DIVORCE: Think carefully before you get married

FIGURES released by the Economic Planning Unit state that in 2010 alone, 33,788 out of 207,553 marriages had ended in divorce.

If this is anything to go by, our society would definitely be burdened with more social ills and turmoil in the near future.

Society is formed by units of families and it is vital that all families stay committed and united, as any break-up or divorce taking place will not only hurt the said family, it will also generate a negative impact on society in the long term.

Divorce is most unfortunate and painful not only for the couple concerned but also their children and the rest of the family. Most of the time the children are the biggest victims and they suffer in silence, which is unfair.

In today’s materialistic, money-minded, hectic and high-pressure life, more and more married couples are having marital and family problems.

Some reach a point of no return. Those with children will have to go through legal proceedings which could take time and create tremendous mental stress and trauma to everyone.

Regardless of the court’s decision, the children are the biggest losers. This is tragic!

Unlike decades ago, people nowadays take things too lightly and often rush into something without taking many factors into consideration, as they regard marriage and divorce just like a game or business transaction.

I advise those who are single to think carefully before making a lifelong commitment in marriage and having children if they are not ready.

Marriage is a partnership in which two individuals of the opposite sex promise to love and live life together forever. It a most sacred union. A happy and lasting marriage requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice, understanding, tolerance and commitment with both partners supporting each other in good times and bad.

Happy and harmonious families lead to a stable and progressive society.

DILEMA MELAYU KITA

Sebuah lagu dikir barat yang memberikan pengajaran yang tidak ternilai harganya kepada mereka yang dilahirkan sebagai orang Melayu. Sila hayati lirik lagu ini dan cuba fahami maksud yang tersirat. Tetapi pencipta dan penyanyi lagu ini sudah pun dijemput Allah 4 tahun lepas. Al-Fatihah buat Allahyarham Cikgu Naim.

Apa erti kemerdeka’e,
Bagi umat Melayu kito,
Tak boleh terima perubahe,
Anak cucu berputih mato,
Orang lain rebut peluwe,
Sanggupkah tengok sajo,
Masa tetap berjale,
sesaat tak tunggu kito,
Dilemo..Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Bangso lain hidup bersatu,
Kita baloh samo sekampung,
Bangso lain koho maju,
Bangso kita masih mundur,
Oghe kecek cayo selalu,
Hangguk palo mace Jepun,
Ikut stail dulu-dulu,
Jadi katok bawah tepurung,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Rumoh oghe rumoh batu,
Rumoh kito rumoh atap,
Rumoh oghe pagar batu,
Rumoh kito pagar krawat,
Rumoh oghe kapet bledu,
Rumoh kito tikar karat,
Maso bekwoh nyambuk natu,
Patoh gelegar cabuk tukak,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito,

Keto oghe keto Mercedeh,
keto kito Morris Minor,
Keto oghe asap nipih,
Keto kito asap bbungo,
Keto oghe idup denge suih,
Keto kito mapuh tolok sokmo,
Beli baru takdok pitih,
Beli berah pun hute sokmo,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Anok oghe naik kapa terbe,
Anok kito naik teksi,
Anok oghe make hote,
Anok kito keda kopi,
Anok oghe jadi toke,
Anok kito jadi kuli,
Habih pitih tengoh bule,
Bare bini gada lagi,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Anok oghe jadi peniago,
Anok kito jadi petani,
Anok oghe baju cap boyo,
Anok kito baju guni,
Anok oghe bahagio,
Anok kito ko duk pening,
Jadi mangso dadoh ganjo,
Jadi mangso budayo kuning,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Anok oghe baco buku,
Anok kito duduk deghak,
Anok oghe masuk ke U,
Anok kito masuk lokak,
Anok oghe minum susu,
Anok kito togok ubak,
Macamano kito nok maju,
Kalu tok sey uboh sikap,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Anok oghe dudok masjid,
Anok kito tepi jale,
Anok oghe duduk ngatik,
Anok kito duduk gewey
Anok oghe peranga baik,
Anak kito supo setey,
Dudok cari balo penyakik,
Tok sey pikir maso depe,
Dilemo…Dilemo…Dilemo Melayu kito.

Games of the past and present

TEACHING is considered a noble profession and teachers are held in high esteem throughout the world for the services they render as professionals.

Since I consider teaching a vocation, my last six years had been spent with much determination trying to get students to excel in their studies. I’ve also instilled in them the love for sports and the outdoors.

My entry into teaching as you can see is quite recent as I used to work with an advertising agency before. I now teach English and Science at a Chinese school in Kuala Lumpur.

It was a real paradigm shift as I had to quickly pick up skills and adapt to a new environment.

I must say that I have assisted students in class to either marginally improve or to excel in their studies, but it is the outdoor activities that have so far left me quite befuddled.

It is amazing to see how students study and play today, compared to children from the last four decades.

I remember travelling with my mother to Semenyih, Selangor, in the early 70s during the year-end school holidays where I would stay with my cousins who lived on a rubber estate near the town.

Semenyih was tranquil and slow-moving in those days.

As a child, there was nothing more wondrous than looking for guppies in clear-running streams in the estate.

I also waited anxiously then for the ripened rubber fruits to “pop” and spill its seeds for us to collect.

It was the carefree days that I cherished most. Childhood games then were simple and some were invented with discarded items that were readily available at home or in the neighbourhood.

We often played with multi-coloured rubber bands that we “stole” from home.

It was sheer delight to play with the rubber bands as we could tie them and form a skipping rope.

We could also stack them and “hit” them. It was easy to identify the winners of the game for their trouser pockets would be bulging witht rubber bands!

There was also another card game that was immensely popular.

For those before my generation, the game was played with discarded cigarette packs, but over the years, picture cards of famous airplanes, ships, and even war movie heroes, were used

The game was usually played by two partcipants, or if there were more players, they could play in teams.

Each team would then place a given number of cards which would be arranged or stacked on the ground.

A large square or circle would then be drawn around the cards. Another important tool of the game was one of a pair Japanese slippers!

What the player had to do was to stand from a certain distance and throw the slipper in a certain way to break the stack of cards. The cards that fell out of the square/circle was for the player to keep.

At the end of the game, the team or player who had the most number of cards would be pronounced the overall winner.

There was another game called ‘’kaunda- kaundi’’ or “kondo-kondi”, where the only tools required were sticks and a pair of steady hands.

A hole was dug in the ground and a short stick would be placed in the hole.

The rules required a player to use the longer stick to push the shorter stick out of the hole.

The person who managed to push the stick the furthest, was declared the winner.

Games during my childhood went easy on parents’ pockets. Games like hop-scotch, five-stones and skipping with the skipping rope were great games. They also required one to be focused and agile.

We were more vigorous and active and enjoyed the pleasure of playing outdoors. There were of course the more “expensive” games like tennis and badminton, which were also popular.

Football was a favourite sport even in those days, and any open space was not left to waste by the local boys who would come up with make-shift goal posts, to play the much-loved game.

While outdoor games are still popular today, it is different now. The students I teach lead more sedantary lifestyles and don’t seem to appreciate the simple joys.

They are into sophisticated and expensive games that are a far cry from those available during my childhood days.

Technology has drastically changed today’s children who are glued to their personal computers, play stations or video games.

The focus seems to be on coming up with games where children can play in comfort.

Even the toys and gadgets that cater to children today are worlds apart from those that I played as a child in the past.

Whether the games that children played in my time were “better” than the games children play today, is a moot point.

The debate continues on whether children today are in a better state than those of the generations before.

Certain things are for sure — the children of today face stiffer challenges and difficulties.

The increasing number of cyber cafes and the easy availability of pornographic materials, enable youngsters to easily pick up bad habits.

Smoking, consuming alcohol and resorting to drugs and substance abuse, are only some of the negative influences.

Hence, children growing up today face daunting challenges.

What I think we need to do as teachers, parents and guardians is to guide children to choose healthy and profitable activities so they can stay on the right track.

It certainly means that parents and teachers should be aware of what is attracting children out there, as manufacturers ply all sorts of products and services to cater to the fast-growing and lucrative children’s consumer market.

Yes, the simple games of the past have come to an end.

It is time to be watchful of the young and ensure that the environment remains safe and secure for them.

GASING URI OR SPINNING TOP

This type of top is used for long-running spinning competition. In the competition, the spinner will need two assistants. One will hold an object shape like a small bladed scoop of a thin wooden bat (cokok) about 60 cm long. The other will hold an article which looks like a short truncheon (lopak) about 45.7 cm in diameter. The longest running spinning top in Kelantan is recorded to spin for one hour and 45 minutes.

SILAT

The Malay art of self defence is a highly stylized performance. The word ‘silat’ is applied to the various sequences of grateful demonstration of how one may defend oneself without weapons. Silat is often staged at weddings where the silat expert or ‘pendekar’ entertains the audience with his highly practised routine of self defence arts. A silat performance is usually accompanied by the beating of gongs, drums, and wood wind (serunai) instruments.

SEPAK RAGA

In this traditional ball game, also called ‘sepak takraw’, a ball about the size of the palm and made of woven strips of bamboo or a rattan is kicked using the legs or any part of the body except the hands. There are two main types of the sepak raga; the original form is ‘sepak raga bulatan’ or a circle where the team tries to keep the ball aloft as long as possible. The modern ‘sepak raga jaring’ or net court form is now played in international competitions.

REBANA UBI OR GIANT DRUM

The top of the rebana ubi or giant drum is made from buffalo hide. The lower part of the drum is hollow and about 0.6 metres in diameters. It is an important traditional Malay musical instrument used not only as accompaniment during various ceremonial rites but also for recreation and competitions. At the end of each harvesting season, villages challenge each other in the art of drum beating. The judges award points on the timing, rhythm, and style of the player as well as the tone of the rebana. On such occasion, the player may be so engrossed in the beating the drum that he has to be forcibly taken away.