Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Chinese New Year

Tonight is already the 15th night of the Chinese New Year, the Cap Goh Mei. And it marks the end of the New Year celebration. And I haven’t even written about my new year yet…

This year, like all the years before, I went to Penang for the New Year to be with my aunts. They’re unmarried hence there are only 2 of them in the house. So, our presence there means very much to them, since not only do we come with our noise and merriment but also, with an addition of 10 pairs of hands to help them spring clean the house, and to cook.

Few days before the New Year, my brother drove into a divider. Yes, that’s correct; he got himself into an accident on his own, without hurting anyone but the car. So, we can’t use that bigger car to go back Penang. dad fell sick on the New Year’s eve, and he was with mum in KL while the rest of us are in Penang. And..there were not enough space to bring everyone back home from Penang and thus…we had to leave some to take two different buses. And since we did not buy the tickets earlier, my brother (who got all of us in this mess in the first place) had to take bus to Seremban b4 taking a train back to Serdang.

During the New Year itself, I noticed something, or perhaps more accurately, someone.
I noticed that he have been spreading bad untrue rumours whenever I see him; something I didn’t realise last yr or years b4.

Last year during his visit to my aunt’s hse, he told me that he read in the newspaper that if the government found any non-Muslims saying the words “Bismillah”, “Assalammualaikum” or even “Allah”, will be caught and jailed. Is that true? NO, I DON’T THINK SO. Our government may have their own weaknesses but I don’t think they are narrow minded enough to catch non-Muslims who speaks Arab.

And this year, he told me that if a non-Muslim was found to be eating in front of a Muslim at the same table in a fasting month, the non-Muslim will be caught and jailed. There you go, another untrue rumour from him. Or is it not? Is it true that the govt catch non-Muslims who eat in the fasting month just because their fasting Muslim friends are accompanying them? If that is so, Hui Fong would have been caught so many times. She ate in front of me a lot of times while I was fasting in Ramadhan.

And when he saw me wearing my tudung in the house, while setting up the table for lunch; he said I can’t get a Chinese guy now, I must get a Malay guy. Because if I get myself a Chinese, I can’t be Malay/Muslim anymore. It’s kinda hard to translate the conversation from Hokkien to English and explain it here, since the everyday word used for “Muslim” and “Malay” is the same in Hokkien. And he spoke to me in Hokkien + English while I replied in rojak English. My Hokkien is too baby-ish for anyone to understand.I tried explaining that Muslim does not equal to Malay, but he kept refusing to listen to me. He kept on saying “No way, no way! Muslims are Malays and Chinese is Chinese”. Grrrrr….
At last, giving face to my aunt; not wanting to drag the argument further, I kept quiet and let him eat.
And guess what, he is a father of 4.

I wasn’t sharp enough too, to reply that they are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in China, and they are Chinese. So what does he call them? Malays?

Anyway, I find myself more observant of people’s behavior this year. Could it be that I’m better in seeing people’s intention? Or am I getting more judgmental?

p/s: The author is from a mixed parentage; Minang father + Chinese mother. So that explains the CNY celebration. :)



  1. haha.. akmar i love this post.

    it's not that you wasnt sharp enuf to reply him abt muslim in china or how many muslims there are across the globe, it was just that your mind was set to mode "its cny, lets not upset anyone and spoil the mood"

    owh. plssssssssss. forget abt what he says. do get ur self a chinese guy, or an indian guy,or a matsalleh, anyone that'll be a good life companion.

    owh yea. welcome back to imu.
    sem 5 babe! :)

  2. Haha.. How come you mentioned only chinese, indian or matsalleh? Where are the malays? :D

    Oh yea, sem 5..
    Grrr... First week dh mencabar stamina.

  3. "Haha.. How come you mentioned only chinese, indian or matsalleh? Where are the malays? :D" - LOL.

    Seriously though, It's my belief that such thoughts are quite common amongst the Chinese community. I've heard similar things before and much worse! I think some allow their sense of reason to be bypassed 'cos they (think they) don't like Islam.

  4. akmar : for some reason, i just wanna get the one that you mentioned, to out of the list that i wrote, and perhaps out of my own list too.

    owh, but pls do read the exception, anyone that WILL MAKE A GOOD COMPANION. =)
    full stop.