50 posts to independence – no. 23

Having been tagged by Shannon Teoh via Le Paultan.org, I figure I’d better do this before my week is up, because:

1) It would get Paul off my back for not writing the post
2) Me break the chain and incur the wrath of the well-meaning bloggers who participated in this meme? Nooooo!!!

Heck, even the great Daft Oi followed through, so who the heck am I to stop the flow, so to speak? Me not worthy.

Having said that, one of the reasons I’ve procrastinated was because I honestly didn’t know what to write. Nizam Bashir started this meme and he vaguely mentioned something about ‘Malaysia… special… to me…’ It is quite a challenge, because I am of that age when I am no longer idealistic and dreamy about Malaysia and its workings (age does weird things to you), and I am yet of the age to really give a shit about the way things are going. I moan and bitch about dumb and dumber local news of course, but hey, that only makes me a Malaysian. Nothing special there, move along.

When I was little, I used to buy all the nonsense about Malaysia is great because she is a melting pot, blend of many cultures, colourful people, bla bla bla. Right. Now that I am older, I don’t know why that is so special anymore. For one, the world is getting smaller, everyone migrates here and there, and people are mixing all the time that we have so many culturally-confused kids resulted from the all the lovin’ mixin’. Second; I have never been to London or LA or [insert metropolitan here], but I do not need the plane ticket to know that other countries are as melting-potness as us, if not more. We are losing on this whole multi-cultural thing, kids. Need to find something else to sell our tourism.

Home is where the heart is. Since the majority of my loved ones are stuck in this country, it makes sense that I am stuck here as well. Sense of nationalism, pride, patriotism? Heck, I LOVE my country, but if I could, I would migrate to somewhere else. Maybe I could wash dishes somewhere in the middle of America, and over 15 years make so much money that I could set up a restaurant and retire a ridiculously rich businesswoman. That’s my Malaysian dream.

I could even pay for everyone in my family to participate in the MM2H programme twice over. Is that love or is that love?

Before someone bust my talentless ass for being a narcissistic, irrelevant, self-centred, nonsensical, waste-of-good-bandwidth wastrel (a blogging wastrel, mind you), I would like to say to you, cap Paul Tan’s first :D I was absolutely not kidding when I told him I had no idea what to write. I wanted to write about my grandparents, but he said Nizam did it first (obviously) so could I be a bit more kreatif and squeeze whatever grey matter I have left to elaborate on why Malaysia is so speshel to le Suanie? Hmmm…

So about my grandparents…

When I think of family values, I think of my parents. When I think of Malaysia and being Malaysian, I think of my grandparents. I don’t know why, but it’s just the way I function and for the sake of this post, I am going to stick to that. A few days ago, I was driving to work and trying to come up with a simple analogy for this post. Turns out there is none, so here goes:

My paternal grandparents lived right in the middle of town. If you are familiar with Batu Pahat, you would know where the famous Ah See wantan mee shop is located. Well my grandparents lived somewhere along the same row of shophouses. For a while, a younger Lim Kit Siang lived there too.

The British’s evil and very successful racial segregation of the country meant that my paternal folks were mostly exposed to the Chinese community. At least that was my impression when my family was living in the same townhouse. We did very Chinese things, ate very Chinese food, mixed with very Chinese people, celebrated very Chinese festivals.. you get the drift. I don’t recall us mixing with other races in town, except for the guy who sold newspapers by the street.

(And the old bank security guard who asked if he could touch me before I ran away.)

On the other hand, my maternal folks live in a village full of Chinese, Malays and some Indians. I didn’t talk to the Malays as much as I did when my family moved into our own home, but I noticed my grandparents communicating a lot with folks of all races.I distinctly remember my grandmother exchanging pleasantries with a round-face ‘makcik’ on our way to the village market. Every Hari Raya, my grandmother’s dining table would be laden with delicious ketupat and rendang, courtesy of the Malay neighbours. Of course we did many Chinese-y things as well, but there were some racial integration thing involved. Like eating lontong and roti canai for breakfast.

Later I found out that my maternal grandfather was once the ‘ketua kampung’. No wonder he knows so many people there, and so many people know him.

I am not sure if the stuff I’d written above has anything to do with anything, but I suppose I was trying to illustrate how I was exposed to people when I was a kid. Fully-clothed, thank you.

So…

My memories + special + I am Malaysian = reason why Malaysia is special to me! *bows*

I guess it is high time that I pass the baton to someone whom I know will definitely have more worthy things to write about. Xpyre, you are it.

comments

Comments

  1. er…

  2. foxtrotecho says:

    /me sets Suanie up teh bomb.

    But was there a spoon ?

    /Bomb has been planted.

    *beep*

  3. Hehehe. Errr… From me too.

  4. KY: Har?

    fox: Huh?

    anttyk: Hmm…

  5. Dear Suanie,

    Maybe at the end of the day, globalization or otherwise, what makes any nation especially significant to a person is the fact that it has left a number of imprints on that person’s life.

    It can be something as insignificant as coming across an old haunt for bubur kacang or something more significant like the place your mom or dad bought/did something that you really cherished. Its all down to memories and connection.

    Some would agree but then point out that surely that such imprints can be gained anywhere in the world. I beg to differ. Some things are just done differently in whichever place you are at. That is what makes New York, New York, London, London, Grik, Grik etc ad infinitum.

    Case in point? Where else in the world can you celebrate Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali in relatively equal measure? As a child, I enjoyed my ang pows, my ketupats and my muruku.

    Granted some things may have changed along the way but somehow the memories just got rosier at the same time. Not complaining though. :)

    Pardon the rather long comment though and thank you for your contribution.

  6. im reading this and i get to the food part im like, “I WANT SOME!! (what is it?) Whatever it is i have to try some!” :O
    Somebody email me some or something…………………………….

  7. any tengku dahlia photos? tv3 newscaster

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