The King and I

Growing up, I used to wonder why my parents really insisted on me speaking in Kelantanese dialect, even when I didn’t want to. Their reason was because the language was their mother tongue and they made it their responsibility to preserve it. They continuously persuaded me to speak and also taught my younger brother and sister, who can now speak the dialect fluently. I quote what my parents said:

“We would be proud to have a child that goes back to their home country and confidently speaks to the local people in their dialect. It would be rude to say ‘Oh sorry, love. I was born and bred in England and I can’t understand a word that you are saying or speak your language.’ And that, my child, is very disrespectful!”

Despite the endless support which was given by my parents, I used to hate meeting other Malaysians in the UK. They made fun of me when I spoke Malay because I was speaking in Kelantanese dialect. I am not talking about kids, I am talking about adults. Most of them had children the same age as me or even older. They laughed at each and every word that came out of my mouth. As a result of that, my confidence to continue speaking Malay was killed and that added to my refusal to speak the language. I questioned a lot, “Why did people make fun of Kelantanese dialect?” but the answer remained a mystery.

Time passed and now I am 10 years old. My parents didn’t stop telling me stories about Malaysia. One day, I heard my parents talking about His Majesty, the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V. He sounded like an extremely humble, down-to-earth person. I heard many captivating stories about him and his virtuous qualities. He behaves like a common man and prefers to go out without any bodyguards. When a big flood hit Kelantan in 2014, His Majesty rushed out in his truck without anyone accompanying him and aided those in need. He is also occasionally seen voluntarily digging graves with common people. This marvellous Sultan regularly visits mosque and doesn’t claim a special place for himself in the front line. Sometimes, he even leads the prayer himself. He loves his people and wants to be close to their heart, especially on religious occasions. So for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, he opens his palace to the public to let people pray and read Quran all night long. And on Eid ul-Adha, he performs the slaughtering duties himself. To add to his brilliance, he changed the King’s regal salutation from ‘Daulat Tuanku’ (Long Live the King) to ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) as he is a religious man and strongly upholds his religion. He really is a modest, meek ruler who doesn’t mind to get his hands dirty and is caring about his people.

Finding out that he did all of these wonderful things made me adore him even more. I soon found out that His Majesty was going to be coronated as Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (the King of Malaysia) and that made me look up to him even more! I was motivated and started to regain my confidence in speaking Malay. If the King of Malaysia can speak in Kelantanese dialect, then why can’t I? Thank you for inspiring me, Your Majesty, a boy in a foreign land! You are one in a million! So let His Majesty be an example to all of us! Be gratified of who you are, never be ashamed of your roots and your dialect but always remember to remain humble so that Together We Can Change The World! NOW I CAN SAY THAT MY NAME IS OMAR MUKHTAR BIN OMAR MUKHLIS AND I AM A PROUD KELANTANESE FROM MALAYSIA!

Written by The Pawsome Lion on 24/04/2017 in conjunction with the coronation of the country’s sovereign, Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

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The True Meaning of Eid

Salaam pawsome peeps!

WOW!!! Time flies without us even noticing! Ramadan is already stepping out from under the spotlight and Eid is just around the corner! 😀 Most people-especially lil’ kids-are looking forward to this very joyous occasion. Many people are hustling about making preparations for Eid such as what to wear, what food to cook, where to go and other stuff like that. But because people are too busy fussing about the preparations for Eid, they tend to forget that the peak of this blessed month is in the last 10 days. They don’t realise that they are missing out on the best part of Ramadan just because they are getting blinded by the excitement of Eid!

Instead of getting in high gear for the grand finale of this blessed month of Ramadan, many of us are too busy comparing the number of outfits they have between each other. When Eid comes, people go especially crazy when it comes to buying new clothes. They shop like there’s no tomorrow! They’re wasting money unnecessarily when they already have more than enough clothes to wear! Just because it’s Eid, people think that they NEED to buy new clothes in order to celebrate this big day. In fact, many are going off the rails because they feel the urge to show off to people so they can be better than others. However, I’m not saying that what they’re doing is totally and completely wrong, they obviously want to look good on the day. But, that’s still not the true meaning of Eid! It’s not what Islam teaches us! Our religion tells us to be modest at all times.

To relate to our subject, I would like to share a discussion that my family had recently. We were talking about the preparations for Eid. Mr Dad asked me,

“Do you need any new clothes for Eid, Pawsome Lion?”

Hearing this, I excitedly jumped up from where I was sitting and replied,

“Yes please! I definitely need some new outfits!”

Then, Mr Dad asked me again,

“Are you sure?”

So I thought carefully and finally answered,

“Hmm…No, actually I’m fine. I don’t need new ones. I’ve already got more than enough in my wardrobe!”

You must be wondering why I changed my mind in a matter of seconds. Well…the moment I said yes, Little Miss Diva repeated after me saying “Yes!” too, with Baby A tagging along. They didn’t even know what it meant but because they always look up to me, they copied me 100%! So when Mr Dad asked me a second time, my mind was racing. There was a voice in my head telling me to make a wise decision because I’ve got a huge responsibility to carry, setting a good example to my brother and sister. And anyway, I can always wear my best clothes from what I already have, not to waste money on clothes that I’m going to wear once or twice! We all should buy things only when we really need to.

Allow me to take you further down the road…THINK! Will you be happy parading around in your new outfit when you know that in another part of the world, someone less fortunate than you, who is cold and hungry, hasn’t even got a shelter to keep them safe let alone clothes? Now, will you still be selfish and have a cold heart, counting the number of outfits you wish to have on Eid? Or will you be grateful for what you already have and remember the true meaning of Eid? Your call! 😐

Now, I am pleading to all of you. Don’t burden your parents just because of some selfish excuse. Be kinder, help those in need, look at the people around you and ask them if they need help, if someone helps you, pay it forward, do all these things so TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD! 💪 It is our duty as a human being to do it.

Moving on, in some countries, they practice giving money to children on Eid as a gift. For example, Malaysians call it Duit Raya. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give money but from what I have heard, I noticed that there are more negatives than positives on this tradition. Imagine that it’s Eid and you have two uncles in your family, Uncle X and Uncle Y. Uncle X gave £10 each to his nephews and nieces while Uncle Y gives only £1 each. Everyone will start to think that Uncle X is better than Uncle Y! Straight away, Uncle X has become everybody’s favourite. What everybody doesn’t realise is that Uncle X has billions of pounds in his savings account whereas Uncle Y has ZERO! What really counts is not the amount of money they gave away but the kindness and generosity that they intended. That is why we shouldn’t be judgemental. Always think further down the line, there might be some hidden reason behind one’s action!

Last but not least, I sincerely hope that this holy month of Ramadan will polish us to be a shining diamond! We can still celebrate Eid joyously and grandly but we do not have to show off our accessories or good looking clothes. Bear this in mind and everyone can live a happy life. Let’s all help each other to be a better person! Remember, the true meaning of Eid is to be modest and thankful for what we have and remember those in need!

Salaam!

“Modesty is something we should all have and hold on to. If we let go of it, our dignity will be no more and people will think of us as nothing but vain and selfish.”

The Pawsome Lion-Saturday 25th June 2016

p/s: Enjoy my old collection of Ramadan and Eid photo collage! 😉

*Media Source: The Pawsome Lion*