Henna/ Inai and Some Cultural Ramblings

7:06 PM

The Aidilfitri decorations have finally been taken down and replaced with bright swirly "Selamat Hari Deepavali!" banners. Little India is packed with people buying their new elaborate punjabi suits, or sparkly new bangles, or just stopping buy for a teh tarik and capati break before returning to their houses to make further preparations. Open house invitations have been starting to flood in, trying to keep track of them is a bit confusing. Without a doubt, the Deepavali spirit is in the air! And it's not just limited to the Indians that stay here in Malaysia.
On Saturday after picking my younger host sister up from Kokorikulum Day at her school, my host mom, her friend, my sister and I were driving through Ipoh and were confused about the jam-- until it hit us. Little India, duh!
My host mom's friend decided she wanted to get henna (my friends call it inai, I guess that's what it's called here?) done on her hands, and I also wanted to give it a try... so I did.
Pictures later, cultural notes first. 
Although we got stared at, no one seemed to question or seem angry at the fact that a white girl and her clearly Malay family were in Little India. Malaysia is surprising like that. I've heard a lot of people talking about race issues, discrimination, etc, but I've found that all races have been equally welcoming to me, especially in sharing their culture. In coming here, I've not only learned about Islam and my own host family's customs, but also about the traditions of the Chinese and Indians here.
Malaysia is one of the few places with such a distinct culture of diversity. Each race manages to keep it own identity intact while still being a puzzle piece in the jigsaw that is Malaysia. You may be Indian, or Chinese, or Malay, but you're also Malaysian.
Yes, that sounds cliche, but where else can you stop for some dim sum after shopping for bangles while listening to the Call to Prayer winding up and down the streets?
To Malaysians- Take pride in the country you live in. Both the scenery and the culture are beautiful here.  You're lucky to live in such a place. To Americans- Learn to value the diversity of your country as it is valued in Malaysia. America's a pretty awesome place too. To others- Again, just value the place you live. To a foreigner, it's bound to be amazing and unique.
Culture is what keeps generations connected, what defines a people. Be proud of your culture. It has helped to shape you to be the person you are.
To put it one more way.... A person without culture is like a meal in Malaysia without rice!
As for my Deepavali plans, I'll be spending the holiday with an Indian family somewhere in Perak. Really excited for it!
Also, I've been blogged about! Thanks to BlogSerius for writing a sweet article about me. Link here: http://blogserius.blogspot.com/2012/11/serius-cute-remaja-pertukaran-pelajar.html

Pretty henna

Peek a boo!


While the paste was still drying...

I'm fun at parties



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30 comments

  1. here we call it inai:)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. hye hannah

      saya adalah pedobear

      i'm pedobear

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      Delete
    2. oh shit

      it was so ugly

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    3. yeah. u should burn it

      Delete
  2. hi dear. enjoy your time in malaysia. enjoy every moment in here.
    me in ipoh too :)

    try as much malaysian foods as you can ;)

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  3. u're so adorable dear... done follow u :) - Noob

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  4. See,i told cha,the writer from blogserius really admire u...and also prince of noob of course hahah....me?im just a blogwalker....

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    1. Oh,i almost forgot,please do check my blog too www.molotovcocktailz.blogspot.com even though it is in Malay,all you have to do is activate google translate hehehe....

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    2. you also blogwalker la..lol

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  5. careful with prince of noob..


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  6. hy dear... can u write something using malay language, like to see ur improvment in bahasa malaysia, just a simple story. do u have a FB?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Nama saya hannah. Saya dari Amerika Syarikat. Umur saya lima belas tahun. Saya suka makan roti canai dan pizza. Saya rindu kawan saya dan keluarga saya. Saya nak bercakap bahasa melayu baik!!

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    3. Bagus...great..

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    4. Saya nak bercakap bahasa melayu dengan baik!!

      i have a question.
      kenapa kamu tak suka pizza di Malaysia?

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    5. very nice... mybe someday u can post a story in ur blog archivement using 100% 'bahasa melayu'.. who knows, hehe (sorry my english very 'lintang pukang')

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    6. memang lintang pukang pun..text melayu je lah..die faham. dah berbulan die kat malaysia..

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    7. great improvement hannah:) welcome to our countryland malaysia..

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  7. obe (blogserius's owner) try to troll u, hannah
    hahaha, just kidding

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  8. those fish is piranha or what. they want to eat ma mouse.

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  9. Saya suka main bola. Hari-hari saya main bole <-- Hannah.. please memorize this. :P WELCOME TO MALAYSIA AND ENJOY! <3

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  10. Wahahahaah. Well Hannah, I'm quite impressed actually with your Malay. Bangga rasa. Hehehe. Semoga bergembira di Malaysia, dan kami mengalukan kedatangan awak.

    Ha, kalau tak sure apa ayat atas, suruh saya translate. :p

    Welcome anyway :)

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  11. u are in IPOH? Great..its a nice city where I living...U should Nasi Ganja...dont worry its not drug..its just the name...

    here the link
    http://lifeissimplela.blogspot.com/2011/07/tempat-yang-menarik-di-ipoh.html

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    Replies
    1. your english sucks. speak melei plis!

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    2. wtf man?!

      speak melies please. I'm chinese, i found your English was so humiliating

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    3. oh god my bad,missed some word,no wonder la..let me correct my statement

      "u are in IPOH? Great..its a nice city where I live...U should try Nasi Ganja...dont worry,it's not a drug..its just the name..."

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  12. good day sis. have fine journey

    -your friend-

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  13. A very good day to u Hannah...

    Must been hard for a teenager like u 1000 miles away from home on a foreign land, different cultures, food and climates for 365 days... Not all wiling to take this journey, i know i'm not... :)

    After reading your older post specifically on 9/11, your first perception on Muslims during your childhood and still choosing Malaysia for you to spend your precious teenagers life for a year touched me...

    You openness in embracing different religion, cultures, education, environment, climate and mostly food will make you a better person someday...

    Thank you for appreciating Malaysia through your words and thoughts in this blog... We as human tend to forget what we have, till we need someone else to remind us what we have rather than what we want... "count your blessings" someone once said to me...

    Since u a quite popular after been mention at 1 of the most famous blog in Malaysia, i suggest u put on a filter on comments from the visitors... don't let the unwanted and nasty comments been featured in this lovely blog of yours... there's no bad religion or race, only bad people...

    Enjoy the rest of -+300 days in this BolehLand... keep on writings... Hope that we learn something as much as you do..i close my remarks with an old Malay saying...

    "Yang baik jadikan tauladan, yang buruk jadikan sempadan"

    Yours,
    WritingWithBadGrammar

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  14. a slowpoke here, but thanks to obefiend, you just got yourself another silent reader. has read each and every single post of yours and hope that even more wonderful time awaits during your stay in this humble abode of ours. as much as you enjoy your experience here, so will us dear readers enjoy reading it. and btw, the "malaysia experience" wont be complete without a visit to the two states across the south china sea ;)

    anyhow, keep up the good work. for the school holidays, wish you godspeed and good luck for any adventures which you're going to undertake during the period! ^^

    ReplyDelete

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