Monday, August 31, 2009

The face of a Malaysian

THe face of a Malaysian

We were standing in a fishing village in Kuantan, Pahang watching the sunrise as fisherman set out to sea.

We exchanged casual greetings and went back to doing our own things.

A lone figure was walking towards us in the distance. As he got closer, I realized he was a peculiar old malay man, wearing a suit perhaps to protect himself from the slight morning chill.

He greeted us and I smiled back. Grinning away he asked us where we were from, who we were, about the family, why I wasn’t married yet ;p, about dad and everything under the sun. He was a bit perplexed on why I wanted his photo. I chuckled to myself, thinking I wasn’t about to give away my obsession to shooting and chatting up older people. He walked us back to our car still chatting away.

Fridays incident that rocked the country wasn’t as shocking as everyone thinks. There will always be racist s and politically motivated people trying to steer trouble and disrespect others. But that in no way reflects the people or a religion.

Years ago when I stepped into the same primary school I had attended to send of my cousin, it had occurred to me that her generation was missing the integration that we had as youngsters. Trouble could brew in the near future.

Merdeka Happy 52nd Independance day Malaysia

This independence day, I’m reminded of the old man, he is the face of the many Malaysians I know. Just over the last weekend we were in a perhaps 99% Malay populated village and later a 90% populated Chinese village, both times we were greeted by some and cautiously looked at by some. And I think the cautious looks had nothing to do with my religion or skin colour.

It’s easier to dwell on the negativity than to look at the positive side of things. Mom used to tell us stories from 1969, stories which to me told how a community helped each other regardless of race in one of the most tragic moments this country has seen. On one side my mom’s family would cook in abundance for the bachelors who were stuck in curfew without food and they in return would purchase whatever possible to be cooked by the family. They knew some of the lives that were lost in those months yet in the worst of times they still lived in harmony helping each other survive.

Perhaps my vision is impaired but to me Malaysia will always be home and I will always be proud to be a Malaysian.

Happy 52nd Independence to all Malaysians.

Happy Merdeka Malaysia.

1 comment:

Terra Shield said...

Very nicely put... I had great friends of all different 'races' in primary school. Lost contact with them when I moved, but thanks to FB I found most of them again. And the best thing is, nothing has changed... we still reminisce the old times. Pity the kids these days, seriously...