I'm a mixture of a quite an array of oriental blood. Directly speaking, my mom was from Kelantan, and dad was born in Singapore. There were quite some rumours that my mom's side have a bit Siamese relation to it, but so far no recorded proof of that has ever been produced (as this rumour did arrive to me per my father, this "gossip" was hardly a surprise).
Then again, the Kelantanese have always been an interesting bunch, aren't they? Someone dear to me once said "Being in Kelantan was like stepping in another country,". That pretty much sums it up, in my opinion. They have their own version of laksa, and they stuff squid with sticky rice. And eat them with palm sugar syrup (not the laksam though, fools. Use some common sense). Odd to some, delicious to me. And they call it "Jajahan" when the rest of the country prefers the term "Daerah" The Kelantanese side of me has always been a humble bunch, not show-offy. I'm proud of this really, so I do try to speak the dialect, but this practice is strictly reserved to friends and friends only. Attempting this to members of the family will spark an eternity of mockery, something that I (nor anyone) could tolerate.
Now my father's side. Though he was born and raised in Singapore, my ancestors originate from the southern part of the island of Borneo. Banjarmasin, Kalimantan Selatan. Yes, you've guessed it. I'm also Banjarese. Very much unlike my maternal side, my father's side is, how do I put this gently, adventurous. Tales of great great grandfathers travelling to foreign lands, trying to strike it big somewhere, somehow. Their stories of migration and making it big on the tiny island of Singapore was even documented in a book:
Now why do I decide to bring this up all of a sudden?
2 things. First, I was kind of hooked by the BBC program "Who do You Think You Are?" where celebrities track their down their ancestries, and I was amazed by the whole concept of genealogy. I enjoyed the one about Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the most.
Another thing I discovered with this program is, it is such a pity that the Malayan archipelago was introduced to the system of handwriting and record-keeping SO late in the turn of the century. If not, imagine the stories we could have uncovered.
Second, I discovered this:
My late grandfather used to sing this to me and my sister before we went to bed, when I was really little. And it certainly brought back some great memories with it. For your info, "Ampar Ampar Pisang" is a banjarese folk song. Pity I can't understand much of it though.
So if one was to ask me where do I come from, I can't really answer that now can I?
(Footnote: "Gedung Kuning"'s official website: http://www.gedungkuning.com/index.htm)