A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or not the sun is shining outside. –A.A. Milne
Let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I grew up in multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious state of Penang in Malaysia. I recall how my parents integrated well within the community they were in; people in the neighbourhood and at work. Everyone got on well and lived in harmony with one another despite their different backgrounds. We rejoice in each other’s celebrations. My own best friend at primary school was a lovely girl who had an Indian father and a Chinese mother, they were of the Christian faith. Since my father was Indian Muslim (known as Mamak in Malaysia) and my mother a very fair Malay woman, I am also of a mixed heritage just like my best friend. People even thought we were sisters, we looked very similar and we were very close. Altogether I had a very happy childhood indeed.
Life in England is rather different though. Many Muslims here tend to keep to themselves, perhaps because they are of the minority, unlike in Malaysia where Muslims are the majority population. The image of Islam in the West is also tarnished, more so today than ever, as a result of radical Islamic groups/individuals who go around committing heinous acts under the name of Islam. It makes me really sad. My hubby feels the same way. He grew up in north England, the English people there were very kind to the Asian community who moved there in the 60s, his grandparents included. He did encounter some minor racial abuse at school amongst his peers, but I suppose that can happen anywhere on the globe. There are mean people everywhere!
These days my hubby joins the local inter-faith group, where he has regular get-together with people of other faiths. I hope to join them soon, I think it’s important to represent the correct version of Islam to the community around us. We are not scholars or preachers, just ordinary Muslims who believe in being kind, tolerant, loving and helpful towards others, regardless of racial and religious backgrounds. This is what our true religion promotes, contrary to what some sick Muslims go around portraying. I still remember my local milkman when we first moved to our current city. He was in his 70s, a perfect English gentleman who was so kind and loving. He would give chocolates and toys to my young children every time he came to collect his payment on Fridays. He would always ask how we were, talked about the weather, gave me some general advice or another. We really liked him a lot. I was sad to hear of his passing last November, he was 82.
Another wonderful person I would like to mention is my previous neighbour, we used to live in another area not too far from where we are now. She was a lively Jamaican lady who’s raised 16 children. She was in her late 70s at that time, she would always greet us happily and never failed to give money to my children every Christmas. She also passed away a few years ago, surrounded by several of her children. Uncle Lionel’s (my next door neighbour) recent death has made me realise how fortunate I’ve been to have known all these amazing people from the older generation. They all remind me of the golden host of daffodils that appear around this time of the year; so bright, lively, bringing cheer and joy to those around them. I do hope that their admirable character will rub off on me as I grow older, Inshallah.
I will never forget them, that is for certain. This includes my own precious father/grandparents/relatives who have passed on. And I cherish the golden agers I know who are still in my life. I end this post with a happy note, my beloved mom shall turn 72 tomorrow, Inshallah. She’s one of the strongest Malay woman I’ve ever known, certainly the loveliest. I am honoured to be her eldest daughter. Happy Birthday Mama, may God bless you for ever more with everything good. May we meet again soon, God Willing. I love you lots with all my heart. You are definitely one of my golden daffodils, the most significant one in my life.❤