PETALING JAYA: A husband who hails from Malaysia, a wife from America, and their two adorable children: say hello to the Kumaar family!
Logesh, Rachel and their kids, Zaden and Kyren, are steadily gaining a fair share of fans who enjoy following their adventures as a multicultural family.
To date, the Kumaar Family have amassed over 550,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, over 600,000 subscribers on YouTube, and close to 200,000 fans on TikTok. It’s no surprise as their content is refreshingly honest and funny.
The couple, who reside in California, have been married for nine years. They met after Logesh left Malaysia in 2011 to pursue a postgraduate degree in the United States.
During their visit to Malaysia last month, FMT Lifestyle caught up with the Kumaars at Logesh’s childhood home in Klang, Selangor.
As a multicultural family, the couple candidly shared that there are high and low moments, although the former outweigh the latter.
“To be with another person that comes from a whole different background, every day is an adventure. I think we enjoy that. We like to embrace new cultures and differences,” said Logesh, 36.
The sentiment is echoed by 32-year-old Rachel, who has fond memories of introducing Logesh to funnel cake in America.
Meanwhile, on social media, their content on Rachel learning Malay words and enjoying local food have been a hit with many Malaysians.
As for the lows, Logesh said in reflection: “There are a lot of differences in the way we raise kids. And that’s something we talk a lot about. We find the middle ground on what’s best for our children and our family.”
He added that communicating, respecting each other, and having tolerance and an open mind are key.
Yet another difference – albeit a rather funny one – lies in language: despite the fact that they both speak English, Logesh is accustomed to British English, while Rachel speaks American!
“So, he would say something like, ‘Oh, I put this in the dustbin’ – and I wouldn’t know what he was saying because, in America, we call it a trash can!” Rachel said with a laugh.
Nevertheless, the blending of both their worlds has created a unique identity for their boys, five-year-old Zaden and three-year-old Kyren.
The couple try to instill a strong sense of both cultures in their young ones, and this includes teaching them Malay and even introducing them to Malaysian songs. “Rasa Sayang” has since become a favourite with the boys.
Turning to Zaden, Rachel said: “Even now, if I asked Zaden, ‘Hey, what are you? Are you American? Are you Malaysian? What are you?'”
“Both,” Zaden replied with a sweet smile.
Another thing they unanimously agree on? How good Klang food is! “I’ve been realising that the food in Klang is actually better than most of the Kuala Lumpur area,” Rachel – perhaps controversially – opined.
“Oh yeah!” Logesh agreed.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say that it’s better than Penang, because Penang is still like the food capital, but in the general Selangor area, Klang is the best,” she went on.
Chicken rice and bak kut teh are among her favourites, while Logesh pointed out that Melawis Char Kuey Teow in Klang is better than Penang’s! Oh boy…!
On a more serious note, he looks back fondly on his experience of growing up in Klang, saying it’s a place with a very strong sense of community.
“I’ve brought that with me wherever I’ve gone. For example, in the US, we always invite our friends over and feed them with good food. It’s not something Americans usually do, but I just do it,” he said.
For Merdeka, the couple usually gather with other Malaysians, while Logesh cooks local favourites such as nasi lemak and ayam rendang. They plan to do the same this year.
So, what does Merdeka Day mean for this couple? There is, perhaps, a similarity between their personal journey and Malaysia: different cultures coming together, the birth of a unique identity – and, more often than not, a common love for food!
“To me, Merdeka Day means unity. It means celebrating this beautiful country. It means coming together and being ‘Satu Malaysia’,” Rachel said.
“Like every other country, we all have our issues, challenges and differences,” Logesh added. “But on Merdeka Day, it’s the one day I see all that is forgotten and that we are one – one country, one community.
“We identify as one people. It’s beautiful. I think that’s amazing.”