Sunday, December 27, 2009

School Vacation. Visitation Time.

December is the major school break vacation and, thus, is one of the best times to visit people. In addition to June, December is when many weddings get scheduled, despite the rainy season being in full force. This particular December has been the rainiest that I can remember in my ten years of living on the east coast.

I was invited to the wedding of the sister of a former colleague of mine. It was fortunate in that that particular day was not raining, and the wedding was held outside under a canopy in the compound of my former colleague's house. I went with a Korean friend of mine, who after two years of living in Kuala Lumpur had never attended a Malay wedding kenduri before. In fact, this was his second kenduri, his first being in November when he visited me and I brought him to the wedding of a former student of mine. We had trouble finding the house because there were two other wedding kenduris occuring in the same neighborhood, and we started out attending one of the other ones first before realising, I didn't know anyone!

Since the bride's family was hosting this kenduri, the groom and his family came marching down the street at the appropriate time. Wedding couples always color coordinate their outfits, and the men usually have the ceremonial kris knife tucked into their wedding songkat.

I get on very well with my former colleague's children, and they call me Uncle as is the fashion of Asian children. The children were also color coordinated, with the three siblings in sea-green bajus while their cousins wore lime green. As the parents were busy being hosts, my Korean friend and I allowed the children to entertain us with their karaoke set. It is funny watching an 8-year-old singing songs above love found and lost!

Weddings are the not only excuses available for visitation, and I took the opportunity on December 25 to play Santa Claus and bring presents (story books) to the children of colleagues and former colleagues. Malays openly admit that theirs is not a reading culture so I, as a teacher, feel that giving story books is appropriate. The love of reading must be inculcated in children at an early age, and reading ability is the major factor in determining academic success.

Finally, this holiday season also found me visiting a Malay friend who had to spend several days in the hospital getting his feet cleaned. He is diabetic, and the rot has begun to eat away his feet. He feels fortunate, however, since the germs (kuman, as he calls it) have not yet infected his feet. In the bed next to him was an unfortunate soul who had to have his leg amputated below the knee, and then a few days later above the knee. I took photos for my friend to keep in case he wants to make an appeal to the welfare office, but felt that the photos would not be appropriate blog material. Lucky you.

1 comment:

  1. act i am passive reader,but since u have good observation.i want to share my's quite true that reading is not our my case its different.i like to read but limited to magazine n a book,my cousin's book named "kemahiran hidup" or living skil in english.i was fascinated with electronic back then.but end of d day i decided to study my view,i think the youngster lack of parents didnt force me to read particular book,n i think reading culture can b implemented if we know what's their interest.i hv a dream to make a school,not like public school in msia,instead in primary school electronic can b teach to youngster.more hands on.n for qualification open exam such as A-level can b taken.n i believe school can b interesting.