Yes Malay and Cantonese can't be mistaken. They're too different. But Malays in my view are "deep Southeast Asians" while the typical Southeast Asians are Viet, Thai, Lao, Burmese and some non-mixed Filipinos. Northeast Asians are Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Mongolian. I guess Chinese to Mongolian would be like Viet to Malay. One is "far south" or "far north" and the other one is the more typical.
Indeed, geographically it's true that Malays should be called "Far Southeast" Asians instead of simply "Southeast Asian" if "Asia" means the continent proper.
But if we are to list according to the countries... maybe we should compare whether Malaysia or Vietnam has more population.
Note, though, that the majority of Mongolian are still easily confusable with Chinese (by Chinese themselves).
As for Vietnamese, some "non-ignorable minority" is like "Malay of fair skin" but then I can't even be sure if they are Kinh.
Yet from my experience I feel that even Cantonese look more "Southeast Asian" than average Viet. average Viet looks more like larger-eyed people from Taiwan - those who are probably aborigin-mixed.
Indeed some Cantonese are even more "Southeast-Asian-like" than average Viet, though I'm not sure if it makes the majority or simply a "non-ignorable minority".
Many Viets are also at least as "Southeast-Asian-like" as those Cantonese people I described, though.
If so then finding out what pure TK are supposed to look like is really fruitless since everyone is mixed.
Indeed, but those in mountain areas in their original homelands probably has less mixture.
Lao's "ethnic Lao" is considered Lao Loum, btw, meaning "Lao of lowlands".
anyhow, here's a picture of me and a Thai lady who greeted us as we stepped down the airplane at Bangkok airport. It's from my trip to Thailand 4 years ago. Majority of Thai looked similar to her.
I don't know if you can call it "majority" as I've never been there myself. But if it is true, it's not a surprising thing as the area was dominated by Mon-Khmer-speaking people before the Thais came, and the Dais may have made the locals change their language.
Also, mixtures with Southern Indian can create that look as well.
The ones that I found a lot in Chiang Mai looks like the 'fair skinned boy in the photo' instead. I believe these are the Tai-kadai people. I wouldn't call him 'south east asian'.
I hardly would call them 'south east asian' unless you're saying Tibetans are also South East Asian.)
But then, there's a problem with this view. If the same line of thought is followed, the name "American" becomes "not very appropriate" for the majority of US and Canadian Citizens as they should be "European" while calling the natives as "American". (note that the time scale for the presence of Tai-Kadai in 'Southeast Asia' should be same or even longer than them)
Edited by qrasy, 23 February 2010 - 05:06 AM.