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We often hear others referring to their spouses as their best friends and having been married for 15 years,  I can tell without hesitation that she is indeed my best friend. Not only that, she is my best work partner and we have been through thick and thin for a good part of our lives.

My wife and I were introduced by friends and hit it off right away as we shared many common interests and view of the world. There is a perception that interracial relationships are harder to manage due to cultural differences but I have experienced none of that.

In fact, both of our parents were very open minded and did not have any issues with our love. The only thing my mother insisted was that we must follow only one religion and my wife converted to Catholicism. There were some adjustments on her part in the new religion but nothing truly major.

Truth be told, growing up as Malaysians in the same city, we actually shared many similar cultural values which werenot that different in how we handled things in our daily lives. We watched the same shows, ate the same food and believed in the same dreams.

Furthermore, living in this cultural melting pot, we had a chance to experience the colors of the different cultures. Prior to meeting my wife, I have had many experiences with the celebrations as it was almost impossible to ignore the celebratory mood across town.

Being married adds a whole different layer of nuance and meanings to the celebration beyond the good food and decorated street, I got to know the festivities behind the scene and that has definitely broadened my understanding of the richness of the Chinese culture.

I dare say that I am quite the veteran of Chinese New Year now. To have everyone under one roof at the same time is not easy in the fast pace environment of today and the festivities provided the perfect backdrop. My relationship with my in-laws is cordial and Chinese New Year is the perfect time to catch up with the family.

In many ways, I am truly a blessed man. Our three children are from my wife’s previous marriage and they love me as their own father. I might be of a different color from my wife and our children, but nothing will get in the way of us being family.

As we edge closer to the next phase of our lives, I am ever grateful to have my wife with me every step of the way. I look forward to having her as my retirement partner and we plan to explore life after that together.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what love is about?

Love binds us all and makes everything possible. It knows no color or creed and transcends whatever differences we think we might have to make us whole.

My family is the best of me and I would not wish for anything different in life.

Lastly, August and September are the months we celebrate being Malaysians and with Merdeka day just over I am penning my thoughts and I can’t help but think of what we have achieved as a nation and as people.

We might have different skin colors, speak different dialects, celebrate different festivals, and hold different faith.But we are all together in this as a family and I hope for peace and prosperity for every Malaysian.

Oliver
Oliver