2017

2016 was like a rollercoaster of emotion, as i graduated in 2015, everything seems happy, family and friends congratulating,  and so whats next ?  So by 2016, like any graduate, i was hopeful that i will find a job that i like and passionate about although i still didn’t know what i wanted to do.

Without hesistating, i accepted a job to fill in for a vacancy available. I will not mention where and what because its facebook/social media where – professionally speaking, you should never post anything about your workplace on the internet (Rule number 1). Details aside, I didn’t continue my contract, I was not happy , the kind of happy where no matter what happens , you still look forward the next day. Give me any job, i will be very happy to do it, i get from my parents most , a hardworking employee (if there’s anyone more hardworking i know , it would be my parents!)

So i learn that, being good at something doesnt necessarily means that it’s your career but a job you do to fulfill your responsibility as an employee where you work in. Of cause not everyone have the luxury or priviledged to this. But if you do find yourself able to take a break from this, take a gap year and give yourself some time to figure out what you want to do next.

So, i went on helping my parents, sometimes as a photographer, taking photos of their research with community, sometimes makes videos of it, sometimes writing a research paper, sometimes about the people i come across with, simply because i am happy to write about people with such passion and inspirational. Little people making small changes to their community. So most of my friends on facebook would be reading it via ‘Stories Of The Day’ album. It was written out of the spur moment because my head is full of words that i needed to write it down and share it.

Writing came naturally to me, it was never something  I learn professionally. I just write whenever my mind have something to say, and can only be translated through writing. I remember being very excited to write the essay part in english class or exam. And i always wanted to write differently though my teacher never comment or praise  my writing, but i know what my teacher feels through the grade.

Growing up, my writings were sacred, keeping a diary was my refuge. But once it was discovered by my siblings, i was traumatized for some time and stopped writing. I forgave all of you btw, its just necessary that i write this part to connect to the next part.

After years of not writing except for school purposes, i stopped expressing my thoughts unless its exam time. As i enter my university year, i started writing again via blogspot but still i am easily found out online lol! Until one day a friend introduced me to another blog platform where you can anonymously write without revealing yourself. In some way, it helps me to channel my thoughts and whatever in my mind ‘freely’ without worrying what people might think or comment on.

Again, i was still found out by very few people i know who was using the same blogging platform. I deleted right away (even though my followers was growing) and made a new one, strangely, some of the followers consistently can recognize my writing no matter what url i change to haha.  So i gave up and just continue writing.

Tbh, i didnt like having that many followers, that button shouldnt exist! It makes you feel insecure of how many people are reading your posts, it took me some time to believe that people actually follows your blog because they enjoyed reading your posts. I see this from the comments and messages i received based on my posts . But i never take my writing seriously until i contributed the articles to The Vocket on my experience staying with Malay community in Capetown.

I was rather surprised by the feedback and happy that people appreciate and enjoyed reading it. For me, as long as the message i want to share with my readers received well, i am already happy even though i didnt get anything from it (it was done for free because i wanted more people to know about the malay community in capetown rather than about me going there).

Coming back to Malaysia, it took me a while to get myself adjusted to the attention people gave me both in Capetown and Malaysia. Not to say that i am now somewhat famous, but at least to those who has been following my journey, they were quite receptive to see the writing side of me. Some suggested that i write books, or documentary script, document it in something written but all i really want that time is to take a break from the whole social interaction that i had almost everyday. As much as i love meeting people, i also needed my own time to recharge and relax my mind from everything happening around me.

Psychology says i might be an ambivert , one who enjoys both socializing like extroverts do but also takes refuge in  her own solitude ‘mind palace’. Other names, might be extroversion introvert, but i think everyone have their own side which they most strongly connect with. Only that people might be selective with who they open up to or connect with, but other times can actually act like normal human being and not subjected to particular label or non existent boxes in their mind.
However, its thanks to the articles i shared in The Vocket, ithat made me realize, writing can be an influential and powerful communication tool to all kinds of people depending on the kind of message you want to post. It brings together the like minded people who is interested in the same thing we are passionate about or attract new readers to want to know more about what you wrote, as long as your intention is right.

I learn that you cant continue to hide your talent because one day it will show or someone will find out your talent. And if we keep on surpressing it and denying that we are good at something, we are injustice about who we are and the gift that God have given to us to do something forwhatever talent He gave us.

So, i started to accept that i might be a writer (or a ‘storyteller’ to some ) though not yet a book writer, but at least have written a fair amount of  things i wrote in different platform, academically or not. But it is up to me to write my life in the next 365 days. So every day is a chance for me and anyone reading this to write a new page. Although we cannot rewrite our past that brought us to where we are now, but we can certaily write the present which is, today! So, write a good one and may everyone of you have good year ahead! Happy new year!

*Slowly writing my own path…..

30!

Turning 30 was easier than i expected (although i was rather anxious the day before. Haha) but waking up like its just another day, dont make me feel any different about it. I kinda like my age right now, the number is ‘even’ now haha! 
Just a little tip, whenever you turn older, go meet someone older than you and ask them about their experience in life haha! For some reason, i felt a bit calmer when i hear about other peoples experience in achieving their life, the choices they make, the things they do, and how they started their career and reach where they are now, makes you feel like we have more to look forward to than the things that is holding us back in the past. Hehe thanks you know who you are 😉
My life has been a long detours and rollercoaster ride, thanks to all my ups and downs, pauses and stops ive had to face for the past 30 years, that brought me to where i am. Who i am today were because of the past experience i go through, our experiences and mistakes in life is preparing us to be who we are today. And at least, other than a lesson learned, some made into a good story i sometimes share with selected few and had a good laugh of the things that happened in the past. My life have become more interesting thanks to it!
Alhamdulillah for the past 30 years, and insyAllah to the years to come. May Allah swt continue to give us more time to learn and become a better person everyday and contribute back to people around us for as long as Allah swt have written for us. Thank you again for the wishes and prayers, may Allah swt grant your prayers and reward you with what is best for you too! 
And alhamdulillah to everyone who came into my life, whether or not they stay or not, thank you for being part of the chapters in my life. It has been a wonderful journey and i look forward for whatever lesson and experience that has been written for me! To reach 30 years old is also rezeki. Okayyyy….😉

  

Regrets

A friend of mine said
“I waste so much things on the little things, good friends that could have make a difference in my life , and being too caught up with what other people would think of me instead of what I want to do in life…but despite all, all the mistakes I have done, I don’t want to regret any of it and accept it as they are because it wouldn’t have made me into the person I am today”
this sums up everything I don’t regret !
I really do wish that I would have done more to save certain relationship (not necessarily love) , but friends whom i unfriended because of our differences, or remove from my life due to personal reasons etc.
But then again, if i didn’t do that, i would not realize all the people who really cared about me and loved me for who i am. Some, came back to make up for the mistakes they have done towards me, only for me to realize that i miss them as a friend more than i used to hate them back then.
Some I initiated to make it up to them(im not a perfect either!) due to certain issues we had back then , some despite driving them mad every now and then..slowly grow our friendship to the ‘mature friendship’ , while some friends that I never expect would turn into very good friends , whom i would pass by without making any effort to get to know more, cross path with mine again and turn out to be wonderful friends.
And its also funny that some, we hated each other for who we thought we were until we somehow we were thrown in the same boat (metaphorically) and had to depend on each other to keep our boats going until we reach our destination.
So, it taught me that sometimes, all we need to do is give that person a chance by getting to know them a little bit better and then decide whether or not this is the kind of friends or people we want to continue to be friends with because its really important to choose who we surround ourselves with.
Because sometimes, we will also attract negative friends and we need to be very careful not to mistake friendship with ‘friends with benefits’. So when we remove the negative people around us, we can then make room for positive people to come into our life. But, sometimes the negative people is good for us too, because you learn how to deal with difficult people and you learn how to be a better communicator or PR for instant.
But, what i learn most of all is that, if we can’t find a good friend, be one! Because eventually, we will attract the right kind of friends, and as we grow, we don’t really need a lot of friends, only those whom we can count on, those we know would be there for us, and those whom we don’t really have to contact with all the time, but when we do, we could just pick it up where we left off…and just be ourselves.
So yeah, regrets only comes when we tend to think of the things we could have done better, or people who is no longer in our life that is not meant to stay, and stuffs that we wish we could have but maybe, just maybe we are better off without the things we want, but appreciates whatever we already have , is what we need.
I remember watching a video on a story about a poor man who was very happy to dip his biscuit in a river and shout “Alhamdulillah for this!”, as the King pass by he was amazed how happy he was to have only a biscuit and dipping it in the river before eating it with such gratitude. And so the King asked what is the secret behind his happiness.
So the poor man said, “My King, would you give half of your Kingdom if you were thirsty but that is the price you have to pay when there is nothing in the world except half of your Kingdom to pay for a glass of water?”
The King replied “I would have given all of my Kingdom if I have to!”
And the poor man replies “So why should I not be grateful for the One who provides me this biscuits is the King of the Kings? Allah swt who owns all the wealth in this world?”
Then there was another story of how this person in Rasulullah SAW time, who came up to the Prophet SAW to ask him to make dua for him to be rich! Reluctantly beloved Prophet SAW replied
“The little you have, if you are thankful, is better than the abundance you have but you cannot carry it”
For three times, the Prophet SAW replied the same thing when the person insists that he makes dua for him. Finally, the Prophet SAW gave in, and made dua for that person to be rich. And so that person’s wealth multiplied, his sheeps doubled and tripled to a point where he have to take out Zakat from the excess wealth he have to be distributed for those in need. Zakat is an obligatory to give out for muslims who have excess wealth and income according to Islam teachings. But this person refused to give out to a point he makes excuses not to pay zakat and find ways to avoid from giving out his wealth.
Finally, Prophet SAW stops asking him to pay zakat due to an ayat from Allah swt about this person.
And this person wealth continues to multiply to a point he cannot manage it anymore and he wanted to give it away as zakat. By then, he was missing his prayers and all the things a practicing muslim should do because he was too busy with his business. Since that Allah swt warns the Prophet SAW not to accept any zakat from this person in the future, this person never get to give his zakat and his sheeps and other livestock continues to multiply that he have no space to keep it to himself. Even until the Caliphate times up till Caliph Uthman bin Affan time, this person died without being able to give out zakat. Only Allah swt knows what is his fate in the afterlife.
So coming back to what Prophet SAW said,
“The little you have, if you are thankful, is better than the abundance you have but you cannot carry it”
Try not to see what others have as something that you envy not having, because every one of us are made for different purpose and given rizq in many forms and ways. To have good friends we can count on…while others are alone when they needed one…is rizq, to have parents who is still alive while others wish they still have one of them…..is rizq, to have a home while others may not even have a roof…is rizq, to live in peace while others risk their life trying to live another day ….is rizq., to be able to breathe..while others rely on oxygen tank… is rizq, to be able to eat, chew, and enjoy our food while others may not even know if this is their last meal…is rizq, to have a good working body and healthy while others might be hospitalized….is also a blessing …but most of all..the greatest gift we all have…is to be alive…and still be given a chance to do something about our life…is rizq from the Most Generous and The Giver, the King of the Kings!
“So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?” (Ar Rahman, 55:33)

Calling someone thin is as offensive as calling people fat

For someone who is thin, I find it rather offensive sometimes when people point out how thin I am. Its not like I was hurt by it, but I feel uncomfortable when people keep saying how thin I am as if there’s something wrong with me.

I am perfectly happy with my body, and have no problem with it. I am happy that I dont have to worry about gaining weight, though i do try to eat healthily.

I am not on diet, I dont have anorexia, I am just thin. That’s all. Everyone were born with their own size & body shape, but so can we just stop stereotyping on each other?
Just because no one is saying anything about it doesn’t mean its okay to say that to a person who is not your kind of ‘normal’. What’s normal to you may not be normal to others. And ‘normalizing’ this isn’t going to stop people from saying stuffs at you, so speak up and tell people that its not okay. 

A year in 2016

I was looking at fb a year in review, and thanks to the memories function we were constantly reminded of the things we do in the past few year. Some was good, some wasnt, some was happy memories, some was sad. But life goes on. With pr without you. It does. 
I must say, taking a break – a gap year – whatever you want to call it. Has been a journey within that ive been fortunate to explore on. It wasnt easy to resist that feeling like i was somewhat left behind from the rest of my friends who has probably have a decent job, family and children of their own. 
All the things that i thought i would be doing by 30 turned upside down and im still figuring out my life was. I made the decision and stick to it, i dont want to look back for the life i choose not to continue my life as. Refusing to participate from such competition, probably the best choice ive made, i wasnt a ‘good runner’ anyway, so i always needed that short breaks and get distracted by the flowers and things along the way. 
Even if i were to go for a hiking, i would need a month or so to build up my stamina before i actually go on a hike. But im glad that at every hike i made (well three sorta), i can always find some friends to go with together. If the previous year, i learnt how to wall climb, and learn to ‘fall’, this year was probably about hiking my way up. God knows, how long it will take me to get there. But i hope when i do, i still have some friends with me to enjoy the view and family to go home to.
Which brings me to the part where this is the year, where you learn that as long as you have a family and a few good friends you to support you, everything else is secondary. Even the opinions of negative people wont matter much to you. Because you also realize that peace is better than trying to prove yourself right (even if you are right, you might still be wrong for others) Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but its up to us to accept these opinions. Unless we allow ourselves to be effected by whatever people think of you, then we will always be their prisoner. Still, words do hurt. So choose your word wisely.
Every year, we will either lose friends or gain friends, and sometimes we would bump into them, saying hi and go on separate ways without keeping in touch with each other. And its okay to not want these people back into our life. It wouldnt work out anyway if we kept them in our life. We dont have to hold grudge or anything, just simply let go and be happy for each others life. Some things arent meant to be, friends can also break your heart, but you dont have to break theirs by being mean etc. Being nice is rare nowadays, be that person because some day, someone nice will come along and treat you like you deserve. 
This year, i decided to share a little bit of my writings, it was rather scary at first since like everyone else, theres a lot of fears and doubts along the way that i had to battled with. But, im glad to see the response i get from some of you who have been supporting me (including my own family). Honestly it took me years to gather this courage to write down what i feel instead of keeping it away in a private blog or not at all. And a lot of grammatical error haha! So, i learn that, sometimes you cant keep on hiding what you have always enjoyed doing or naturally do, because it will show up sooner or later. I dont consider myself talented, as imposter-syndrome would crept up, but my point is, there will come a point in our life where you have to share that talent of yours and the things you are good at, because someone might be looking for the skill and knowledge you have from places or people you will never expect. Who knows, it might be that dream job you have always wanted but never thought could come true. Or at least do it for your own personal goals. To be better than you were yesterday is at least the competition you can win every day. But dont be too hard in yourself that you start to put too much pressure on yourself and your own crazy expectations that you forgot about what really matters in life. You!
No one really know where they are going, or figure out what they gonna do right away. So its okay to not have everything figure out, life is a constant change, everything is temporary even your bad days. Learn to see the good in everything around us and be happy with whatever comes. Be happy, be sad, be angry, be weird, be who you are because we are human beings. Feel every emotions, embrace your shortcomings, acknowledge your worth, value yourself and love who you are. Its okay to not be okay but its not okay, to pretend that everythings okay. Get help, get a friend, get your parents , and reach out to those you are most comfortable to confide what troubles you. And if you cant find any of them, you can always turn within and find God. Because its in these moments that you are most vulnerable and need strength from God to lend you these strength. When your empty, other things will fill up the space but nothing will ever suffice until we ask from The One who suffice us. Say, hasbunallahwanikmalwakil (Allah swt is enough for me). 
And as the matter of heart goes, i am content that i should cherish my single life because there will be no other time than now where i am happy to be at, though does not mean i hate marriage (i was raised by a very strong married couple whose reading this post lol!) What i mean to say is that, im using this time to focus on my own self development and life as it is. Just keep on praying for what is best for me, and insyAllah, whoever written for me will arrive when the time is right . But until then, im just gonna chill and enjoy this journey. 
Alhamdulillah for this year. Insyallah for next year. May Allah swt bless all of you with whatever best for all of us. Amin.

Mencari Melayu di Capetown [bahagian 4: Perkahwinan (Wedding)]

Saya sempat menghadiri majlis perkahwinan orang Melayu di sini iaitu Malika, berumur 26 tahun dan merupakan anak perempuan kepada seorang kenalan host saya.  Semasa bertemunya buat pertama kali dirumahnya beberapa hari sebelum hari perkahwinannya, dia memberitahu bahawa dia membuat keputusan untuk berkahwin minggu lalu dan akan berkahwin dalam masa seminggu sahaja. Terkejut dengan jawapannya, Malika memberitahu bahawa dia yakin dengan keputusannya kerana telah mengenali bakal suaminya selama setahun. Walaupun hanya berkawan biasa, apabila menerima ‘lambar’ (lamaran) dari keluarga Shahid, beliau terus menerimanya. Mereka tidak di ‘unang’ (bertunang) tetapi terus berkahwin pada minggu tersebut.

I had the opportunity to attend a Malay wedding here , Malika, 26 years old is the daughter of my host friend. When I met her for the first time at her house before the wedding, she told me that she just decide to accept the marriage proposal last week and will get married in a week time. Surprised by her answer, Malika told me that she is confident with her decision after knowing her future husband for about a year. Although they were just friends, when the ‘lambar’ @ arriage proposal came from Shahid family, she instantly accepts it. They did not get engaged but got married in that week.

Walaubagaimanapun, saya sempat bertanya neneknya mengenai cara orang Melayu disini berkahwin. Menurut neneknya, setiap pasangan yang hendak berkahwin akan melalui proses ‘Lambang’(di sebut: Lambar)  iaitu melamar yang diwakili oleh ibu bapa dan keluarga sebelah lelaki. Kemudian mereka ditunangkan mengikut tempoh yang dipersetujui yang dipanggil ‘Unang’ yang diadakan semasa ‘Lambang’. Hanya ketika ini pasangan yang bertunang akan bertukar hadiah. Kemudian, mereka akan dinikahkan dan disandingkan pada hari yang sama di rumah pengantin perempuan sebelum dijemput ke rumah pengantin lelaki oleh ‘Hujaj’(pakaian yang dipakai oleh ahli keluarga perempuan yang pernah menunaikan Haji).

Nevertheless, I did get to ask her grandmother about how the Malay wedding. According to her grandmother, every couple who will be getting married will go through the ‘lambang’ process, the parents and family from the Men’s side will come to propose. Then, they will get engaged for a certain time agreed by both family, called ‘Unang’ which is held during ‘Lambang’. Only during this time, they will exchange gifts. Then, they will be married and have their reception on the same day at the Bride’s house before she is invited to the Groom’s  house by the Hujaj’s (a dress worn by the female relatives who have gone for Hajj)

Jemputan @ ‘unang’ (bermaksud: Undang, turut digunakan untuk merujuk bertunang) ke majlis perkahwinan dibuat oleh pasangan yang akan berkahwin, bakal pengantin baik lelaki mahupun perempuan akan menjemput ahli keluarga mereka dari rumah ke rumah dengan ditemani pengapit masing-masing secara berasingan. Setiap kali mereka menjemput ahli keluarga mereka ke majlis perkahwinan, mereka akan meminta agar didoakan perkahwinan yang bakal dibina.

Invitation or Unang (the word carries the same meaning for Undang, also to refer engagement) to the wedding are made by the couple, the to be Bride & Groom will separately invite from house to house with their groomsmen or brides maid.Every time they invite their family member or relatives to their wedding, they will ask for Doa to be made for their marriage.

Menurut host saya, amat penting bagi pasangan yang bakal berkahwin untuk menjemput ahli keluarga, jiran tetangga dan rakan-rakan dari rumah ke rumah kerana apabila mereka menjemput secara personal, kerana saudara mara yang kita jemput hanya tahu kita akan berkahwin apabila kita sendiri yang memaklumkannya. Masa inilah, orang muda akan dapat mengenali saudara mara yang lebih tua serta melawat saudara mara mereka yang jauh dan dekat.  Setelah mengetahui tentang berita gembira tersebut, saudara mara akan mendoakan perkahwinan kita secara personal. Baginya doa dan mendoakan seseorang adalah amat penting kerana apabila perkahwinan tidak dimulakan dengan doa, disebabkan itu perceraian banyak berlaku  kerana tidak ramai orang yang mendoakan perkahwinan mereka.

According to my host, it is important that both couple invite their family members, neighbours and freinds from house to house because when we invite them personally, our relatives only know that we are getting married from our own mouth. During this time, the young generation can get to know the older generation like their aunts and uncles and get to visit their relatives far and near. After knowing the good news, their  relatives will make doa for their marriage personally. To him, doa and making doa for others is important because when a marriage did not start with doa, divorce can happen a lot, because not many people is making doa for their marriage.

Tradisi menjemput ini bukan saja mengukuhkan silaturahim sesama keluarga, jiran tetangga dan rakan-rakan tetapi mengembalikan semula amalan mendoakan sesama kita. Ini kerana, lebih ramai orang yang kita jemput lebih ramai yang mendoakan perkahwinan tersebut. Lantas, perkahwinan akan menjadi lebih berkat dan berkekalan lebih lama kerana ramai yang mendoakan perkahwinan yang bakal didirikan.

The tradition to invite don’t just strengthen’s the relationship between family, neighbours and friends, but also brings back the tradition to make doa for each other. Because, the more people we invite, the more people will make doa for us. Thus, the marriage becomes more blessed and last longer because there are more people making doa for their marriage.

Perkara ini dipersetujui oleh nenek Malika kerana beliau merasakan orang muda sering mengambil jalan mudah dengan menjemput melalui media sosial (whatsapp, facebook dsb) hinggakan hampir tidak ada interaksi sesama manusia (human communication). Baginya, manusia zaman sekarang semakin bersikap individualistik berbanding zaman dahulu yang sangat menjaga hubungan kekeluargaan dan nilai-nilai kekeluargaan ini semakin hilang dalam masyarakat masa kini.

Menurutnya, apabila menjemput tetamu dari rumah ke rumah, mereka dapat mengenali saudara -mara yang jarang mereka jumpa. Ketika inilah, ahli keluarga akan menawarkan diri untuk membantu apa sahaja yang diperlukan oleh pasangan tersebut. Sebagai contoh, ada ahli keluarga yang akan menolong membuat masakan tertentu untuk majlis mereka, ada yang akan membantu dalam menghias pelamin, dan sebagainya. Semangat gotong-royong masih kekal diamalkan oleh orang Melayu disini dan tidak ramai yang menempah ‘catering’ kecuali mereka berkemampuan.

Hadiah akan diberikan sebelum hari perkahwinan mengikut masa yang tetamu dan ahli keluarga ada untuk datang ke rumah keluarga pengantin. Oleh kerana kebanyakan tetamu adalah ahli keluarga dan saudara mara mereka sendiri, hadiah-hadiah di berikan beberapa hari sebelum majlis perkahwinan semasa mereka datang menolong. Hadiah ini akan dipamerkan di satu ruang khas di dalam rumah.

Menariknya, orang Melayu disini tidak meletakkan wang hantaran, tetapi bakal suaminya diwajibkan mempunyai sebuah rumah berserta semua kelengkapan asas serta perabot perlu disediakan sebelum berkahwin. ‘Maqawi’( disebut: Maskawi) @ mas kahwin berbeza-beza mengikut kemampuan pasangan masing-masing. Dahulu, mas kahwin orang Melayu hanya 5 Rand ke atas yang dipersetujui oleh keluarga masing-masing. Salah seorang anak kepada host saya turut berkongsi bahawa dia memberikan 13 keping syiling Dirham Perak kepada isterinya.

*Gambar mas kahwin yang diberikan oleh anak host saya kepada isterinya.

Akad nikah akan diadakan di masjid tetapi hanya pengantin lelaki, wali, jurunikah, dua orang saksi dan orang lelaki  sahaja yang akan menghadirinya manakala pengantin perempuan akan menunggu di rumah. Setelah akad nikah  selesai, pengantin lelaki berserta rombongannya akan datang ke rumah pengantin perempuan untuk menyarungkan cincin dan ucapan ‘Slamat’ kepada pengantin baru akan diberikan oleh tetamu yang hadir sebelum makanan dihidangkan. Makanan yang dimakan di majlis perkahwinan biasanya dimasak dan dibawa ke majlis perkahwinan. Jenis makananan yang perlu dibawa akan diputuskan semasa ‘Masura’ (mesyuarat) sesama keluarga manakala pinggan mangkuk akan dipinjam dari saudaramara terdekat. Hanya keluarga yang kaya sahaja yang akan menyewa dari kedai yang berdekatan. Sepasang cawan porselin yang cantik dan keemasan seperti cawan dari Mekah akan digunakan untuk di minum oleh pengantin.

Pernikahan di Capetown amat mudah, mereka hanya perlu mendapatkan Imam di masjid terdekat untuk menikahkan mereka, biasanya keluarga pengantin perempuan akan memilih Imam yang hendak menikahkan mereka bagi memudahkan urusan. Saya diberitahu, jika kita dijemput ke kenduri kahwin orang Melayu disini pada minggu tersebut bermakna ia adalah majlis yang kecil,biasanyadi adakan di rumah. Keluarga Malika contohnya menjemput sekitar 200 tetamu sahaja manakala jika kita dijemput sebulan dari sekarang, ini menunjukkan ia adalah majlis secara besar-besaran yang diadakan di dewan.

Semasa hari perkahwinan, orang Melayu dahulu sering memainkan muzik dan ada juga yang akan menyanyi lagu Melayu sebelum majlis dimulakan antaranya lagu ‘Rosa’, ‘Havanas’, tetapi kebanyakannya dipengaruhi oleh lagu dari Belanda. Lagu ‘Rosa’ biasanya dinyanyikan semasa pengantin tiba ke majlis. Adakalanya ada kumpulan choir Melayu yang menyanyi di hari perkahwinan.

Contoh choir Melayu yang menyanyikan lagu ‘Rosa’:

Menurut host, zaman sekarang, tidak ramai yang menyanyi di majlis perkahwinan atau memasang lagu di majlis perkahwinan kerana menganggapnya bidaah. Lantas majlis perkahwinan adalakanya menjadi sunyi atau di isi dengan ceramah sahaja. Majlis perkahwinan menjadi suram dan tidak lagi meriah seperti zaman dahulu, sedangkan perkahwinan seharusnya diraikan seperti yang diamalkan semasa zaman Rasulullah SAW.

Pada hari yang sama, pengantin lelaki akan menjemput pengantin perempuan ke rumah ibu dan bapanya untuk mengucap ‘Slamat’ kepada mentuanya. ‘Trousou’ (di sebut Tru-so) atau hadiah-hadiah dari tetamu akan dipamerkan di bilik pengantin. Ramai orang Melayu dahulu kala yang masih menyimpan ‘Trousou’ perkahwinan mereka.

*Contoh pakaian pengantin lelaki Melayu dahulu dan pengapitnya.

*Contoh Midora yang dipakai oleh pengantin perempuan Melayu dahulu bersama pengapit mereka.

‘Midora’ atau hiasan kepala akan dipakai oleh pengantin perempuan, midora ini hanya boleh dipakai oleh anak dara sahaja dan tidak boleh dipakai oleh janda. Namun, pemakaian Midora semakin kurang dipakai oleh pengantin masa kini dan digantikan dengan ‘veil’ atau tiara/mahkota.

Wanita ‘hujaj’ (Saudara perempuan yang pernah menunaikan haji) akan menjemput pengantin perempuan ke rumah pengantin lelaki dengan memakai ‘Modurieng’ (disebut mu-dier-rang) yang berwarna keemasan  yang dibeli dari Mekah setelah pulang dari haji. Ada yang memakai dengan menutup seperti purdah, ada yang tidak menutup wajah mereka dan pakaian ini masih boleh diperolehi dari Mekah. Adakalanya wanita ‘hujaj’ ini turut memakainya semasa Maulud selain dari menjemput pengantin perempuan.

Apabila tiba di rumah pengantin lelaki, wanita Hujaj akan berselawat manakala imam akan membacakan doa diikuti dengan nasihat dari ibu bapa pengantin mengenai peranan suami dan isteri serta cabaran dalam alam perkahwinan. Sebagai contoh, ibu bapa pengantin akan menasihatkan anak mereka mengenai pentingnya berbincang sesama pasangan dan tidak terbawa-bawa masalah rumah tangga  hingga ke luar rumah atau menghebohkannya kepada seluruh dunia. Mereka juga akan dinasihatkan agar saling menghormati antara satu sama lain. Biasanya, bapa kepada setiap pasangan pengantin akan memberi nasihat tersebut kepada anak mereka. Jika pasangan tersebut tidak mempunyai bapa, bapa saudara mereka yang akan memberi nasihat dan jika tidak ada bapa saudara, maka Imamlah yang bertanggungjawab memberi nasihat kepada pasangan pengantin.

Setelah itu, wanita ‘Hujaj’ mempersiapkan pengantin perempuan dan menjaga keperluan pasangan pengantin selama 7 hari.  Wanita Hujaj ini akan datang ke rumah keesokan pagi untuk memeriksa dan mengemas bilik pengantin dan rumah mereka, memandikan pengantin, memasak dan menghantar makanan ke rumah pengantin bagaikan Raja 7 hari.

‘Walimah’ atau kenduri kahwin akan diadakan dari pagi hingga ke petang, tetamu akan diberikan sarapan dan makan tengahari. Manakala pengantin akan memakai dua pasang baju iaitu semasa ‘nikkah’ dan selepas zohor di waktu petang. Tetamu tidak akan makan sehingga pengantin tiba dan biasanya hanya pulang apabila majlis selesai dan diakhiri dengan selawat. Menurut host, ketika sedang berselawat, kain ‘shawl’ di pakaikan kepada pengantin perempuan dan mereka akan saling memeluk ibu bapanya tanda melepaskan anak perempuan mereka kepada suaminya.

Semasa menghadiri kenduri kahwin Malika, kami tiba sekitar 10 pagi. Ketika itu, saudara mara Malika kelihatan sibuk menyiapkan makanan untuk tetamu bersarapan. Meja-meja telah siap dihias di dalam dan di luar rumah berserta set pinggan mangkuk dan bunga di setiap meja. Pelamin juga telah siap dihias manakala Malika sedang memakai gaun pengantinnya yang dibantu oleh ibunya. Kemudian, salah seorang rakannya membantunya memakai tudung dan veil diatasnya. Sebahagian besar ahli keluarga lelaki telah pergi ke masjid untuk menyaksikan akad nikah manakala yang selebihnya sibuk membantu di dapur.

Apa yang dapat saya perhatikan, perkahwinan orang Melayu banyak dipengaruhi oleh Barat dan Timur disebabkan asimilasi budaya. Pengantin lelakinya tiba dengan memakai jubah dan kopiah manakala pengantin perempuan memakai gaun pengantin. Malika sendiri tidak memakai Midora seperti di zaman ibu dan neneknya. Namun,  Imam  yang menikahkan mereka turut hadir untuk mendoakan perkahwinan mereka di awal majlis.

*Saya bersama Malika setelah siap memakai gaun pengantinnya.

Pelaminnya juga agak ‘simple’ tetapi tetap cantik, dan satu meja khas untuk pengantin dan ibu bapa pengantin makan beradab turut disediakan. Selain itu, sesi bergambar turut dibuat bermula dengan ahli keluarga, saudara mara dan akhirnya sahabat handai. Kemudian, bapa Malika menari bersama Malika dengan alunan lagu romantis dari Barat sebelum kembali ke tempat duduk masing-masing.

Oleh kerana kami perlu pulang lebih awal, kami meminta diri untuk pulang awal dan diberikan beberapa jenis kek sebagai ’baraka’ atau berkat untuk dibawa pulang.

Dalam perjalanan pulang,host saya turut menceritakan bahawa dahulu orang Melayu disini tinggal berdekatan dengan keluarga mereka. Oleh itu, majlis perkahwinan mudah untuk diadakan kerana masing-masing tinggal tidak jauh antara satu sama lain dan saling bergotong royong menyiapkan majlis. Sebaliknya zaman sekarang, orang Melayu tinggal berjauhan dan menyebabkan beban perkahwinan terletak pada pasangan pengantin tersebut. Ini menyebabkan kos mengadakan kenduri kahwin semakin tinggi untuk diadakan hingga adakalanya, jika di adakan di hotel , hanya dua orang sahaja yang boleh menghadiri majlis tersebut. Kadang-kadang ada tetamu yang tidak dapat hadir ke majlis tersebut tetapi oleh kerana keluarga pengantin telah membayar untuk majlis tersebut,banyaktempat duduk yang kosong hingga menyebabkan pembaziran makanan. Oleh kerana ramai pasangan yang memilih untuk menguruskan majlis perkahwinan mereka sendiri kerana mahu berdikari dan tidak mahu bergantung kepada keluarga mereka, banyak perkara dalam hidup mereka menjadi semakin mahal termasuk kos majlis perkahwinan.

Menurutnya, jika warisan dan budaya kita kekal diamalkan, kos  hidup kita akan berkurangan. Sebaliknya, jika kita tidak meneruskan budaya dan warisan kita, kos hidup kita akan menjadi semakin mahal. Setiap perkara yang hendak kita lakukan kini perlu dilakukan sendiri dan disebabkan itu majlis perkahwinan menjadi semakin mahal.

Host saya, Abdullah berpendapat bahawa beliau tidak dapat melihat keberkatan dalam majlis perkahwinan masa kini. Menurutnya, amalan dan budaya kehidupan orang Melayu sangat berkait dengan doa dalam setiap aspek kehidupan mereka. Ini menunjukkan orang Melayu sangat peka dengan agama Islam dan dekat dengan Allah swt di setiap amalan mereka. Kerana itu beliau berbangga menjadi orang Melayu kerana apa saja yang orang Melayu lakukan akan berbalik kepada Allah swt, sebagai seorang muslim , setiap perkara yang orang Melayu lakukan akan bermula dengan doa samada di hari perkahwinan mahupun hari pengebumian. Oleh itu, apabila hilangnya amalan dan budaya orang Melayu, maka hilanglah juga keberkatan dalam kehidupan masyarakat Melayu yang saling mendoakan di setiap majlis yang diadakan.

* Contoh majlis perkahwinan orang Melayu  dahulu