Sharapova an Asian hero

Malaysia Kini, Malaysia
July 19 2004

Sharapova an Asian hero
Tony Law

The success of Maria Sharapova as a lesson for all youngsters who
work hard for their success has been nicely written in KS Paul’s
article. Allow me to add a different dimension to the story.

I declare Maria as an Asian hero, for my children and all youngsters
of Asia to emulate, not unlike Datuk Jimmy Choo, Datuk Michelle Yeoh,
Tan Sri P Ramlee, Andre Agassi (he is Armenian) and Tiger Woods (he
is Thai).

Maria hails from Russia, an Asian nation, just as Chow Yun Fatt and
Jackie Chan hail from another Asian nation, China. We Southeast and
East Asians seldom consider Russia as an Asian nation because many a
time we are guilty of seeing `Asian-ness’ from our own East Asian

This is not unlike the West (I mean the Britons) viewing Asia from
their own warped lenses. Russians are Asians because they are Asians.
In the olden days, Russia was always considered Asian, until former
president Leonid Brezhnev decided to be part of Europe.

Here are some Asian heroes our kids should do well to emulate, though
they are seldom seen as Asians:

Freddie Mercury (Firdun Bulsara), the late Indian-British pop star.

Edward W Said, the late Palestinian American academic and freedom
fighter for Palestine.

Sir Peter Ustinov, the late Russian British producer and actor.

Dr Harold Abrahams, Lithuanian (USSR) British Olympic 100m champion
who was the subject of the film Chariots of Fire.

Ismail Merchant, Iranian British film maker.

Tony Shalloub, Lebanese Arab-American actor famous for the TV series

Ralph Nader, Lebanese Arab-American consumer activist and third-party
presidential candidate.

Cherilyn Sarkassian (Cher), Armenian American film star and producer.

Sir Charles (Charlie) Chaplin, famous British producer, comedian and
actor. His grandmother was northern Indian.

Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold Doorsey), Indian British pop star.