Kwao Lao or rambutan?!


‘Dad! Why do Asian call white people as Kwao Lao or rambutan? What does Kwao Lao mean?’ I asked. Dad replied ‘Kwao Lao in Chinese means old ghost. White people live in countries where there is not much sunlight. Most of time they live in darkness particularly during winter time. Their skin colour is very fair, hair appears gold and eyes colour is blue. That is the reason why we call them Kwao Lao.

I asked further ‘Why do they call white people as rambutan?’ (In Malay, rambutan is a tropical fruit in Asia). Dad replied ‘Did you notice their skin colour turn red easily? Original skin colour is white but turn red when doing exercise. The outer layer of rambutan is red in colour and the fruit colour is white. Do you understand the logic behind this description? ‘Okay, dad! I got it now.’ I replied.

Written by:
Lilian Yong


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