PETALING JAYA – Besides the good and bad habits, they brought their different cultures and beliefs into the marriage.
That was how carpenter Darrel Khar, 30, said of his union with Syeronella Poksiu, who is a Sabahan from the Dusun tribe.
“I am used to mingling with different races and cultures, but when I met my wife she was from a whole different culture that I did not encounter in the peninsula.
“I believe that made me really interested in her and also, of course her beauty, ” said Khar, 30.
Marrying someone from a different race was never an issue with him, he said, since he was of mixed Chinese and Indian parentage himself.
About his wife, who is a nurse, he said: “Having to learn to adapt to the Dusun Tatana culture was very different than most of the races which I used to mix with.
“The culture of the Dusun Tatana has a mixture of animism, Buddhism and Christianity.”
He added that they would deal with problems and differences as they come along.
Yesterday, the Department of Statistics Malaysia said that 9 per cent of the marriages last year involved those of different ethnic groups.
This represented a minor increase compared to 2017.
For Gary George, who is a training manager at a hotel, race was never an issue for him and his Sabahan wife, lecturer Jenna Desiree Robert, when they walked down the aisle.
They only focused on what they had in common, he said.
“We look at our cultural similarities rather than differences.
“I embraced Sabah’s culture while she embraced my Indian culture.
“We have more in common rather than differences.
“And we are both Catholics, ” he said.
Jenna said she viewed Gary, 33, as man who was “respectful and responsible”.
“It was quite easy to adapt because there was no language barrier and we liked many of the same things.
“Sometimes, if I do not understand something in the Indian culture, I would ask him about it and he would explain.
“But culturally, I think my husband has been finding it a challenge to love some of the more local Kadazandusun dishes and raw seafood but he’s always up for the challenge, ” she said.
Senior HR consultant Ashvin Raj, 49, said he fell in love with his wife, who is Chinese, at first sight.
“It was kind of natural for me as I am quite used to the Chinese culture.
“But I always think of myself as a Malaysian first, ” he said.
Ashvin said the only difference that was apparent with his wife, Amy Teoh, 45, was when she speaks in Mandarin with her family.