Typical Malaysian Family Conversations.

The dining table is a place where you share your daily with your family members, discuss politics, talk about the future, joke about one another, making sure good communication but not miscommunication is fostered between everyone in the family in order to build a better family as a whole. However, our culture is demolished by our parents and gadgets.

Those who used gadgets on the dining table are helpless, there is nothing I can comment about there. But, the pressing issues that are commonly talked at the dining table are almost laugable or overly-caring, whichever way you put them, it is your opinion. Before resuming, I need to clarify that I am specifying the ‘Chinese Malaysians’ who speak Chinese heavily daily, not the general Malaysian.


“Boy ah, you finished your homework already ah?”

“Aiyo Ma, everyday ask the same question, even eat also don’t want to let me go.”

“Why you so rude ah? I just ask you a simple question, you answer me like this…”

The rant of the mother will continue one way or another until the child cuts in, apologises and replies with a reasonable answer- yes or no. Either way, the mother will continue to demoralise their child- in their words is over-saturation of care, until the food arrives. The father will sit aside reading something or spacing out, doing nothing to get involved in the conversation.


“Girl ah, your result so bad already, still want to play phone ah?”

“Ma, the exams are getting harder and harder…” the child will keep finding excuses.

“Don’t make me keep the stupid phone ah?” the threat imposed by the parent.

“It’s not my fault also.”

The worse part is coming, “You see your cousin.” Comparison. A deep sigh from the child’s kindred soul. The mum will start off first, the father will add salt to the injury, the child will be left defenseless.


“Boy ah, how is that friend Ah Kau doing ah? Does he still bother you?” the parent is addressing the problem that the child is having in school. It is very common that the parent does not know how to handle their child’s situation rationally. The parent often fails at the part of ‘listening and understanding’.

That is why many children chose to play with their phones on the dining table and keep their pressing issues to themselves. The parent will respond- “After I go school and ask the teacher.” or “Don’t friend that guy lah.” or some response that will either embarrass the child or teaching the child to avoid the problem, not facing it directly.


Love is a topic that is often circumvented at all cost because (at least for my family) they do not encourage love or relationships. The parent would be furious if they found out their child is in a relationship or having a crush on someone, because we are their children. Their rationale is that school is a ‘holy’ place for learning not for us to have relationships, I totally agree with that statement, no sarcasm or whatsoever.

Nonetheless, do not tell me that you never felt ‘something’ when you are in school. Those vibrations in hormones are inevitable. Why hide away from it when you can teach your child how to face it? Think about it. Educate them rather than having a dictatorship over them which will in turn promote honesty and transparency in the family.


Hopes and dreams are laughed at the dining table when the child talks about them. The parent with the entire family will ridicule that little child’s idea or else they will shut down that idea as soon as possible.

I understand that they are skeptical, but we are your children, at least give us some support by not demeaning us.


The dining table is a not-so-great place for me (in my opinion) because the above mentioned topics and non-topics are rather ‘shallow’. However, I am positive that many families are changing with time, more openly talked topics are uncovered at the dining table.

What are the topics that you often talk at the dining table? Drop them down at the comments below. We would like to see your response. Thank you so much. 🙂

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Hope. Joy. Feelings cloaked as words.

9 thoughts on “Typical Malaysian Family Conversations.

  1. Interesting post. And quite true. My family is open. At my dinner table, topics shift from one thing to the other depending upon any recent event or debate, e.g current political situation, a new technology, sports, a complex puzzle, religion, etc. Or sometimes just everyone telling how their day went. There used to be alot if comparisons made by parents with others, which would hurt alot. It still remains but has been reduced. Arguments can sometimes start when we don’t agree on something or don’t want to listen to the other person. But there is an internal feeling of comfort and joy when the family eats together

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