Half-caste - Malaysia


Half-caste in Malaysia referred to Eurasians and other people of mixed descents. They were also commonly referred to as hybrids, and in certain sociological literature the term hybridity is common.

With Malaysia experiencing a wave of immigrations from China, the Middle East, India, and southeast Asia, and a wave of different colonial powers (Portuguese, Dutch, English), many other terms have been used for half-castes. Some of these include cap-ceng, half-breed, mesticos. These terms are considered pejorative.

Half-castes of Malaya and other British colonies in Asia have been part of non-fiction and fictional works. Brigitte Glaser notes that the half-caste characters in literary works of the 18th through 20th century were predominantly structured with prejudice, as degenerate, low, inferior, deviant or barbaric. Ashcroft in his review considers the literary work structure as consistent with morals and values of colonial era where the colonial powers considered people from different ethnic groups as unequal by birth in their abilities, character and potential, where laws were enacted that made sexual relations and marriage between ethnic groups as illegal.

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