A Chinese Malay man is making headlines for speaking Tamil during his wedding.
Heartwarming gesture: TikTok user Danial Leong posted a short clip of the then-groom attempting to say a sweet message in front of guests during his wedding held last year in August.
The 24-second video shows him standing beside his bride, Muna, who is dressed in traditional Indian clothing. With a microphone in hand, Leong reads his message from behind a podium, starting in Tamil before translating his words.
“I will take care of Muna and also treat Azhar [Muna’s brother] like a brother of mine,” he tells his guests in English.
Why he did it: Leong, who is currently based in Singapore, told AsiaOne that since his wife’s parents and grandmother “are from India and hence, mostly Tamil-speaking, I felt that it would be a nice gesture to speak in Tamil, especially during our wedding.”
Leong said he used Google Translate to write six lines of text in Tamil and spent several hours practicing his short speech. He also asked Muna for help with his pronunciation. However, after she failed to understand most of what he said, he decided to say a single line in Tamil to “keep it simple.”
“As my family, colleagues and friends were all present, I was quite nervous as I didn’t want to butcher the words and give them a whole other meaning,” he shared. “Or even worse, be accused of racism by sounding like I was making fun of the language.”
“I paced myself [during the speech] and when I was reaching the Tamil section, I slowed down even more to make sure that I pronounced them as best as I could without showing any signs of nervousness,” he continued. “In [the] spur of the moment, as I could sense that no one understood me, I translated the Tamil words into English and it was nice that everyone had a good laugh.”
“HMU [Hit me up] if you’re looking for Tamil classes. I can help you…fail,” Leong jokingly wrote in his post’s caption.
Social media reacts: Several TikTok users were touched by the effort Leong put into making his wedding speech special.
“It’s worth it,” one user wrote, while another commented, “So cuteeeeee.”
“Congratulations, love conquers all including language,” another jokingly said.