Happy National Day Malaysia

"Malaysia, Disini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta"
“Malaysia Where Love Grows” 
~ The "Theme" for Malaysia's 57th 
Independence or Merdeka Day celebrations.

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1) We have our own unique blend of English called "Manglish" with words like "No la", "Yes la", 
"Really, meh", and so many others that sometimes leaves non-Malaysian speakers at a loss to understand what we're saying. Our 'la's have also been transmitted to others with many foreigners happily dropping 'la's here and there when they speak, sometimes even without their realization that they have adopted our style of English. 
*I love Manglish as I feel it shows our multi-racial heritage with a language born of this merging of cultures and languages from the different races in Malaysia.    
2) We may stay in the city and have ample opportunities to eat all kinds of gourmet food, but when asked to make a choice, we still head to our favorite Nasi Kandar Shop.
*My siblings work in the city and when they come back home, the first visit is always to a Nasi Kandar shop.  
3) We travel to foreign lands sometimes even spending years there, and although we may enjoy delicious Italian pizzas and spaghetti, authentic American burgers or original British Fish and Chips, but when we come back home to Malaysia, we drive straight to our favorite 
hawkers stall and decimate nasi lemak, char kway teow, thosai/Dosa, laksa, curry mee, roti canai, etc like a person starved. Heck, I go for holidays and enjoy delicious chicken chops and pasta, and the next day hunt down Indian restaurants selling rice with spicy curries and sambal. It may be food I eat every day at
home thanks to my mom's amazing culinary skills but going without rice just for one day is like I've not eaten. Any meal without rice is not really a meal, just a snack.. Right? Right? Yeah. I do seriously need to work on my diet.. 
4) A must have item, in any long-distance travels to foreign lands especially for long periods of time, are packets and packets of Instant Noodles.  
5) We bond as one Malaysian Family over football, badminton, tennis, any sports regardless of who is playing. Our catchphrase of "Malaysia Boleh!" (Malaysia Can!) is common utterance at these games. We mourn at every loss and rejoice at every win. Whether the athlete is a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Bidayuh or Kedazan, doesn't really matter, he or she is a Malaysian, and that person gets our love and support.   
*I've sat through nail-bitting suspense each time Dato' Lee Chong Wei takes the badminton court, my heart breaking when he loses yet proud of his effort and cheering giddily when he wins. I've been through moments of pride and joy when Malaysia won the Thomas Cup in 1992 and every medal won by a Malaysian at this year's Commonwealth Games were celebrated.   
6) No one else gets our fascination with the King of Fruits, Durians, as one whiff of its deadly aroma sends some people especially non-Malaysians running for their lives. For most of us Malaysians however, it is sweet, sweet heaven. A creamy, melt in your mouth fruit; every bite savored and enjoyed. 
7) We stand together as one family when faced with adversities. We may not have earthquakes but we do have floods that can devastate villages and towns. 

When these mother nature based calamities occur or when we face national tragedies like the recent 
sad loss of Flight MH370 and MH17, we bond as one family to grieve, reciting our prayers for the victims and their families. When help in needed, we give what we can. 
8) We may have tons of designer apparel shops in huge shopping malls, but at most nights, we can be seen at the night markets or pasar malam because we, Malaysians, know there is where we can get the best bargains. Quality materials at a fraction of the price. 
9) We have luxurious restaurants that are air-conditioned and classy, yet our favorite hang-out is always at a hawkers stall because we know, this is where we can get the best-tasting food.   

*I'm not saying these high end restaurants do not provide quality, tasty food; they do and I've enjoyed many scrumptious meals at these restaurants but there is just something special about eating satay, ikan bakar, ais kacang or teh tarik at an open-air hawker joint. 
10) We have many awesome burger joints, either the fast-food variety or those at elegant restaurants, but 

for us, it's the burgers from the road-side stall that we flock to. 
11) Being blessed with sun all-year-round, barbecues and picnics are common occurrences. Nothing beats meat cooked over a hot, charcoal grill.    

12) For a little excitement in our lives, we have the unpredictable weather. The weather forecast may predict hot, sunny weather but it's always handy to have an umbrella in your car as you never know when the next thunderstorm is going to make its grand entrance.  
13) "Open House" is a happy occurrence in Malaysia. During festivals like Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas, Gawai, and so on, open houses will be held, so the host's friends from another race can visit them. With this Open House culture, we all, irregardless of our race or religious beliefs, celebrate together as one. 
14) As the years go by, many of us have become racially integrated, with inter-racial marriages becoming the norm. So much so, many of us are not easily  identified due to our mixed parentage. 
*My mom, for instance, is always mistaken for a Malay, thanks to her mixed parentage of Eurasian and Indian. In my extended family, both on my mother's side and father's side, we have an interesting mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, Portuguese, Irish and Iban ethinicity. Family gatherings are always fun especially when Roast 

Chicken and mashed potatoes, rendang, rice and curry, and spicy Portuguese Devil Curry adorn the table.  
15) Ask most young Malaysians what their favorite food is and they will all unanimously say, "Hands down, mom's cooking!".  
16) Blood relations doesn't matter here, every man is an "uncle" and every lady is an "aunty". We would never dream of calling our friends' parents by name. It's always "uncle" and "aunty" for us. For those still young but older than us, it's always "Kakak" (sister), "Abang" (brother) and those younger are called "adik". There's also the practice of young boys calling each other, "macha", which originates from the Indian culture and is the term for the wife's brother. Now, however, everyone is somebody's "macha".  
*I've recently been demoted from "Kakak" to "Aunty". I know they are just being polite, but every "Aunty" I am called is a painful stab in my heart. I guess it's time to accept that I'm not as young as I want to be. 

In Malaysia, we have beautiful sandy, beaches that beckon. A paradise of islands that entice you to stay. Green forests that relax you. And for those looking for some fun and excitement, there are shopping malls, clubs, water-parks, animal reserves, national monuments and so on. We are never at a loss for fun things to do during the weekends and holidays.  

Our country is not perfect. There are many things that perhaps can be tweaked a little but then again nobody and no country is ever perfect. All I hope for, as we celebrate 57 years of independence, is to look back and have pride in all that we have achieved in the past 57 years, with our skyscrapers, advanced and modern amenities, and international recognitions. An achievement made possible not only by one race but through the joint effort of every race in Malaysia; in short by Malaysians. I hope we can look past our race, skin color, religion and culture, and to not harp on our differences but to celebrate our similarities. All the things that make us special and unique. All the things that make us proud to be Malaysians.  

Disclaimer :
The author of this blog post is not responsible for any hunger pangs or yearning resulting from the food pictures in this blog post.

Note to self : 
The author should refrain from writing blog posts such as these when hungry.   

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Happy New Year 2014

"animated 2013" "2013 glitter" "2013 flower animated" "2013 gif" "Happy New Year" "2013 text"  "
2013 went by in a blink of an eye. Looking back on the year, "my 2013 year in review" as Facebook urges me to do with their nifty little app, I am not sure how to feel. 

Do I feel sad that I did not achieve what I wanted to achieve or feel grateful that I had got through the year in one piece? So instead of worrying about the appropriate emotion or reminiscing about 2013, I decided to start 2014 with a simple New Year Resolution :

1) To not stress over things and enjoy life as it is.
Yes. That gray hair on my head every time I look in the mirror does irritate me but I have decided to not stress over it. (Thank Goodness dyes were invented, eh..).. Bills to pay - not stressing over it. My favorite show gets cancelled - not stressing over it... 
"Kitten" "Smiling cat" "smiling kitten" "cute kitten" "smile kitten" "smile"
2) To always smile and treasure the little things in life. 
I may not have much but I am going to be grateful for what I do have.

3) To be charitable and help those in need.
I wish I was a more charitable person. I envy those who could give so much to those in need of help, whether it's money or time. My mom has always been this kind of person. Always ready to give what little she has. I aspire to be like her. 

4) To not be afraid to take a risk and try new things.
Is the grass always greener on the other side?? Maybe I should just take a risk and go on that grass surveying expedition. Who knows I may find that 
"thinking smiley" "wondering smiley" "making decision smiley" "thinking" "wondering"the grass is indeed green.. It could even be the best decision I ever made.. 

5) To be kind in my words and thoughts. 
Yes. I need to stop being a b***h. 

"World Peace" "Get along" "co-operation"6) To not let bias or prejudice rule.
I aim to be more accepting of others regardless of race, age, gender and sexual orientation. 

7) Most importantly, that I would always be there for my family and friends and be a good daughter, sister and friend; in other words, be a better person. 
My family is the most important thing in my life and I would always be there for them. I hope that in the year to come, I can make things easier for them and make their dreams come true. 
As for my friends at work, I hope to always be there for them and for those friends living far away, former school and university friends, I should make an effort to keep in touch.   

"fat girl on scale" "Weighing scale" "weighing" "lose weight"
I know I should include "lose weight" or "do not touch that muffin, cake, burger, anything that looks delicious" in my New Year Resolution list but I was thinking why make promises I cannot keep. Yes. Yes. I will exercise more, for general health purposes but if that weighing scale stubbornly refuses to move lower, I will not stress over it. 

"Animated hulk" Animated hulk punch" "punch" "hulk punch" "punching 2013" "smashing 2013" "hate 2013"
So for all those who had a 2013 that you wish you could smash away, may 2014 be a better year for you. 
For those who had a wonderful 2013 (I HATE YOU! Kidding. Kidding), then here's wishing 2014 is even better. 

May we have a year that has less calamities, whether man-made or from nature's wrath and less fighting. 

"Happy New Year 2014" "New Year Prayer" "New Year Resolution" "New Year wish" "New Year greetings"

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    Rambling Ame is my name for I love to talk and talk and talk.
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