YOU could call her masala but Shatricia Nair prefers to call herself Chindian (as people of Indian-Chinese descent sometimes get tagged).
"I don't think that word is offensive. I am fine with it. That's who I am," she said.
"I celebrate both Deepavali and Chinese New Year," she added proudly. The 19-year-old Jurong Junior College arts student was the first runner- up at The New Paper New Face contest.
She won $5,000 in prize money. Shatricia is one of the many faces that make up the local Indian community - one that straddles two cultures.
|New Face contestant Revathhi says inter-racial couples are a non-issue.
The only child of Mr Sonny Nair, 58, a manager with a food services company, and housewife Daylia Yong, 53, is sitting for her A-level examinations (equivalent to 12th standard) in the next few weeks. She studies Chinese literature and naturally speaks Mandarin fluently.
However, as English is the language spoken in their home, she has not picked up Malayalam, her father's mother tongue.
She does confesses that when she was younger, her dual heritage made her feel like an outsider "I went to a secondary school, which was largely Chinese speaking and I was treated like an outsider. Everyone treated me differently, even though I could speak Mandarin.
"Now I am very proud of the fact that I am unique," she said. People like Shatricia are part of a growing trend in Singapore.
In March this year, The Straits Times reported that the number of Singaporeans marrying outside their race has been steadily rising over the last 10 years.
In 2007, 16.4 per cent of about 24,000 marriages had a bride or groom from a different ethnic group, compared to 8.9 per cent a decade ago.
Experts said that the trend was due to several factors like Singapore's increasingly cosmopolitan society.
Not only is there greater interaction among the races nowadays, marriages are also more based on individual choice with parents and relatives having less say over their children's pick of life partners.
Shatricia's father, Mr Nair, said that when he and his wife got married 29 years ago, there were objections from Madam Yong's family.
"After we got married, they accepted me and I got along well with them," he said.
Mr M. Govinda Raju, a 58-year-old retired businessman felt that such inter-racial mingling was bound to happen in Singapore.
"We live in a multi-racial society. What is more important is that the person they marry has a good heart and values," he said.
Another Indian New Face contestant, M. Revathhi, agreed.
The 19-year-old media studies student at Nanyang Polytechnic told tabla! that inter-racial couples are a non-issue particularly among her generation.
"Many of my Indian girlfriends date outside their race. If it was 10 years ago, I can imagine it would have been a problem," she said.
The part-time model and television host believes if there is any lingering conservatism about the issue, it could largely be among the older crowd.
But she added: "With the way Singapore is evolving, that mindset will change."