Indian,
they will talk in their languages.

Majority continues to dominate.
I’m a minority. A tiny speck.
It is easy to forget I exist.
My lessons began in high school.

By C.E. Pereira