Standing Out, Fitting In, Rising Above

loading (From left) Fatin Amilin, Yuvindra Durairaj and Alexander Fernandez

Fatin Amilin, 24, is more comfortable eating with a pair of chopsticks. She celebrates both Chinese New Year and Hari Raya, and enjoys eating Chinese delicacies made by her maternal grandmother, who is Chinese – albeit made using chicken stuffing.

She is a Kelantanese Malay-Chinese who decided to come to Penang, where she stayed with her grandmother, to pursue her tertiary education in a private college. At varsity, she realised that she was the only one wearing a headscarf in class, but despite the cultural and religious differences, Fatin’s classmates were largely very supportive of her.

Not all were though. Fatin also recalls being gawked at when she visited coffee shops with her grandmother; some hawkers even refused to serve her food out of fear of repercussions.


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