"Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat"

That is a very well known malay saying which basically means "let the children die as long as our tradition/customs live on", something like that. This is a good example of how deeply encrusted culture is in the Malays. I personally think it's silly but that's just me. Why did this topic come up? Well, as with all my posts, something happened that triggered me into thinking about it.

We were going out for dinner, my family and I. When we were in the car I asked my dad a question. Since my brother is getting engaged tomorrow our house is in the wedding mood, so I asked my dad "What's happening tomorrow? like what's the procedure like for bertunang(engagement ceremony)?" My dad shrugged his shoulders. Then I asked my sister. Girls tend to know stuff like this better than boys. She also shrugged her shoulders. I said "kita ni memang orang yang tak beradat kan?" which means "We are are not people that observe customs and traditions right?" I then asked her what if she were to get engaged, what would her ceremony be like? She said she just wants the guys family to come over and put a ring on her finger. No big fanfare like my brother's engagement.

That short conversation really does explain how my family are not really observers of Malay customs. I bet if we stayed in Cardiff we'd probably be either Pakistani or Arab in culture, or neither or both! In matters of marriage we'd just follow what the other side wants. My brother is marrying a Johorean so he's following Johor culture. Whoever I end up marrying, don't worry we're used to following whatever customs you want. We are for the most part, culture-less, hehehe... That's why in matters relating to culture I think personally I'm like a westerner - very intrigued with culture and open to all cultures - as long as it's permissible by Islam. I like to collect cultural items. When I was posted to Japan, I bought a traditional Japanese kimono - complete with the jacket thingy. I still don't know when or where I'm gonna wear it. When I was backpacking in Morocco last year I spent almost an hour haggling with the shopkeeper to buy 3 jilabas for my dad, a friend and myself of course. I love the hood that these jilabas have. Reminds me of star wars! hehehe... well, at least I can wear this to prayers. I'd dare not wear the kimono to the mosque! I also love watch traditionally set Hindi movies, dreaming of how I can get hold of one of the "Mugal" styled costumes. Hahaha... heck I even almost got myself a baju melayu like the one in "Queens of Langkasuka" tailored for me if it weren't for that shop keeper making a marriage related remark. Can't I own a nice baju Melayu just because?! Must I be getting married if I buy one?

Anyways, it's gonna be a full day tomorrow and lotsa people to meet at the engagement ceremony so I'll have to make sure the smile sticks to my face and the words that come out of my mouth are nice words. And oh - I need to prepare witty answers for when the inevitable question gets asked - when is your wedding? bleargh... alright guys. Good night!