Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A friend asked how I get ideas on blogging. Well, let's see, in our population of 25million, in West Malaysia alone there's 3 main groups of people, the Malays, Chinese and Indians - plus some minority of other races. Three different language, different religion, food, culture, tradition and customs. What about East Malaysia, the land of the Borneos? Both Sabah and Sarawak combined have more than 20 different group of ethnicity, AND I have never been there - hence my trip to Kuching this July. While we are all so different in many ways, we are also very much alike in our hearts. My children know no racial barriers, we celebrate almost every festivals as their cousins are also of mixed parentage. In short, we are just Malaysians. Everyone speaks the national language, Bahasa Malaysia and English almost fluently, and many their own mother tongue in Chinese or Indian (and in their respective dialects too). Life's at times not complete without our roti canai an favorite Indian breakfast or a dose of Nasi Lemak, a wonderful Malay coconut flavoured rice. OK, it's not a very healthy for the waistline, but that's the other most favourite past time here - eating.

Still on Kampong/village life, there something special about Kelantan - the northeastern state bordering Thailand. The state that fell into PAS, the opposition and try as the Govt might, will probably never win it back. My wonderful MIL stays in Besut, that's where the jetty to Pulau Perhentian is, and it's just 1/2 hour drive to Pasir Putih, or 20 minutes drive to Kelantan. Though Besut is in Trengganu, the people there are true Kelantanese no matter what. From the food, the culture, and most evident the dialect spoken and the moment you speak the local Bahasa Malaysia, they will immediately know you are not from their 'kampong/village', you are the orang luar/foreign. They are the gentlest of people, soft spoken and almost on a sing-song tone and did take me a long time to learn their dialect. The good part is, when you can speak like them, it makes it real easy when you want to bargain for something when buying. Kelantan too remind me of something I saw an absolutely long time ago, it reminded me of this:

I cant even remember when I last saw one as it was ages ago. The Wayang Kulit or shadow play, most well known in Kelantan, it's puppetry in traditional form with strong Javanese and Hindu influence. With urbanization, it's almost impossible to find one here. I remember the loud music, dim lights or probably kerosene lightings then, listening to the Tok Dalang - the master puppeteer, who controls the puppets movement, playing different roles with different voice over too behind a white veil. I had no idea what he was talking but just watching it was mesmerising.

...and in my previous post, I had a surprise visit from a good blogger friend, Dalilah aka Raden Galoh. She's a breast cancer survivor, owner of this blog, onebreastbouncing, with a picture of her chest after a mastectomy. While many people talk about ordinary people with extraordinary stories, I'd say she's an extraordinary person with an extraordinary story. So, Dalilah, here's wishing you fantastic health and thanks for inspiring me.