Monday, June 25, 2007

Shall We Continue With The Malay Thing?

Writing as a Malay about something as familiar as 'The Malay Thing' should be a ride downhill on a full-suspension bike. That's what I thought. Now I am beginning to have second doubts about writing too close a subject to my heart that I'm inclined to leave it unsaid, unwritten, mind my own business and just let the subject flow easy on down the way you'd shake onde-onde in the coconut flakes. Or the way you roll the kerepok lekor into a three-foot long sausage before sliding it down easy into the boiling water. But the subject won't leave me alone because out of the blue it hit me like a train. I've decided that something as close to my heart as this should be dealt with in a way that can get a lot of people with high blood pressure really mad that they had better call up a couple of funeral houses to obtain the best quotation for the final journey to a place address unknown, no such number, no such zone. Elvis should know better since he's a permanent resident there now.
This whole thing about Malay is a simple concept. Nothing complicated. Not in the least scientific, nor philosophical. You are either a Malay, or a non-Malay. It is not the kinda stuff you can conveniently describe as being 'the-state-of-mind' because it isn't something you can simply imagine, or conjure up images in your head. Being one is a full-time job, and it is as real as it can get. As real as having a piece of meat lodged in between the teeth that it could take hours to get it out with your tongue which could get the tongue triple the size by the time you're done. And you'd better be prepared to do a bit of hard work to maintain your Malayness. Of course you can never lose your Malayness no matter how orange you dye your hair, or how hard you scrub your eyeballs blue, however much you eat all kinds of cheese in the world, or drink all the wines, or however you twist your tongue to speak either in Irish, American, British or South African accent. If you born Malay you might as well live with it because in a way you are caught between the moon and downtown Dungun. There is every likelihood that you'd die a Malay and the chances of you going down otherwise is as remote as kerepok lekor as the most likely substitute for the meat in a hot dog.
And so I write...


Blogger demonsinme said...

Master Bergen:

Would it make much different if a malay who is a malay who would not want to be a malay but cant escape being a malay because that malay is born as a malay even when the malay show no characterics of a malay?

And if it is vice versa? Would that malay still be a malay?

Then again who is a malay?

Is it in the color of the skin or hoe 'kemek' the nose is? Wearing or not wearing the clothes of a malay and talking or not talking like a malay?

Or should we be asking, no matter, that we all have our own flaws and advantages and the only difference is in how it is spell or said or define?

Or should we rather ask ourselves, why must we discuss the 'things' associated and diassociated with the race and what good does it brings?

Or rather should we not be asking are humanely human to be human thus eliminating the differences that existed among all race?

Anyways, keep on writing this sort of posts. They are very enlighting.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Theta said...

I miss the Losong area where my mom always go to get us kids the freshest and chewiest Kerepok Lekor in KT.

Can't wait to come home and savour the 'real thing'.....

It's just the Malay in me talking.... =)

8:01 AM  
Blogger dee3 said...

dear sir,

how true this is [quote] As real as having a piece of meat lodged in between the teeth that it could take hours to get it out with your tongue which could get the tongue triple the size by the time you're done [unquote].

THAT got me rolling on the floor (practically in my mind la) heh

anyways... malay is a race.
what's the hype?
to me, the only importance is the bumiputera status. and that's going down the drain in 2020. then what?

apart from that, it's the traditions and values attached to the race. and the celebrations, but most importantly, the food too!

it's not the race that makes the man, it's the man that's important. it's wat he choose to do (or not to do).

semua orang jahat la.. in their own way.

3:42 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

DIM: Quite frankly, I won't know what's it like to pretend you are not a Malay when you are a Malay inside out. Just as I won't know what's it like to pretend you are not a Muslim when you are one inside out.

Theta: You can make your own kerepok there, Theta. Plenty of fish there, right? Give it a go.

Dee3: And semua orang baiklah, in their own special way.

To everyone who wandered this way either by mistake, or by choice, you be sure to have a nice day now, y'hear? Take your medicine, exercise, be happy. Don't beat anyone for no reason. Keep cool. Stay safe.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Mat Salo said...

Hmmm...never knew the Malay thingy as "ride downhill on a full-sus.." I have a Santa Cruz Superlight which is gathering dust back home. Time to service it I guess when I go home next (I'm in Indo, see), go down the Kiara trails and see what you mean, heh..

Never thot' much about the Malay thing. Sadly, I always think in English, so in that respect I'm not a Malay Malay. Only the my hidung kemek is a dead-giveaway...

Enjoy your blog bro'!

3:46 PM  

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