Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This Merry Jolly Festive Christmas

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace." - Agnes M. Pharo

"
The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart." - Helen Keller


"
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
" - Norman Vincent Peale

"
If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away.
"
Me? xD

It's that time of the year again! The jolly Christmas season has come back carolling once more, in our tropical but humble Malaysia. Although Malaysia is a country that only gets hot and wet all year round, and we could only dream of wearing winter clothing bracing for the winter that never comes,nonetheless, all of us Malaysians are looking forward to having a good time celebrating and exchanging presents with friends, joking about our past misdeeds, and maybe munching off some freshly baked christmas cookies that we are all looking forward too.

In a country so diverse with different races and religions, I believe Christmas is a free-for-all season, open for everyone regardless of their background to celebrate, just as uniquely as how we celebrate our usual Chinese New Years, Hari Rayas, Deepavalis and other varieties of festivals.

Although bear in mind, Christmas is not a season for misdeeds and naughtiness, rather more of giving away our love and appreciation to the ones we care so much, not just in forms of tangible goods like cash, presents, and dolls, but even mere words and feelings will bring more authenticity in wishing a good peaceful Christmas to our closest neighbors. Gifts of time and love are the best ingredients of a truly merry Christmas, don't you agree?

(Sadly, being in a major Islamic country, we hardly ever knew how eggnog tasted like.)

Here's a part of an article I fancy off from Justin Raimondo, giving descriptions on his experience celebrating Christmas in Malaysia, obtained from his website antiwar.com.


I have to say that I am… astonished by Malaysia. Here is an "Islamic" country where a gigantic Christmas tree sits in the lobby of the hotel I'm staying at, and the cafĂ© waiters in the plaza a few blocks away are dressed like Santa's elves. Here is a city where the nightlife puts San Francisco's to shame. Where the city's oldest gay bar, the Blue Boy, makes Baghdad-by-the-Bay seem like a dive in Podunk, Idaho; where people party well into the morning light, and you can have a good time for a few ringgits (the Malay currency: around 30 cents). The food is fabulous: Malay (spicy, somewhat Thai-like), Arab (there's a great place right off Bukhit Bintang), Chinese (you haven't lived until you've sampled the pleasures of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown), and too many more to go into here. The place is a gastrointestinal paradise!

Modernity is juxtaposed next to traditionalism: on the one hand you have the soaring heights of the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world, lit up like a vision of futurity against the night sky, and on the other hand you have women in traditional dress – colorful costumes of bright color and the requisite head covering – traversing its corridors. Two, three, many worlds coexisting: the past and the future converging into a new synthesis of creativity and entrepreneurial energy. The impression one gets is of a tremendous vitality, a restless yet directed life-force that seems to spring right out of the earth.

A final note: nowhere have I experienced more genuine warmth and such a feeling of welcome. When you come to Kuala Lumpur, you are made to feel very special. The gentleness and politeness of these people is a phenomenon that doesn't exist, to my knowledge, anywhere in the U.S. Malays are generally puzzled by the actions of the U.S. government abroad, and do not support the war in Iraq: but they love America, the country, and show great admiration and respect for the American people. And that is the kind of "anti-Americanism" that I can live with.

~ Justin Raimondo



I wish to say that countries around the world should stop having the perception that Malaysia is closing its doors to the world. I wish that they don't look down upon our country or having a wrong idea about our traditional heritage and culture. We are willing to be progressive and be competitive catching up with modern times, but as us Malaysians, we remain humble and modest as much as we could.

I blame the society for being rude and only care about ridiculous conflicts in our country, which only aims to break us apart. Why don't we see anyone willing to unify us, and not fight for power or position in the country? Why do we not see each other as being equal yet? Are we too much down-to-earth or just being lazy couch potatoes? Why do we get so addicted to negative yellow influences that only seeks to poison our minds and our younger generation?

Why are we not willing to... change?

There are so many questions that needed so many to be answered. Why don't we put an effort to improve ourselves for just a moment? Whatever religious background we come from, don't we learn from teachings that we should respect and love our neighbors as if they're our own family relatives?

This isn't the time to bombard questions about our state of mind. Rather, we should focus on efforts on improving ourselves, our esteem, our self-actualization, and realize our potential, not to be kiasu or rise above all others, no no, my hope is to see all of us united together once and for all.

Christmas is a time for us to enjoy peace, respect our differences, but also maintain our humility.

Merry Christmas to all of us! Remember, Christmas isn't restricted to a certain group of worshipers alone, for people who do see it in such a way are stereotypes not ready for a change. Christmas is an occasion for all!

I love Christmas. I really do love Christmas. I love being with my family but I really wanted to taste snow. I love the music and the lights and all of it.

ps: I'm still cursing to the fact that Digi will be suspending my credit period on Christmas Day. Curse you, darn it! (And I thought Christmas should be a merry jolly season to call your loved ones)

What makes it worse is, instead of the intended deadline on 25th December, Digi is violating me by ending my credit the day before Christmas!! (by the time I will wake up in the morning today) I really need to change to Maxis when I have the chance.

2 comments:

  1. such a great read, i love / enjoy this article of yours the best :3

    ReplyDelete
  2. lol just let it be lah xDDD bukannya nak message sesapa pun :3

    ReplyDelete