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Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


MAIN THEMES

On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


OTHER THEMES

On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


CHAT





Wednesday, December 06, 2006
In less than two weeks, i will attend my sister's muslim wedding. it will be held in a mosque. two days ago, she brought me and my brother to buy kain songket and our baju melayu for the ceremony. it was fun, mind you, it was my entrypoint into a subculture i had not envisioned myself entering. suddenly, i was the bearer of new knowledge: the market price of songkok, the tailoring needs of kain samping, and what's vogue (and what's not) in the traditional malay regalia scene. for a boy who grew up among buddhist monks and indian gods, i'd now dipped my feet into my fair share of ethno-religious subcultures.

not that this one will last. i've had a muslim sister for a considerable time now and i've barely noticed any difference. maybe it's as simple as having a real house to visit for hari raya next year and that's it. after all, it's not like my family's lifestyle has been monumentally changed since i became a christian myself.

i've spent the last five years of my life living in well-socialised christian circles, and so it comes as no surprise that my sister's impending wedding has brought about questions from concerned christian friends: how do you feel about this? have you spoken to her?

if christians are uneasy about the idea of islam, it is only because our malaysian christians have fallen for the ultimate hegemonic malaysian lie - that race and religion are interchangeable. and it is only because they've wound up their politics so tightly with their theology that they can actually get excited about a mosque wedding but are completly apathetic if it's a temple one. and so now i want to stop talking about my family and start talking about a larger family thing going on - that is, the christian family and how it handles the tricky comandment of loving its muslim neighbour.

i was telling someone recently that whenever i meet level-headed non-defensive muslims, i can have really cool conversations with them about faith, perhaps because christians and muslims share very similar backstories. we share similar lingo even. and i dare say that even the foundational worldview ideas have much in common. which in fact was when i said that our faiths are perhaps something like 70% the same - and it is only that critical 30% that separates us. that 30%, perhaps, could be oversimplified if i said that muslims revere a God who is primarily transcendent while christians love a God who is primarily immanent. other than that - i dare say - the rest is just details.

so here is the gauntlet: be an uncompromising evangelical christian in a highly tolerant and diverse home(land), loving your neighbour and respecting them insofar as the standards of respect is in the hands of society at large (and not your own), and simultaneously express both the love of Christ and his intolerance for mixture, living up at all times to the highest bar of authenticity, because nobody likes a fake - especially a moral one.

so, what to do?

at a time like this, all those snazzy catchphrases like "in the world but not of the world" careen into the distance, far from my the reach of my bewildered arm. actually, everything would be easier and so much more peaceful if people would just be more calm about religion. the more uptight and fearful people are of unrest, the more preemptively they will strike against all expressions of religious dialogue in public, or bulldoze self-censorship down each others' throats. which leads me to my final unanswerable question of the day: what exactly am i trying to say in this post?

i don't know. maybe in the midst of my self-censorship, my idea got lost.

*

epilogue.

my kain songket rocks. i'll be decked out in blue. the songket's complete with gold weaving, and i've barely learned how it's worn. it cost a hundred bucks. but it's damn nice.

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Genusfrog [ 1:06 am ]

1 Comments:

  • yea....boys do look nice in baju melayu and kain songket.
    really nice...if you add in songkok :)

    By Anonymous fou, at 12:33 pm  

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