Heyyo. About seven days already I'm back in town. To keep it brief, I'm pretty content being with my family and all. Malaysian food, for some reason, I'm kinda over the excitement, well, maybe because I can get stuff pretty close to Asian stuff over there. Except for the stuff that I really can't get over there like weird cow parts. hahahaha
Anyways, after a few years in Canada, my conception of Malaysia is mainly based on stuff I read of Facebook, so I guess, it's about high time I get things back into perspective with this short visit.
So, what I've observed so far :
1. majalah picisan like gempak, etc are pretty updated on the latest stuff in anime. It's amazing that people are into/are aware of the same thing in real time all over the world. globalization, they say. use of whatsapp is also so rampant. and people are insanely fixated on tablets. face to screen at all times. this is not so in Canada. when they meet people, they face people, not screens.
2. minion mania. I think it's beyond my comprehension why people go zombie-crazy over these things.
3. so many sekolah rendah girls and toddlers in tudung. seriously ? you're teaching these kids to cover their hair at an early age ? kesian dia tak ada childhood. they're at that age yang tak wajib pun ajar solat lagi, and you're teaching them to wear tudung ? to impose on them at an early age that their body is some abomination that needs to be hidden from the world ? as if pakai tudung is more important than solat, as if pakai tudung is the sixth rukun Islam. I'm not saying that you shouldn't teach them to be modest, but for that age, being modest doesn't include covering your hair. Even orang baru start pakai tudung pun being treated as if baru masuk Islam. Selagi tak pakai tudung selagi tu orang jeh je if you talk about religion. Suruh gi "belajar" or that your dosa as a person tak pakai tudung is always more than dosa orang yang pakai tudung. pandai-pandai je.
4. this obsessive need to defend ustaz-es. I don't understand why they're so afraid to question, they would rather be misinformed and misled so that understanding the religion is "simplified". There's a lot of celebrity ustaz-es. They gullible-y "buy" into religious articles that do not support statements with quranic verses or reliable religious sources. before this, my gripe was that they misuse verses to justify statements, but now there's hardly any, and I do not know which is worse, but at least, if you include it, you will be able to verify it on your own, or if not on your own, by some qualified person. Whenever they defend these ustaz-es, they go by the default argument that "we can't possibly understand the Quran in its entirety with our capacity." True, but that doesn't mean that the Quran is to be understood by the privileged few. Social constructs such as this, where the Book is only accessible to the "temple-people", is one in which the laymen is subdued and reliant on the teachings of these few as their crutch in internalizing their religion. So, in this case, the temple-people are in a position of power, because they have privileged knowledge that others do not have. Of course, power can be misused, since, after all, they are only human. The laymen are powerless since the knowledge is inaccessible to them. In my community, it's not that the knowledge is inaccessible, but the people themselves choose to not access it, and rely on these ustaz-es to be their "mediators" in understanding the text. Don't get me wrong, I may sound like I have a general distrust for ustaz-es, but I am not anti-ustaz. Otherwise, I would have taught myself how to read the Quran without the ustaz, I wouldn't be listening to religious talks (although I personally prefer talks from Western muslim scholars). What my gripe is that the people around me seems to be putting forth the ustaz before the text itself. The prophet said he left his ummah with the Quran and the as-sunnah. The Quran is meant to be read, it is meant to be a guide. It is the kalam Allah, that is the extent of how INTIMATE and how direct God addresses the Quran reader. If you only rely on ustaz because you feel that you cannot understand the Quran AT ALL and the Quran is only meant for the ustaz, then that beats the purpose of having revealed the Quran. True, there are things that you can't understand, there are also things that are slightly vague to allow for interpretation, but the message of the Quran is clear on what values you should take away from it. You may have an ustaz to help interpret the Quran for law or fiqh applications local to the community, but it is your own responsibility in understanding the Quran for yourself. Sometimes I feel that people defend the ustaz-es more than the Quran itself, because they themselves do not understand the Quran and it's very easy to defend a human being with sweeping statements like "he's learned and well-versed!"
5. a general distrust between adults and kids. anything goes wrong, blame the kids and peer pressure. true, kids nowadays are different from my generation, but somehow, this local culture is not one that tries to understand the kids. and talk of mental health ? out of the question. parents nowadays pun macam tak take care of kids that much sampai ada kid hilanglah, tinggal lah.
6. rape culture and all that shizz. they always INSIST that it's the woman's fault and never the rapists' fault because they instill and affirm in their minds that men absolutely cannot control themselves. They affirm that men think with their dicks and women should be vigilant of this. I'm not sure if this degrades the women more or the men themselves ? I find it sad that you are affirming yourself of some negative attribute, simply because you don't want to change the system and want to hold on to position of power. I feel that maybe in this rigid construction of gender roles, some men find themselves not "manly" enough and out of frustration rape girls to give themselves a sense of self worth. It's not about sex, if you'd wanted sex, you'd get a prostitute. and yes, all this payung emas business. "sebagai isteri pertama, anda haruslah supportive of your husband kahwin dua cuz you will reap some kind of divine reward".
7. education system is a mess. in English or BM ? I'm confused. and these poor kids don't have a childhood. They stress the kids out more than ever to do homework and get good grades. I at least enjoyed my time in school when I was in sekolah rendah. I don't see any joy in learning anymore. That's sad.
8. Distaste for Malaysians hailing from the overseas. Accusations such as "being Westernized", "forcing opinions on other people. respect." and "unsuitability of values with local culture" abounds. Tch. and they said they wanted people who hail from the overseas to return to serve the country and bring in new knowledge ? my foot. only uniformity is allowed.
9. I thought Canada was expensive with 13% tax, but stuff in Malaysia I find have quite a price hike from last I remembered. It's very expensive to do groceries. Oh and back to the ugly-looking veggies T___T
10. Customer rights seems non-existent in Malaysia. Nobody voices out anything, and nobody cares to ensure the best services and goods for the customers. Every man for himself, even if it means menganiaya and menzalimi hak orang lain, and nobody says anything about it.
11. Traffic jams ! I've forgotten how it feels like to be trapped in a traffic jam for hours. Good God.
12. if not usroh, then budaya suka pada benda picisan like cintan cintun. artis la. share video budak declare love dengan pakwe dia la. basically back to the communal policing and gossips. =.="
Yeah, what I type here pretty much reads very bleakly. It's not that I don't appreciate my homeland, but some things that I observe just ticks me off, because I can conclude that the real situation is actually not much of an exaggeration, but is akin to what I've seen on Facebook so far.
I sort of feel alienated, because I see things even more differently now. I've always seen things differently, but now it is more stark, and I feel that there is a clash of values, so I kind of try to keep myself contented within the four walls of my home with the warmth of my hearth and family.
It's weird, but it's still somewhat good to be back, for a while.