Globalisation, St. Valentine and Malaysians

Well, i guess it will be nearly time now for the dreaded St. Valentine’s day. For  guys with girlfriends or even wives,  it will mean forking out stupid amounts of cash for cards and presents to appease the other halves of their lives.

 I’m sure 60 years ago, our grandparents in Malaysia would have never have heard about St. Valentine’s day. But it seems nowadays it seems that St. Valentines day is imbedded in the pysche of the modern muslim youth of Malaysia. It is as such that not celebrating it would render one to be a socially “kolot” and backward person.

In order to put things into perspective, lets take a history lesson on who St. Valentine or Santa Valentinus is. Well, as you can see from the article ; trendy boys and girls, you have been celebrating a Roman Catholic Saints Day feast! I wont mind you celebrating it if you are actually Roman Catholic, but if you are muslim it is highly frowned upon and constitutes a sin! Such is the sacrifice of a man to appease the modern women of his dreams. Suddenly the phrase”sanggup ku merentas lautan api” or “i am willing to swim in a lake of fire”; often used to romanticise a lovers sacrifice seems to be all to literal!

I personally believe that its just a marketing ploy by gift companies to drain your pockets of your hard earned cash! Movement of monies or cashflow…..thats what makes the world economy go round.

 Such is the efffect of globalisation towards our society and mentality. What is so dissapointing about the Malay psyche is that everything outside of its own culture must be GOOD! I do not get this…..i can’t see why we; as a people do not embrace our strength and weaknesses and rejoice in them.

I remember during my teens, and the onset of the globalisation most of the people my age are very keen to learn either tae-kwan do or karate; but no one wants to actually learn silat. Everyone wants to go clubbing when i was “of legal age” but nobody actually bothered to learn dances such as zapin, inang, silat pulut or the multitude of other malay dances which must be in the endangered species or extinct list by now.

I remember when i was little my aunts would gather round during ramadhan and communally prepare “kuih raya”; treats such as baulu, kuih kacang, kuih loyang and ketupat palas under the supervision of my grandmother but now all i see is women in their best wares/dresses, high heel salvatore ferragamo shoes and Prada shades huddling in Jalan TAR or the nearest Ramadhan stall to get the best deals on our kuih raya.

I very much enjoyed the experience of dining in stalls the malaysian way; as kids taken out at night to enjoy a modest meal of freshly grilled satay and drinks which was a treat back then, but i hate the fact that now a treat consists of puke-inducing burgers/fried chicken and even half-arse attempts at italian/japanese/english/western food passed on as the genuine article.

I loved the beauty and subtleness of the Malay language; particularly the Kedah accent, being where i am from and still speak with a hard kedah twang even after 11 years in the UK; and i especially hate people who mix their english with their malay as a sign of class and thinking this will pass them off as “educated” and giving them a false sense of sophistication!

We, as citizens of a globalised world must stamp our identity and not be ashamed of it. Celebrate our strength of character and the astounding beauty of our women, celebrate our food and culture, celebrate our creativity and skill in arts and intricate design, as seen in our old malay houses and our songket!

celebrate our lack of dicipline in time-keeping and always be 1/2 an hour behind everyone else in the world (apparently islanders of the south pacific; who are genetically linked to us also have the same problem…….maybe its genetic!)! I’m not saying don’t improve on it…i’m just saying recognise the problem….and move on! Don’t dwell on it…it will only make it worst!

 But please people……dont celebrate St. Valentine’s day! Its nothing to be proud of!

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