Tag Archives: Malay

moving on

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2016-Happy-New-Year-Wishes

It is with a heavy heart that I write this final post, I’m certain you’ve seen it coming somehow. For months I’ve lost my blogging ‘mojo’. I’ve seen many bloggers before me go through it so it’s not unusual after all. I’ve been blogging for 4 years in total, however you might not find all my posts there as I’ve had to delete quite a few due to limited space. I have too many pictures in my blog, so I’ve moved to a different platform to share them. I find Instagram very convenient, so for those of you loyal followers you can find me there instead as glevum_rose. I don’t know what the future holds; I might return occasionally to blog, you never know. But for now I have to bid you a long farewell. I simply cannot find the time nor inspiration anymore to sit down in front of my computer to blog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers and followers, my blog is nothing much without you reading them. I would like to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year 2016, may this year bring you more sunshine than storms. Nonetheless, do not despair if caught in a bad storm, learn to dance in the rain instead! Wishing you all peace, love and happiness always. Take good care yeah! ❤

Let’s say goodbye with James Blunt…he expresses it so well, always! 

time after time

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Though miles may lie between us, we are never apart,

For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart…

I’ve just about settled down into my dull gloomy winter routine when a ray of bright brilliant sunshine suddenly hit me. Yes, my two close friends visited me again, they both came around last year on separate occasions for work. This time however they’re on holiday, their youngest sister also tagged along. My close friends are sisters, they are only a year apart in age. I first befriended N (the older sister), when we were at boarding school together during our teenage years. I then met her younger sister, T, when I visited their family home in the east coast of Malaysia. Over the years N and I remained close, and when we all started our working life in the capital of Malaysia, we lived in the same house. N’s younger sister, T, lived with us too, along with a couple more of our boarding school friends. Since then we were inseparable. We’re like a little family. We shared both the good times and the bad times. We were there for each other until I left for England. I felt sad to leave them, but such is life, forever changing. I looked forward but they stayed in my heart…

A year later, all 3 of us got married around the same time. And the rest is history as they say. As the quote above rightly says, we’re never apart. Our hearts are still connected, we never miss an opportunity to meet up with one another. T has 3 children, I adore them as much as both N and T adore mine. It was good for our children to meet up again. I feel truly blessed to know these 2 special women and their loving family; it’s been 3 decades and I feel closer to them than ever. Thank you so much N and T for your beautiful friendship, I cannot express how dear you both mean to me. I pray our friendship last both in this world and the next. N asked expectantly whether I would blog about them again, of course I would. Thank you for the joy and laughter you brought to my home and my family over the past couple of days, the sweet memories shall warm the rest of our winter. May we meet again soon, God Willing! I dedicate my all time favourite song to both N and T; and to the rest of my ex-TKC friends who have sent their love and regards through N. I love you all for always. In my heart and in my eyes, we are still as we were at 16! Let’s walk down memory lane with Cyndi Lauper…  ❤

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N, me, and N’s sister T; we’ve known each other since the 80s, now we’re in our mid-40s!

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sunshine in my garden; N, me and T with their youngest sister (purple) and T’s daughter

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friends forever, celebrating 3 decades of friendship!

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me, time after time…

malay malaise

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master.malaysia_airlines11

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.

self-reflection

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Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. – Margaret J. Wheatley

A soul without reflection, like a pile Without inhabitant, to ruin runs. – Edward Young

Your writing voice is the deepest possible refection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul. – Meg Rosoff

the glow from my tea light candle

I shall turn 45 in a few days, InshaAllah (God Willing). How do I feel? Both happy and sad at the same time, to be honest. Happy that God has given me all these wonderful years, blessed with good health and surrounded by love. I remember my sister asking me whether I was happy and content with my current life when she visited me last winter. I answered yes, without a single doubt. I am exactly where I want to be, Alhamdulillah. Oh yes, I’ve had my fair share of tears too. I still miss my late father heaps until today. And yes, there are times when I wish I could have it all perfect, like being in close proximity with the rest of my family and friends back in my homeland, Malaysia. But such is life, it is not perfect. I cannot have it all. But I shall focus on my blessings and not my misfortunes. God knows what is best for me, always, to Him I rely entirely.

Lately, however, I feel a bit sad thinking about friends of my generation who have left this world before me. I remember one or two who passed away whilst we were still undergrads at University. And a couple more who left just after we graduated. One was engaged and the other just returned from her honeymoon. They were gone when the rest of us thought the world was our oyster. And several more had passed on in the recent years too, friends from both my alma mater and boarding school, leaving their beloved families behind. I do not know the length of my life span, nobody knows how long they will live for. I just pray that God continues to shower me with His endless blessings. I pray that I will continue to have the strength to please my Lord; by being a devoted wife to my husband, a loving mother to my 4 children, and a good daughter and sister to my mother and siblings. Last but not least, a real friend to those who consider me as one. I am not perfect, please forgive me for my shortcomings. I pray for success in this world and the next, with God’s guidance and mercy, Ameen.

I leave you with this wonderful Malay song entitled ‘My Return to My Lord’, written by a dear University friend who passed away in 2010 from battling with breast cancer. She was a bubbly jovial character, she was like a big sister to a big group of us back then. She loved to sing, I remember how she sang with all her heart at our 21st birthday celebration (myself along with 2 closest pals at Uni who shared the same birthday week). She was also a famous blogger. Al-Fatihah to Arwah Dalilah Tamrin@Raden Galoh (1967-2010) and to all my friends, acquaintances, family and relatives who have left this world, may your souls rest in peace amongst the pious, Ameen…

ABOUT THE SONG

(A Charity Project initiated by Dalilah Tamrin, an amazing woman whose final moments in this world were spent battling complications of metastatic breast cancer. The production is funded by her very generous personal friends, family and bloggers around the world. The words were originally penned by Dalilah herself, later edited and composed into a song and recorded in Dubai and then later mixed at Grooveworks Studio, KL. This song is about Dalilah’s sacred hopes and solemn thoughts during her quiet moments with God. It is also a message dedicated to those who are being riddled by life’s intricate challenges, trials and tribulations. May all of you be inspired by the words that came from the purest place in this amazing woman’s heart. I hope that you shall remember her in your prayers. Dalilah passed away peacefully on the 19th July 2010. May the memory of her heroism and positive attitude live on in the hearts of the people she’s touched. Amin…)

nusantara delight

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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! 😉

delicious spread

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…