I don’t even remember the season. I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere.
― Stephen Chbosky
Greetings to all! Hope you’re all in good health and spirits! Feels like I’ve been off blogging for ages, in reality it hasn’t been that long really. So much to share from my little corner of the world, but first let me welcome you readers back to my blog with these remaining blooms in my garden. They were a pleasure to behold when I finally got the chance to wander into the garden, there’s just been so much rain and strong winds lately. And I’ve certainly been neglecting my garden big time! 😦
the pink gazenias I planted in early summer
was surprised to find the violets still growing!
Despite the dreary weather however, I’ve finally got out of my shell. I haven’t been socialising much for the past couple of months as I’ve been focused on preparing my big daughter for her grammar school entrance exam. Now that it’s out of the way, I was happy to meet up with everyone again, particularly my Indonesian friends. These few ladies from the Nusantara are from the same neck of woods as me, we share a common ground in our faith, eating habits, right to our language and social/cultural norms. I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed them until I met up with them again at one of their houses over lunch on a rainy day. Before I left, another invitation was extended to me, to attend their monthly gathering the following day. They take turns to host this social and religious event, normally held in another city where there’s a larger number of Indonesians. But this time it was the turn of one of my local Indonesian friends. I have been to this gathering in the past, but it’s been quite a long time since I did so to be honest. So you can imagine how excited I was to attend once again! 😉
close up of the delicious Indonesian food
We usually start of with ‘makan-makan’ (eating!) session once all the families have arrived. There’s always so much food, my dear Indonesian friend who hosted this gathering happens to be a great cook! She could whip up a whole table of dishes (pictured above) single-handedly. But the other Indonesian sisters who come would normally bring some home-cooked food too, so the cuisines on the table would double! This is also the time we would catch up on each other’s lives, relating our highs and lows and supporting one another. We would then pray together and settle down for the talk given by the appointed speaker (usually from amongst the men). The topics vary from time to time, but they all serve as a reminder to strengthen our belief in God the Almighty. These gatherings bring us all close together, we uphold the community spirit that we grew up with back in our homelands. It’s a great blessing indeed, as some of these ladies need that extra support to remain steadfast in our faith and culture.
I also had the privilege to meet a couple of new faces at this gathering; one of them a ‘larger than life’ Singaporean lady in her 6th decade who migrated to England the year I was born! I have to catch up with her again, she’s such a vibrant character, right from the moment she entered the room! I also met a sweet British born Bangladeshi lady probably a decade younger than I am, she’s also married to an English convert (like many of the Indonesian ladies) and has such beautiful children. We got on the moment we were introduced to one another. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people, for they open up my outlook on life further. As for the usual bunch of Indonesian sisters I meet at these gatherings, I shall always be glad to have them in my life in England. I’m grateful to them for giving me the sense of belonging and for helping me maintain my Eastern-Malay identity in this Western world which is now my home. I admire them for their warmth, humility, generosity, friendliness and sweet smiley faces, regardless of the turmoils and hardships they may face in their lives. They are certainly amongst the loveliest people I have met here, Alhamdulillah!
my lovely host
some of the other Indonesian ladies, all so lovely!
My post wouldn’t be complete without a song, as my regular readers would know. After hunting high and low, I found this amazing Indonesian singer who sings wonderful numbers in praise of God the Almighty. I’ve chosen two here; my children love the first one, a lively clip of my beloved Nusantara people. The second one is more my cup of tea, rather enchanting…