Thursday, July 29, 2010

The kids and the Malay language

The need to preserve native language balanced against the assertion to have mastery of English language shared the concern of many Malaysian parents here. This thought is actually prompted by this article entitled 'Indonesians fear for their language', from the NST Our society faces the same challenge too.
For us, the need to prepare the kids for schools here often sidelines the importance of our own language. Introduction of double languages at the same times may lead to confusion, as happens in many pre-schools and kindergartens in our home country. They kids at the end seem to get nothing especially when it comes to reading and writing. The children, being taught here, picking up the language very fast. The environment gives the necessary support. Even Farhan started to correct my pronunciation when I read books to him every night (mine must be the 'Manglish' :-)
But the concern is, how are they going to adapt the school in the home country later on, which the standard level of starting the primary school for reading and writing is very high by relative. It is worrying indeed when the kids start to read Malay word with English style.
Hope the young generation will continue to be proud of their own native language despite their mastery of other language. It is the most important treasure for our identity. If not the Malay language will be extinct like thousands of many other languages in the world.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Watching the Masterchef finale the other day, I recalled a question given by my teacher of previous school. Eating for life or life for eating? I think from the context of the Masterchef, life must be for eating..
After all, regardless of the critic against the top rating program, it was so tempting that even Farhan said he wanted to be a Chef when he's grown up.
This is a simple example of how media can influence and develop culture.
Thinking about the moral of the story for such a reality program: Do your best in whatever you do.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A perspective of an old man in a society

Something struck my mind today. While I was waiting for bus on the way to the City Flinder Campus this morning, I met with a local old man. I noticed he looked at me from far and when reaching closer to him I felt bound to say hi to him asking how's he doing. I found that is the norm here. Even bus drivers and supermarket cashiers will ask that to you. We would never expect that in the home country. It simply not the norm there.

When he asked me how I was doing, I said I have cough. It seems I still can't cope with the winter. It has been prolonged for more than 3 weeks now. When I asked about his whereabout, he said he's going to work at Coburg doing some cleaning works. He is 87 with only one eye functioning. Even though for his age he looks pretty healthy and strong, I can't imagine an old man of that age still working. What's more with that kind of job. He also told me that he recently lost his daughter due to cancer and his wife is so affected by that and is ill.

During the conversation, an old man about his age passing by us with his dog. I find him staring at the man. I knew that he was thinking of saying hi to the man too. But the man gave no expression at all. He then lamented of how his community is changing. No one bother to the others. Peoples do not or refuse to know each other within the neighborhood.

When a neighbor's wife in front of our house, once gave us fruits and a toy to the kids passed away couples of months ago, we did not know until several weeks later. Only one day when Arif asked his whereabout, he said he was not fine. Only later we got to know the news.

I'm thinking of how life is when I was old. Is that that rough? But our society is moving to that too. People are just spending time in home communicating with others located far away physically through email or facebook but no communication among the peoples who live around us. There are some that we even never see their faces.

Change of role

Life is totally different here. We take equal role together now taking turn studying and tending for the kids. Today when I came back from the university, I found a meat kurma in the pot! Mak anjang and makteh especially must be surprised by this. It was prepared by their brother! Last Tuesday, when it was my day to study, he cooked chicken curry. He is developing an interest to cook nowadays. I think the foods he prepared are getting better and yes, they are really fine. On the day for me to study, he will prepare food early in the morning for me to bring it to the university for the lunch. I no longer have to do it before leaving the home. Usually one of us will spend time the whole day at the university and the other will take charge at home sending Farhan to and back from school and Ainaa to the child care centre while Ammar is with us at home.

The kids pose

Last weekend outing with the kids at Northland. It's about half an hour drive from our home. Just to see what is interesting there.. actually trying to find if there was any indoor kids playground like the one at Giant, Nilai which is free. But there is none.. except those require some gold looking coins.. like this. (tiba-tiba posing beria plak depa ni..)