What is it that makes us Malaysians Malaysian?
Is it the multiculturalism that makes our nation a gastronomical paradise? In politics is it because we have a cabinet made up of so many ethnic diversity that would make even South Africa's claim to be a rainbow nation suspect? Or is it our ability to adapt the Malay we speak to the ethnicity of the person we are speaking to? And doing it as smoothly as the changing of the gears in the electronically controlled intelligent technology of the latest BMW?
I beg to differ...none of the above!
If anything makes a Malaysian Malaysian it has to be racism lah! If I had the misfortune of living with just Malays to my right, Malays to my left, Malays in front of me and Malays to my back…how dull a life would it be?
To day I am going to a Malaysian Malaysian. I am going to be a racist. A jaguh kampong racist because I am not that good at being a racist but I am going to try….hence the ‘jaguh kampong’ tag.
The Chinese will think the Malay habit of not speaking our mind as being quaint. The Indians are well acquainted with the Malay habit of being unfailingly polite even when faced with an Indian who is bombastically telling him how much Samy Velu has done for the Indians (Tipu lah!)
All you non-Malays will have your opinion of the Malays whether at play or at work and this is the burden we Malays will have to carry. I know you guys are always going on about out 'tidak apa ' attitude and about how the Malays in UMNO are really so much like the Malays everywhere else. You do your thing and I will do mine.
I have sat long and hard to try and see what fun I can make of the Chinese. Banyak susah lah….these Chinese do not have much of a sense of humor….even when they are giving us less than a Kilo of rambutans when we have paid for a full kilo. They think that making money out of the Malays is serious business. I do not know enough about the Kadazans or the Dayaks to tell you what their weak spots are but the Sikhs are fair game. I can tell you many stories about the Sikhs and their Lembus but it is not the Sikhs that I intend to be racist about.
Today I want to go after the Indians. No they have not been unkind to me in a past life nor have they been unkind to me in my present. The closest any Indian have been to upsetting me was Samy Velu but all was forgiven when he lost in Sungai Siput. I want to do the Indians because that is what I want to do today...and my attention, from young, has been drawn to that wobble of their head!
The head bobble, head wobble, or Indian head shake refers to a common gesture found in South Asian cultures, most notably in India. The motion usually consists of a side-to-side tilting of the head in arcs along the coronal plane. A form of nonverbal communication, it may mean "Yes", "Good", "OK" or "I understand", depending on the context.
From a very early age I can remember that the many times when my Father has spoken to an Indian has been, for me, especially agreeable to watch. There was always that mostly silent but most expressive wobble of their head in response to what ever it was that my father was talking about with them.
Sometimes the wobble was respectful, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes sober. At times a smile came with the wobble and at times a solemn, eyes tightly closed movement that seem to convey a deep resonance with the subject matter that was being discussed.
What ever the subject, whatever the issue the Indians always managed to do just the right amount of wobbling to signify that they were at one with every thing that was being said by my father and I remembered, more often than not, that my father himself will end the talk with a hesitant slight wobble of his own head.
Through the years as I myself began to have conversation with Indians and they with me that wobble became more pronounced because now I was the recipient of those wobbles....the head moved from side to side, nodding up and down and than that arc that seems to half rotate the head against the shoulders. There it was happening right in front of me and somehow without a word being spoken there was this connection between the Indian and me and all that need to be said is said.
And today at 66 years old I feel comfortable enough to sit down, write about it and (if you insists) be a racist. Not a racist in the sense of insisting that one race is superior to another because of the difference in human character or ability, but a racist in the sense that I am prejudice because in the “wobble,” the Indians are superior to any one else.
No other race in Malaysia wobble their head!
A smile invariably crosses my face just thinking of that small Indian Barber shop across the road of the wet markets site in Lucky Gardens Bangsar– the barber shop where I have my monthly haircut (do not ask me why I cut my hair monthly - I just do).
It starts with a slow soft wobble of the head as they recognize me as I park my car and walk across the road towards the Barber Shop.
As I am giving my instructions as to how I want my hair to be cut - “Number 4!” - he is again wobbling his head….shaking and nodding his head from left to right up and down signifying he is understanding my request. All done without a word being said except for that enigmatic smile that crosses his face and maybe, just maybe with an ‘accha’ that can mean anything from ‘good’ to ‘I understand!’
I would have to remind him to “kasi handsome sikit” so I will at least come out of the haircut experience looking a bit like Shahrukh Khan! And that head goes wobbling again when I pay him for the haircut. This time I think it means ‘thank you”....which gets just that much more vigorous if I tell him to keep the change.
So what does that almost comical and yet so expressive head wobble really means?
I am alright?
Does it mean "Yes you want to look like Shahrukh Khan but so does everyone else".
I cannot really say for sure but it would have to be one of those quirks that makes Malaysians Malaysian...does it not?
Now can anybody explain what "aisehman" really means?
DISCLAIMER : If anybody tells you that I had not intended to upset any Indians by this posting than I tell them that they are wrong. My intentions are obvious. Upset the Indians so that they will in turn tell us Malays what they think are our quirks that they do laugh about behind our back! Ditto for the Chinese and anyone else!