Friday, July 31, 2009

An ode to 20072007

When I first saw it, there was nothing extra-ordinary about it in fact it was a simple paper-back wedged between bestsellers screaming for attention.

I ignored it. My husband picked it up and waved it in front of my face. “ Read it” he said.

“ Mesti you suka,” he said.I looked up from a copy of a recent book my journalists friends were marvelling about. I gave my husband the “ can you pls not kacau me smile” but he insisted.

I read the first few lines and then a page and then a chapter. I was hooked. I couldn’t put in down. I had my nose buried in it for a week whenever I could steal moments to myself.

Here is a preview:

“ We think we know the ones we love. Our husbands our wives. We know them - we are them sometimes; separated at a party we find ourselves voicing their opinions, their taste in food or books, telling an anecdote that never happened to us but happened to them. We watch their tic of conversation, of driving and dressing, how they touch a sugar cube to their coffee, and stare as it turns white to brown then drop it satisfied into the cup.

“ We think we know them. We think we love them. But what we love turns out to be a poor translation, a translation we ourselves have made, from a language we barely know. We try to get past it to the original, but we never can. We have seen it all. But what have we really understood?

“ One morning we awaken. Beside us, that familiar sleeping body in the bed: a new kind of stranger.

“ Perhaps you cannot see a marriage. Like those giant heavenly bodies invisible to the human eye it can only be charted by its gravity, its pull on everything around it.,”

Andrew Sean Greer from his book The Story of a Marriage.

I always seem to think the H comes from planet blur. Once in a while he does something that truly amazes me. I loved books that I could escape into. This one is a gem.

* I recently celebrated my 2nd wedding anniversary - - How time flies when your spending time with a hobbit. Hobbits rock my world ;-) Luff cha you silly billy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rasa Hingar Bingar * Adakah Kita Lupa Tentang Akar Umbi, Asal Diri, *


I just realised that I didn't blog for the whole month of June. ;-p erm I feel sort of bad and guilty for not updating the blog- not the traits of a very good blogger kan-?..well I know its not a solid excuse but I have been a very very busy lady.


I love language in its many many forms. I do. I love words. I love poems, a good book an excellent quote. A song well written. A good commentary, article or blog entry.

And you know what? It can be in any language, but if it touches you delivers a point, it really does not matter right if its mandarin, hindi, english, french or some long lost dialect.

This whole arguing about how low the standard of English is among rural students or students in general or even teachers is tiring and frankly to me at least misses the whole point. SO SO many things have been brought to the table, discussed, rehashed, changed, when ultimately I think the the desire to improve ANYTHING has to come from the students or the teachers themselves.

I mean someone up there can spend billions and billions trying to improve something, but in the end if the students or teachers as individuals do not cooperate, erm SAMA je kan??

And because so much emphasis is given to the English language, no one really cares that the standard of Bahasa Melayu is also declining among urban students. Some of them can’t even string proper sentences in Malay? And at the same time have the nerve to call themselves Malaysians? Apa ni? The other day I had a friend’s daughter asking me what does the word ‘raga’ mean. Raga as in bakul or basket. Tak rasa macam parah ke macam ni? Saya rasa sangat sedih.

Some parents are talking about taking their children out of the national schools and enrolling them into international or private schools just because they were upset about the government’s decision on PPSMI.

Sure the education system is not perfect. It has many flaws. But it is not the language’s mistake. Even I think I would have scored better in Mathematics and Science if it was taught in English during my time...

You can agree or disagree with me it does not matter, Tapi Bahasa Malaysia tu Bahasa Kebangsaan, Bahasa kita. Identiti kita. God I sound like a politician. Worse I sound like a nationalistic politician who is into this colonism argument. ISH.

Tak, the thing that I’am worried about is the warped image, the ‘typical english language speaking urbanite youth of our nation’ have of Bahasa Melayu. Some excerpts of the people I have spoken to:

“ I like speaking in English, when I speak in Malay it sounds weird,”

" Speaking in Malay is only for people who stay in Kampungs,"

Its true. This coming out of a Melayu’s mouth. Tak malu betul.

It is not rempit language, it is not longkang language. it is not pasar language. It is a language used by the Malacca sultanate for god’s sake.

Its just like having this warped weird idea that people who wear the scarf cannot possibly converse in English or people from Kelantan cannot string sentences together. Its absurd. I have meet many Kelantanese who speak both languages wonderfully. (Hi Linda, I hope you’re reading this post)

Entah. Saya bertambah bingung dan risau tentang nasib anak bangsa saya.
And yes I blog in English. Tapi saya boleh bertutur serta menulis dalam Bahasa Malaysia. ( this is another topic for another day and if you have any doubt please refer to the intro this post.)

Please feel free to leave comments. Tapi saya kurang berminat terhadap komen komen yg berunsur negatif. Saya lebih terbuka kepada komen komen yang membina dan menjurus kepada perbincangan yang sihat.
So no hate mail. Because everyone is entitled to their own opinion.