Little Edin Alic was feeling under the weather when he came for a family portrait shoot. He had just flown in from Sydney earlier that week to visit his maternal grandparents in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. But you can’t tell from this picture, right? Bet you can’t guess his heritage either!
Well, Edin’s mum is Dorothy Wong, born & bred in Kota Kinabalu. She left home to do her Masters in Actuarial Science (first time I heard it, I thought it was “A Cruel Science”) in 2001 in Perth, Australia. Three years later, she moved to Sydney to do her PhD.
Dad Alen Alic was born in Bosnia. Some years later, he and his parents migrated to New South Wales, Australia. I hear it takes a long time to get from Kota Kinabalu to Bosnia (informed source said more than 30 hours) because the two cities are 5,168 kilometres apart. Involves changing planes several times, long car rides….
But Dorothy & Alen met in Sydney where they both worked and are working today. They fell in love & were married in a beautiful garden ceremony in Kota Kinabalu exactly three years ago this week. Edin came along soon. Now, everyone knows how kids change the dynamics of a marriage. And with several cultures involved here, it gets a little complicated.
But here’s the beautiful thing about little Edin’s world. His parents grew up, separated by cultures, seas, languages, politics … but they share one common belief, “As long as Edin has all the support to achieve as much as he aspires to be and has a fulfilling life surrounded with people who love him, we’re happy.”
“Bosnians are very family oriented, very much like Malaysian families. Our cultures and values aren’t too different,” she continued. Dorothy, Alen & Edin live in the quiet suburb of Bankstown in New South Wales, just so that they can be close to Alen’s parents.
Here’s the answer to Edin’s heritage – 100% Aussie, 50% Bosnian, 37.5% Malaysian Chinese & 12.5% Lotud. And 100% unconditionally loved by every member of his multinational family.
Edin’s mixed heritage come from (photo below, from left to right): David who’s a kungfu master; Rose who is one mean badminton player, representing Sabah in her youth; Ned, an accomplished fisherman & Radmila who bakes the most delish cakes (& she’s why one of Edin’s first words was “cake”). They are the reasons why Edin likes Bosnian meat & cheese pies and Chinese fried rice, they are why he can say “no” in Bosnian (sounds like “die”) and “love” in Malaysian (“sayang”).