Monday, November 13, 2006

What matters...

I read somewhere that currently there’s some discussion about the terms Bangsa Malaysia and Rakyat Malaysia.

To my rusty and under-utilised brain, there’s not much of a difference. I’m sure some people have a cause for concern about which term is best used in the country but I really do think it is not a big deal.

What matters is that we are Malaysians.

Do you know how lucky we are to be Malaysians? I am in a better place to realise this, I feel, because I am not currently staying in the country and therefore has better means to compare and really understand the matter. For my story below, I will try my best to write in our national language…

OK, itu saja je tipu kat atas tu…sebenarnya ni nak cerita sikit. Kali ni kena tulis dalam bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu or whatever our fickle government has decided for us to call this national language of ours.

Darn…terkeluar jugak... Okay, try again..

Masa bulan puasa hari tu, saya telah berkenalan (why does this sound so formal?) dengan seorang wanita yang berasal dari negara yang bermula dengan huruf P, yang terletak di sebelah negara yang bermula dengan huruf I (YE, saya telah TERberi dia alamat laman web ini (untuk tengok resipi saya) oleh itu saya terpaksa tulis ini dalam Bahasa Malaysia sebab takut dia baca…) Boleh teka kan negara mana?

Alah, yang ada ujian nuklear tu lah…

Okay, kakak ni baik jugak umur dia tiga puluh dua tahun, masa mula2 kenal, dia ingatkan saya lebih kurang umur 23 tahun (sukanya hatiku), terkejut dia apabila dapat tahu saya hanya 2 tahun lebih muda darinya. (God this sounds like those awful letters in Pancaindera which I always read with interest have always tried to avoid reading...)

Saya mula berkawan dengannya, tukar-tukar juadah berbuka puasa, dan semasa Hari Raya, saya telah menjemput dia dan keluarga datang ke rumah saya sebab saya kesian jugak kat dia – katanya dia tak ramai sangat kawan kat sini sebab orang2 P yang dah jadi warga British kat sini semua tak sama bahasa dengan dia (loghat lain katanya) dan lagi pun dia mengadu orang P kat sini kebanyakkannya tak pelajaran tinggi macam dia, oleh itu, otak ada sempit sikit…(saya rasa mungkin saya setuju jugak kot…) Dia memang hebat kot sebab dia ada masters – sama seperti kebanyakan orang negara P yang tinggal di ibu kota negara itu.

Bila dia dan keluarga datang pada Hari Raya kedua, kami sambut dengan cara biasa kami – dengan budaya Melayu kami. Buat air sirap, teh, hidang makanan (wantan mi, nasi himpit, rendang, kuah kacang dan kuih muih) dan jemput mereka makan. Tapi tiba-tiba saya kena 'tegur' dengan nada yang agak serius, katanya…(lebih kurang seperti ini:) Macam mana ni? Awak nak suruh kami minum air teh ke, nak suruh kami makan? Mana boleh minum air teh dengan makan makanan macam ni?

Saya terkedu sekejap, begitu juga suami saya…

Saya pun cakap, kat negara kami, takde masalah makan sambil minum air teh - air sirap limau pun saya ada buat dalam jug, kalau awak nak..Dia kata teh tak boleh ‘masuk’ dengan makanan savoury sebab teh tu kan manis….

Hmm...

Betapa ‘flexible’ nya orang Malaysia..saya rasa ini mungkin sebab kita ni berbagai bangsa dan berbagai adat, jadi apa saja boleh 'jalan' kat negara kita…

Selepas itu, pasal wantan mi pulak…saya terangkan, mi ni makan dengan wantan, dengan sayur dan sup dia…kalau adab orang melayu, kita sebagai tetamu mesti jamah sikit hidangan tuan rumah sebab telah terhidang dan lagipun hari raya (penat saya masak hanya untuk dia yang datang hari raya kedua). Tapi dia cakap dia taknak makan sebab dah kenyang…

La…………………

Tapi nasib baik dia ambik sikit untuk anak dia yang hanya makan satu suap aje. Lepas tu, dia nak rasa sikit rendang, dia pun ambik lah sikit…dia rasa..pssss ‘Pedas!’ katanya, ‘tak tahan! Awak tak marah ye kalau saya tak habiskan ini?’

OK (sigh)……nak buat macam mana.

Selepas itu, suami dia yang dah habis minum tehnya nak rasa makanan kami, dia tanya kepada kawan saya, sama ada ok makanan saya untuk dimakan sebab dia batuk-batuk.

Saya dan suami cepat-cepat cakap, OK..sebab tak pedas wantan mi. Sup dia panas-panas ni, makanlah…

Tapi kawan saya tu cakap dengan suaminya…TAK, tak. Bukan sup…macam sos makan dengan mi…

Huh? Pandai-pandai pulak dia. Makanan kita, kita tahu lah apa bendanya..lagi pun tak nampak ke sup tu cair and banyak, takkan sos pulak namanya…

*Sigh*

Lepas tu suami dia pun makan. Tapi dia tak usik pun mi dan wantan tu – hanya minum supnya saja!

Sabar je lah...

Now, look at us Malaysians, we are multiracial. Because of that, our palate is diverse. We are open to Malay, Indian, Chinese, Arab, Western, Japanese and Korean food. And we are more open in many other ways as well and can easily tolerate other people’s culture and beliefs too.

We are very liberated in that sense compared to many other people.

We are not always adamant that we are right (tengok kisah sup).

We can blend in almost anywhere because we are used to a variety of races, culture and languages.

Perempuan tu memang baik. Kami pun ada beraya ke rumahnya selepas itu dan kami dilayan dengan baik. Then again, we are very open minded people and our level of tolerance to anything different is pretty high, I think. Terer betul orang Malaysia. Memang terer. Doesn’t matter that we are a bangsa or rakyat. The most important thing is, I think, we are united in all that matters.

To me, as trivial as it sounds, food and culture matter very much.

12 comments:

Kuzco said...

Halo Kak Ibah!

Akhirnya terkeluar juga cerita ni :)

halwafy said...

Hehehe..

Lama jugak pikir nak tulis camna..in the end decided to tulis in bahasa je lah...

Bila nak update your blog?

funny buns said...

elo babes. i think leh gak kalau tulih in english tapi formulate it positively :)

Ayu said...

Memang orang Malaysia banyak kelebihan dalam inter-cultural relationship ni.

Tapi jangan tak tau, masih ramai lagi orang Melayu, Cina dan India yang taksub dgn bangsa sendiri dan tak reti menghargai perbezaan bangsa yang wujud dalam Malaysia.

Sebabnya mereka ni tak reti berkawan dgn bangsa lain. Ada yang tak mau berkawan pun dgn bangsa yang lain drp bangsa sendiri.

Kalau dah tak berkawan mesti la tak tau pantang larang kaum lain, tak sensitif tentang agama dan adat bangsa lain.

Macam tetamu you dari P tu. Rude and ignorant.Diorg jer betul. Kalau dia buat camtu kat Msia, kena pulau la jawabnya.

halwafy said...

funny buns: Mmg boleh tapi taknak risk it...takut orang terasa...:) And I didn't want to do that because she really is a nice lady.

Ayu: Yeah...mula2 tu bengang jugak tapi later on nampak the positive side la..and yes, bukan semua orang Malaysia tu bagus, but I still think the worst of us are more flexible daripada orang2 ni because we live in a multiracial society...

dillazag said...

Ibah, I rasa nak lesing je dia tu... heh heh heh

halwafy said...

dilla,

My sentiments exactly at the time. In fact, I memang rasa macam nak halau ddepa semua keluar rumah je..but sabar, sabar..

cp1 said...

kelakar baca your story but on the other hand im thankful to be born as a malaysian..like the slogan Malaysia Boleh heheheh

mami-oh-mummy said...

certainly setuju with our Malaysian flexibility...yes and setuju jugak yg masih ada se'handful' yang tak flexible...and setuju jugak on the whole kite still flexible than at least most of other people...and the room for rent tuh..looks very cozy...kalau ada sedara mare nak hinggap nanti i'll contact you...how much per nite?

jujuqtpie said...

Have to agree with Ayu, and mami oh that yeah, ada a handful yang tak seflexible yg kita nak. But dalam dunia nie, biasalaa kalau ada yg baguih, ada gak yang tak baguih. See Halwafy, see what you started? This blog has really gotten us to be a bangsa or rakyat or whatever malaysia. Just lookie at our language.
Cp1, ur comment buat I teringat sth my student once answered. We were talking about the slogan Malaysia Boleh and then I asked, "So, Malaysia boleh?" Si loyar buruk nie jawab, "Bolehlaaahhh". I found it funny because in some ways it is true, some Malaysians are easily satisfied with something that is just 'Bolehlaaa'. Just look at Akademi Fantasia and Malaysian Idol, for example. Fans being fans based their judgement on looks or personality etc, even though those they voted out could sing better than those who were still in.
However, I do feel lucky that I am Malaysian and I do agree that we have a high threshold for tolerance and we accept and even adapt many things from different cultures. I mean, even Chinese weddings nowadays, ada whatchamacallit, those uhm macam bunga telur or souvenir stuff that guests take home with them. And we also have Malays wearing veils when they get married. And pinatas for birthdays! We celebrate every celebration and festival. There are so many public holidays that it's a wonder that work gets done. There is really no place like home...and the food! Mmmmm....
Halwafy, you must really miss home now, how often do you come back?

halwafy said...

mami-oh-mummy: rent for short term let lebih kurang like Msia Hall (+/-£15 per person per night)...but the longer you stay, the cheaper it is insh ;)

cp1 & jujuqtpie: 'Malaysia Boleh' indeed..(I say that not without some sarcasm,mind..)

jujuqtpie: I do miss Malaysia very, very much but my husband and I, we have made a pact to not go back at least until his current contract ends plus we er...dont really have the money to go home just yet..so sad..

Afif said...

Good point beb!