Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Merdeka - what it means to you???

This is a snippet I saw in the Sun this morning. By the way we left very early and had breakfast at the 4th floor of my office...half boiled eggs and him, nasi lemak.I was told yesterday that our cousin, KakNgah is now very very thin having lost her weight by not eating dinner. Ye ke?? So now Husband and I going to do the same. But on the other hand this girl is young she can lose so much easier.

Ok before I go into that self absorbed mode again, there were 3 ppl giving their views on what Merdeka mean to them. Which got me thinking about Merdeka.

It's not that hard to appreciate what Merdeka is. If you are a student living overseas, or if you are a doctor living and working overseas, just imagine, that that is it for you. There is no where to go "home" to. Imagine that there is no Malaysia and UK/Ireland/Japan etc , IS your home. Speaking from years of living abroad, and having 3 of 5 kids there, and husband being part of the NHS and working system there...let me tell you it was not always a nice feeling, being in another country and feeling like an outsider. You always always, no matter how nice everyone is to you, feel like an outsider. And you know you are not as good as the locals. I think nowadays, looking at the increasing number of british rioters or "terrorists" (If the press is to be believed) then even the "locals" don't feel they are as good as the local locals. Really, after a while, you long to go somewhere where you know you belong. We came home when Nadine started to use toilet paper instead of water in the loo.. when I realise that if we stayed on we'd be depriving our 2 daughters (by then) of all the small stuff that makes being home...there was no pasang pelita tradition for Raya, there definitely was no duit raya. there was no padang buai yang you can play without having to worry about 3 layers of coats first.(Now got to worry about mosquitoes je).There was no pasar malam. There was no daylong mengaji if someone important pass away. There was no Ustaz coming to the house. There was no OPah, Atok, Atok Buntat, Atok Zah, Atok Mas, Opah NIta, Atok Teh etc etc etc..

We decided to come home when Husband's next job was going to last 6 years. It was the make or break time. If we had stayed, Nadine would be 10 by the time we come home (ie NOW lah) ...So, i think the ppl overseas even if they don't tell you, or they don't know it themselves, feel everyday what it is like to be colonised and know very well what Merdeka feels like. We had our merdeka when we came back. It felt so good to be home. (I do miss a lot of things though..Jaffa Cakes, Salt and Vinegar crisps. Crisps in general. CBBC. Eastenders. Daily Mail. Sales. Council Library. Taking a bus and the busdriver calling you "luv". Driving through breathtakingly beautiful Cotswold. Laughing at the puny stony beaches that they have. going to Sainsbury and coming home with change. (I'm broke everytime i go grocery shopping here). I don't mind going there, but I'm glad I can come home.)

Mind you, I don't think the ppl in parliament know the meaning of Merdeka. If they do then they would not waste their time in parliament meetings to discuss how divorced women are "gatal" or throw chairs at each other ! Ha ha ha! And TV pun takda publicise merdeka. The snippets of Tunku going Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka does not do anything unless its accompanied by background story. More on Siti than the Merdeka really.

So to me, Merdeka means being free...and having somewhere you belong to.

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