Tag Archives: culture

my children’s eid

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Greetings! We are entering the last 10 days of Ramadan tomorrow, time sure does fly! I am getting busier by the day, after 30 days of fasting in Ramadan we shall be celebrating Eidul Fitri. I shall be occupied with all sorts of preparations to welcome this auspicious day. At the same time I also need to focus on these last 10 days of Ramadan. I hope to make the most of this blessed month by improving myself as much as possible, I know I have a long way to go. Therefore I shall take this opportunity to wish everyone a fruitful last 10 days of Ramadan and a wonderful Eid afterwards (either on 17th or 18th July, depending on the moon sighting). Please forgive me for my wrong doings, I know I have many. And thank you so much for reading my blog, it means a lot to me. I am just a simple ordinary person who loves peace, I feel deeply saddened by the atrocities of the world. But I go by this quote by Professor Tariq Ramadan, “Muslims must speak out and explain who they are, what they believe in, what they stand for, what is the meaning of their life. They must have the courage to denounce what is said and done by certain Muslims in the name of their religion.” Spread peace and love always, not hatred. Anyway, I wanted to make this post extra special, so I have compiled pictures of my 4 children during previous Eids. You can see how they’ve grown each year! They were dressed in Malay/Indian outfits mainly, they are of mixed heritage Malay-Gujerati after all. Why not embrace the diversity of the mixed cultures? Anyway, I cannot chatter on like usual, must dash unfortunately. Please remember my family and I in your prayers! I have included a children’s Eid song from my homeland Malaysia at the end, the video clip portrays the typical festive Eid celebration back home. Enjoy!

Selamat Hari Raya/Eid Mubarak to everyone! ❤❤❤

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hari raya

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We celebrated Hari Raya (Eid Day in my mother tongue) today, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), Allahu Akbar (God is Great)! I feel a tinge of sadness in waving Ramadan (month of fasting) goodbye. I remember complaining of how long the fast was this year, 19 hours! But I miss it now, we’ve all got used to the Ramadan routine. As trying as it was, it brought us peace and strengthened our ties amongst fellow Muslims. Our Eid celebration today was simple but memorable. After Eid prayers in the early morning, we wished each other Eid Mubarak. We greeted our neighbours too by exchanging Eid cookies and chocolates. We phoned our families and relatives and wished friends both near and far. I prepared the usual lamb biryani dish for my family, feels a bit odd to eat in day time again after a month’s fast!

Our children watched their favourite movies and played games, all dressed in their new Eid clothes. Unfortunately their close friends are away this year as it’s currently the summer holidays. Hopefully we will meet up with several others over the next few days. It’s always a quiet affair on the first day here in England unless you have your extended families close by. My mom was very emotional when we chatted today, she misses me badly on this auspicious day. My big daughter is currently a replica of me between the ages of 11-14, brings back memories of my growing up years for my mom. Makes me feel truly guilty for being so far away! I chose to be with my husband in the UK, had I thought of how much my parents’ hearts would break over the years by living thousands of miles away, would I still have married him? Yes, I would have, for I knew he was the one for me!

My only consolation is that my parents needn’t worry about me, even today my mom mentioned how grateful and happy she is to have a son-in-law who treasures her eldest daughter like a precious gem. I’m so sorry mom for upsetting you, by being 6,500 miles away from you! But you are constantly in my heart, mind and prayers. How I wish things were different, that we were geographically closer. But this is our fate, we have to accept it. Not everything in life goes our way all the time. We must keep focusing on the blessings, not our misfortunes. Always thank God for the good things in life, which can be taken away as easily as it comes at any moment. Alhamdulillah for this special blessed day, thank you God for everything you’ve given us. Eid Mubarak to all, wishing you peace and blessings today and always…

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Eid with my mom when my children were younger (my big girl and my second daughter)

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my son seeking forgiveness from his grandma on Eid Day

our eid memories in my homeland

our eid memories in my homeland

me seeking forgiveness from hubby dearest

me seeking forgiveness from hubby dearest

seeking forgiveness on this auspicious day

my son seeking forgiveness from his papa on this auspicious day

my big daughter seeking forgiveness

my big daughter seeking forgiveness

my second daughter tends to get emotional

my second daughter tends to get emotional

and now we have our baby daughter too!

and now we have our baby daughter too!

Eid Mubarak to everyone! Praise be to God for this blessed day!

 

 

malay malaise

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I had to write this post, I simply need to get it out of my system. My homeland Malaysia is now in mourning, since the announcement by our Prime Minister yesterday. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (Kuala Lumpur-Beijing) which disappeared an hour after take-off on March 8, ended in the remote part of the southern Indian Ocean 8 hours later. Hard to believe, but that’s the conclusion the authorities have arrived at after careful investigations. The Malaysian government has been criticised to no end in their handling of this unprecedented crisis. They believe they have done their best of course, and to a certain degree I’m sure they have. It’s more the manner in which matters were related and conveyed that’s in question. Many Malays (not all, there’s always exceptions) lack effective communication skills. I am a Malay, I know what I’m talking about. We can come across as defensive, aloof, even cold sometimes. See my point? I still have a lot to improve on myself! We don’t seem to express sentiments of concern, love or sympathy very well at times. In our culture and as a nation we might accept these flaws, we tend to close one eye over them. Never mind lah (Malaysians like to add lah at the end for emphasis), that’s what we would say. Some Malays can also be a bit laid back, they like to take their time, much to the annoyance of the Chinese especially, who are known as fast-moving people. So in the case of MH370, where lives were at stake, this character flaw is a definite setback. It’s imperative to move super quick and get your act right the first time around too!

Let me relate to you a simple story which happened to me the last time I was back in my homeland (a few years ago). I took my family out for a meal at a renowned international restaurant in our capital, Kuala Lumpur. I was disappointed however when the vegetables which I ordered didn’t fit the description on the menu. Seemed like the cook couldn’t be bothered to add butter and whatever else that was described, he simply boiled and served them. My mom told me not to stir a scene, just eat them up she said. I would have done so in the old days, but you see, I have changed quite a bit since living in the West for almost 2 decades now. I can’t just be quiet! I was paying a lot of money for the food and I believed I deserved exact copy as described, not a simplified version! I summoned a waiter and explained that I wasn’t too happy with my orders. Before I knew it, another waiter with better English came to apologise on behalf of the cook, and minutes later a perfect version of what I ordered (along with extras) was laid before me. Yes, I did get stares (much to my mom’s embarrassment and annoyance) but I’m used to that. At least my hubby wasn’t with me that time, he normally caused heads to turn just because he looked foreign. Oh, and by the way, there’s no such thing as it’s rude to stare in Malaysia either! Took me a while to practise averting my gaze quickly when I first lived in England.

Anyway, to sum up my point, even though the Malaysian authority had done what they could in handling this tragic incident, certain character flaws have got the better of them. Had it been a local event it would have been a storm in a teacup; we would have accepted, forgave, forgot and moved on like we normally do. But the loss of MH370 is an international catastrophe, other nations will not close one eye and be as forgiving or as understanding. Changes need to be made big time, Malay youths could do with thorough lessons in public relations and communication skills. Learn to express yourself effectively, it will benefit you in more ways than one. It helps make you more human. The English of course are very good at it. I recall my experience during bad turbulence on MH4 (London-Kuala Lumpur) when I returned home last time. The Englishman next to me looked very concerned, he noticed how scared I was, clutching my toddler tight. He tried to comfort me by talking and assisting me (we were served our meals then), which truly helped. The Malay guy on the other side couldn’t care tuppence how I felt, if he did, he didn’t show it. Need I say more? What is our admirable trait then, as Malay Muslims? The ability to accept (when all else fails), in this case to believe whole heartedly that MH370 has met its fate as decreed by God. Death is the only reality in this world, we shall all have a taste of it, how and when only God knows. Farewell MH370, my tears are with you, along with my prayers. May God grant abundance of strength to your loved ones to cope without you, may God replace their sadness in losing you with something better eventually.

happy times

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LIFE IS 10% WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AND 90% HOW YOU RESPOND TO IT.

ALWAYS FIND A REASON TO SMILE.

REMEMBER THAT LIFE IS FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS. WITHOUT THE DOWNS, THE UPS WOULD MEAN NOTHING.

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all well, wherever you may be. Do you believe in the saying ‘Time heals?’ And ‘This too, shall pass?’ I believe they hold true in everyone’s lives, there is light at the end of the tunnel after each difficult event we face. One cannot remain miserable for a long time, sooner or later there will be a reason to smile. Alhamdulillah, I’m starting to feel more like myself again, ever since my neighbour passed away 2 weeks ago I’ve been a tad sad. But such is life, one minute you feel like you’re on top of the world, the next minute you hit rock bottom. The main thing is to learn to pick yourself up once more, having loved ones and close friends you can confide in truly helps. And learning to forgive yourself is extremely crucial, especially for sensitive souls like me. Life is constantly changing, nothing stays the same for very long. I must learn to adapt and go with the flow, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Let it go, as they say! No point beating myself up over stuff that has happened, some things are just not meant to be. How long can one live with regret?

Anyway, I thought I would blog about happy moments this time around. What came straight to mind was weddings of course. I love looking at wedding photos where everyone’s dressed up, happy and smiling. I’ve attended many family weddings (hubby’s side) over the 16.5 years I’ve been married and living in England. They’ve all been very festive and joyous, I’ve enjoyed them immensely. I do miss attending Malay weddings though, it’s been ages since I’ve been to one. Just waiting for my sisters to pull their act together now for some wedding bells to ring! I’ve selected several of my family photos below from the recent weddings we’ve attended over the past couple of years, blissful moments which have made us smile. Hope you’ll like them, a slice of my life here! Enough tears for now, let us cheer up and smile some, yeah!

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english breakfast

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Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself. -Delia Smith

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. – J.R.R Tolkien

Hello again everyone, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend! As for us here, the sun managed to peek out briefly, enough for us to venture out for our full English breakfast at the local supermarket cafe. We tend to do so from time to time, just to get out for a bit particularly in the winter months. January is finally coming to an end now, you could say it’s the most depressing month in the year! Though February is usually much colder, the days also stretch a bit longer, more than the 8 hour sunlight we’ve had for the past couple of months. You don’t mind so much in December as it’s also the Christmas period, where everything around you seem so festive and cheerful. But come January, you just feel you’ve had enough of the winter months for sure!

Anyway, I’ve taken a few photos from our breakfast at the weekend to share with you. A typical full English breakfast normally consists of toasts with butter, fried eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomato, hash brown and sausages (vegetarian ones in our case). My hubby normally finishes everything quite quickly. I, on the other hand, tend to eat a bit slower. It’s quite a heavy going meal if you ask me, lasts for hours afterwards! When my sister visited me last winter I was supposed to take her out for a full English breakfast, but we left it too late and never got around to it. She’s still craving for it till today. But I keep telling her I would still prefer our Nasi lemak (traditional Malay breakfast) over the full English, even after almost 2 decades of living in England. Some things never change I suppose! 😉

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a typical full English breakfast

another version of it

hot chocolate’s great for the children on a cold wintry day

my youngest two

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bon appétit!