M'sian City Life #30: I Kissed The Bangladeshi Guy Working At The Mamak!
Meet Harpreet Singh.
He recently went to Restoran Maha Maju Kampar to give one of the workers there a kiss.
It all began with a simple, friendly challenge that started off as a prank
It is not unusual for Harpreet and his other two best buddies to hack into each other's Facebook accounts to post up silly statements or random challenges. To them, these are just funny and lighthearted ways of interaction that has only strengthened their friendship over the years.
Recently, the 24-year-old student got into his friend's Facebook account without him knowing and posted the following statement: "If I get 300 likes, I would take a picture with a Bangladeshi and upload it as a profile picture."
However, the friend found out about this within the next few minutes and he proceeded to delete the said Facebook post quickly. As a way of "repaying" Harpreet, the friend did the same thing to him — except that Harpreet didn't find out immediately as his smartphone ran out of battery.
"Call it a blessing in disguise as my phone ran out of battery as soon as we went out for dinner. I didn't get to delete the post. A few hours later, when I managed to log in to my Facebook account, the post had gotten more than 500 likes and counting!" said Harpreet.
Seeing that he has received an overwhelming amount of attention for that particular post, Harpreet decided to not disappoint his supporters
Many of his friends and acquaintances said that he should just carry out the challenge, while there were some that doubted him.
Without giving much thought to it, Harpreet decided that since his university life was coming to an end soon, this could be something interesting that could mark the end of his journey.
As strange as it sounds, that was when he went off to Restoran Maha Maju Kampar to find a Bangladeshi worker to kiss.
The next thing you know, Harpreet gave a man he just met a kiss. The Bangladeshi didn't seem to take any offence as he even offered to bring Harpreet around the kitchen and showed him around.
"He was willing to show us around the kitchen. He even gave me the opportunity to cook in the kitchen. You don't expect so much excitement from a guy that looks like he dreaded a routine boring, job which many won't go for," Harpreet said.
He was so excited for the occasion that he had even forgotten to get the Bangladeshi national's name. However, a friend identified the worker as 'Raja' and told Harpreet that he is a rather friendly man.
"I will visit the mamak stall again very soon and will find out more about the mamak guy," said Harpreet.
Prior to meeting Raja, Harpreet and his friends actually approached two other workers there but they were only concerned about whether or not Harpreet would order some drinks
Harpreet spotted another guy but he was off-duty and left shortly. So he ended up approaching Raja who was rather fierce-looking at first sight.
Initially, Raja looked confused when Harpreet explained what he was about to do and some background story of why this was happening. However, moments later, Raja offered a smile, and Harpreet immediately knew that he got the message across.
It could be that Raja was a man of few words or the language barrier stood between them, as he didn't talk much throughout the whole "episode". One thing's for sure though, Raja is a humble and nice person.
"He was the friendliest and warmest Bangladeshi guy I've ever known."
While Harpreet carried out this "challenge" for fun, he was being very intentional in challenging some of the misconceptions about Bangladeshis
When asked if people would think that his actions would be offensive to some, the biotechnology student said that people would usually think of this incident as strange, or they would fear for his safety rather than find this act as offensive.
"Maybe they presumed that Bangladeshis are rough in nature. Some people would even think that the Bangladeshi workers might attempt to verbally insult me or to a certain extent, physically reject me," he said.
However, the Bangladeshi nationals and those who work at the mamak stall have been always friendly to Harpreet and his friends.
"Often people, and generally students, have been swayed by the negative preconception that made them have a prejudice towards these people. Remove these misconceptions and clear your mind, and talk to them as how you would talk with your friends."
"You can't judge a book by its cover. Sometimes, the guy who looks fierce and violent may be the most caring one."
Living in the city ain’t a piece of cake but it could also be exciting and adventurous. How are you coping? How are you making the best out of things? Do you have a story or experience to share?
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Stay tuned for the next episode!