Monday, April 18, 2016

Why do you wear hijab?

From time to time, I have to remind myself of why I wear hijab.

Not exactly for my own periodical soul searching though,

but because a stranger / neighbour / colleague / etc would ask me about it.

Explaining my own reason is one thing, but defending my reason is another thing.

This morning one of the mother in my mom-and-baby class asked me about it.

I replied with my first go to answer: because it's in my religion.

But she shot it down, "yes I know, but why do you do it?"

I'm a bit confused, but probably she wants me to explain it?

"I wear it because it's a form of prayer, to obey what God told me."

She still shot it down though, and keep on asking why...

I got confused.

So I thought, okay, let's go with more rational explanation that she could understand maybe?

I tried several rational explanations, all shot down.

- Because female is created beautifully and precious like jewellery,
- To remind myself to be humble and modest
- To focus more on the inside
- To be more practical
- etc etc

I was really frustrated because she would say she understood, and she respected it, but then she always somehow turned around all the argument and made my reason sounds horrible. It doesn't help that this conversation happened in Italian and I've only been eloquent in making small talk, definitely not on debating and explaining my belief.

At one point she even said " what about if you have a daughter? do you want her to wear it even if none of her friends wear it? she would be the only one!"

I was rather horrified at her notion. "But we don't wear this just because the others wear it", I exasperated.

Lots of thought went in my head, she's essentially saying you can't be someone if that identity does not conform to the common norm.
At that point my mind flashed thoughts like would she say this to .. say, a lesbian? Because at one point I knew she's okay with same sex marriage. Or that would be politically incorrect to say to them but not to us?

By that time I was really desperate, how can I explain things that will make her understand.

but she gave me the answer instead.

She said, in our religion we also have the sister, but they are devoting their life to God. Unlike you and I, we are normal people doing a lot of normal activities, getting married, have a baby, working, etc.

So, there's my opening.

Then my reason is analogue to the sister's. It's just that in our religion, every aspect of our normal life is our form of prayer. Raising my baby to be a good person is my form of praying too.

Now it seems I said something that finally she could understand...but she still seemed unfazed...

"But what will your husband say if you take off your veil?"

"Well, if that's what I want then it would be fine. It's my choice."

Then she seemed super shocked.

"Now that makes me more curious!"

"But,  it's my choice"

"Wearing the veil is your choice? your country does not oblige you to wear it?" 
She seems really shocked about this....and then I understood why she had been chasing me with all these questions. She thought I'm being forced to wear it....

"Yes, it's obligated by the religion but my country has no say in personal preference, we wear the veil if we want it"

Then the other mothers chimed in their disbelief that my country does not oblige veil....
And the conversation switches..

And I breathed a sigh of relief...

I don't know if the end she got her satisfying answer, but I thanked her for asking the question.
From now on I know how to explain it in my minimal Italian to other Italian people.

"È come le suore. Tutta la nostra vita e per Dio, solo che nella nostra religione, tutta l'attività normale nella vita è una forma di preghiera. Anche un sorriso è una preghiera per noi"

And that's how I am reminded today, of why I wear my hijab.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Less young = old?

My company made me take Italian language courses as it officially uses Italian as its language.
Still learning, I've found lots of new interesting things in Italian language that sometimes just doesn't translate to other language.

Today I've found one of those.

The term is : meno giovane

meno would mean less
giovane would mean young

so...less young? younger?

nope.

it's some kind of a polite way to say "old".

Because to say old = vecchio has some kind of connotation that it's outdated, so to soften the blow  be polite, they sometimes use that term: meno giovane.

I somehow have a hard time wrapping my head around that meaning though.

My head has the concept visually mapped like this:

baby..........................young..............................old

so I visualize less young to be:

baby.......less young.....young..............................old


yet apparently with the translation in italian this concept becomes:

baby..........................young......less young........old


I still need time to think this through.

Morning bus agony

The bus line from the city towards my campus is almost always late.
It's only early when I'm late so that I'd miss it, and mostly late when I arrive early to the bus stop.

Some days, though, it arrives much much later than usual.
And then as it sloooowwwly emerged from the corner of the street you found why :





And then you start to appreciate few things :
  1. That the bus driver here is very kind, patient, and very careful in driving that they'd reduce their speed to match that of the cyclists and never pass them.
  2. That the cyclists here all know their rights to use the street and calmly execute their rights to slowly and leisurely ride their bicycle whenever and wherever.
  3. That you live in a mountainous area with small sized streets and little to none bicycle lane. 
  4. That you are not among the densely packed students in the bus, desperately trying to get to their morning classes, already late and (probably) cursing under their breath with every pedal cycle nonchalantly taken by the cyclists at their own pace.

Kids

I was standing idly nearby the bus stop waiting for my bus that evening. There wasn't many people around and I wanted to enjoy the cool evening breeze, so I just positioned myself outside the bus stop nearby the bus stop glass wall.

I started fiddling on my cellphone to kill the time, browsing through websites mostly.
Suddenly a little girl ran up from behind me and just forced her way through the little space between me and the glass wall, almost knocking off my bag from my hand in the process.

There were lots of spaces everywhere else but there, mind you, so I was rather surprised and a bit ticked off.

"Psh, kids", so I thought.

The little girl continued hopping around, cheerfully laughed as she rejoined two ladies that I saw coming from the same direction as her. Apparently she was trying to race her mother and her mother friends who was strolling casually, taking the path in front of the bus stop while she took the path behind the bus stop instead. They all then continued walking away from the bus stop.

I quickly resumed my browsing activity in my cellphone when I saw from the corner of my eyes the little girl suddenly turned mid-step, pointing at me and exclaimed, "Guarda che bello il rosso!" (look, how beautiful is the red colour!)

To which the mother too turned at me, "Si, bello!" (yeah, beautiful!).
I was wearing my red shirt and red headscarf that day.

And before I could even register what happened, the happy little girl has continued hopping and running as they all then continued on their path.

Aww, I didn't even have the chance to smile to them for their compliments to my colour.
Kids are wonderful in their own way, aren't they? :)

Indonesians goal in life

*a young celebrity in an interview on her career choice*
"Yeah, I had to choose between my school or my career in sinetron, so, in the end I choose sinetron"

*another young celebrity in an interview about her wish for her baby daughter when she'd grow up*
"My wish is for her to be a sinetron actress"

Oh dear, seriously?
I could possibly understand if it's about a career in movies.
Maybe if you're into art stuffs and so.
But sinetron?
is sinetron really a ludicrously lavish career choice?
or is it really the case that career in sinetron is the only farthest goal Indonesians can dream of?

and why is Indonesian tv so full of celebrities news, crime news, and youtube cut and paste video clips? /rants

One of the most romantic love story

I love short stories, they usually could convey deep meaning through very little words.

Probably it's because they left most of the things to our imagination?
Probably because the short form allows us to absorb it easily, store it in our brain permanently and ponder more about it?

In the same vein, I love one shots manga.

I forgot how I stumbled upon this one shot way back then.
But the impact I felt after reading it lingered for some time. And still up to now.

I call this the most romantic love story in a one shot.
It's super sweet and heartbreaking in a twisted, unimaginable way.
It made me think of the term "the greatest love of all",
and how lucky must be someone to be able to experience it.


Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the one shot manga Muse by Dowman Sayman.

love is

When he woke up at night
Trying to fit the plastic bottle under the sink faucet
then realizing the noise might wake me up
so he filled it up by using the bottle cap instead
little by little

I love you


Monday, March 04, 2013

Several random observation on a morning bus

1. A boy might indeed glitter under the sun!

The vampires description of twilight (not that I read it, though, sorry :P) always puzzled me. "They glitter under the sun".
Huh, what?
Do they wear body glitter or something?
Such girlie vampires! xD

But this morning, under the warm morning sun of early march, in spite of getting squashed in the ultra packed bus, I witnessed the true nature of such phenomenon!

A boy can indeed glitter under the sun!!

As I averted my view from other human beings all unwillingly packed in this small container called bus to look down, I saw the back of the hand of a guy in front of me.

He was holding on to the bus door handle, thus the sunshine reached his skin through the bus glass door.

And I saw it..

it glitters!!!

Hold on though,
I am a researcher,
so somehow it didn't occur to me that time to check his face for fangs x____X

So, scientifically, instead I inspected further the mesmerizing glittery object in front of me.
Upon further inspection, it was his hand hair, which was gold blond, that reflects the sun and gave that glittery effect!

Thus, the conclusion is, that so called glittery vampires in twilight, are all just caucasian men with blonde body hair that they don't shave and just happen to reflect the sunlight :D

2. Sweet smelling perfume.. isn't so sweet in the morning bus packed with people

I love sweet smelling perfumes. My fav perfume back then was one which smelled like vanilla wafer.
But this morning, having to unintentionally intensively inhaling such sweet smelling perfume from one of the people packed around me, I realized... such sweet smell really could make me nauseous x____X

So, note to myself, search for a reallyyyyyy really light perfume to wear in the morning next time as not to offend anyone's olfactory senses early in the morning.

3. Human brain cluster computing?

As I stand there idly, busily thinking of the 2 above thoughts, I noticed that the person besides me was busy humming a tune and tapping his finger on the bus hand bar. I suddenly noticed, at the same time, all the brains around me are all working to each its own despite we are all standing idly and quietly in this overly packed bus in the morning.

If only we could finally able to make use of human brain as processors, it would be great to be able to connect them all, establishing an ad-hoc cluster processors that can be used for better purpose during that minutes the bus goes from one stop to the other! I'm certain the power could be used for greater purposes than to think about all these points I've just pondered upon mindlessly during my 10 mins commute from home to work.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's a great day ;D

Well, not really xP

I woke up late,
did my best to do something but not being appreciated,
didn't have time to dress up as well as i wanted,
ended up smelling of onions from cooking breakfast and lunch despite already showering and putting on some perfume,
forgetting my wallet and all the bus cards etc inside,
ended up coming late in the office,

and I could go on and on and on abt how bad today is...

but when I'm juuuuuuuuuust on the verge of ranting about it,
my dearest workmate stopped me,
"hey hey it's a great morning! no one dies, no one is sick, so it's a great day!"

and,... yeah, it's a very simple way to look at life,
and it's true.
it is a great day!

then, cause she noticed how uncomfy i was being conscious about my smell, she lit up her essential oil aromatherapy, both so I would feel just fine with my smell and to calm me down xD

awww, how I love her :')

and... yeah... it's a great day!

ps. and i love essential oil aromatherapy now 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life paths


Today I found some virtual traces of one of my long lost friend.
It spoke about frailty,
about the darkness he chose on his path,
about a world so far from mine that I just couldn't imagine

It is scary how far our life paths have strayed apart

I remember him for protecting me when I was on the verge of entering a rather dangerous path

Maybe, in a way, it should have been my own responsibility to protect him on his way too?

We're all adults though...

Maha pembolak-balik hati, Ihdinas siratal mustaqim

Monday, August 20, 2012

Love is...


keep on holding my hand and supporting my unstable stances
all the way through the long long rocky roads in the middle of nowhere
that we slowly walked through
under the hot hot 40 degrees summer heat
with my movement-constricting long batik skirts and my 13 cm high heels

eventhough you already told me not to wear them :D

I love you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rahmat


Pagi ini aku sibuk memikirkan masalah tidurku
Yang terputus tak jelas dan akhir-akhir ini harus kulakukan dengan perut penuh setelah subuh karena hanya pada waktu itu lah aku dapat tidur sebelum jam kerjaku

Otakku mulai berputar, mungkin boleh ku-jama' saja shalat maghrib dan isya'ku...
bukankah banyak keringanan Allah bagi umatnya?

Kemudian sampailah aku pada artikel ini, yang membahas ramadhan umat muslim di jalur Gaza, Afghanistan, dan Irak.

Alangkah malunya..
Aku sibuk sendiri dengan masalahku,
Melupakan alangkah sangat dirahmatinya hidupku dengan limpahan pangan,
sumber daya listrik dan gas yang selalu ada, rumah dan kerja yang melindungiku dari panas..

Pagi ini, bahkan doa kecilku yang tak penting,
yang kuucapkan sembari berlari dari rumah mengejar bis,
agar tak ketinggalan meski aku sudah 5 menit terlambat dari jadwal,
langsung di-ijabahNya
dengan bis yang datang beberapa menit setelah aku bahkan sempat membenahi hijabku setelah berlarian
Sungguh hangat hati ini mengucap syukur.
"It's little package of surprises like this that made my day. Alhamdulillah", pikirku.

Aku terlupa rahmatNya jauh lebih besar dari itu padaku...

"Maka nikmat Tuhanmu yang manakah yang kamu dustakan?"

Hamba sungguh berterimakasih atas semua rahmatMu ya Allah,
Ingatkanlah aku untuk selalu bersyukur kepadaMu
Janganlah masukkan aku ke golongan yg mendustakan rahmatmu

dan berikanlah rahmat dan kekuatanmu bagi seluruh umat Muslim di seluruh penjuru bumimu ini, ya, Allah
semoga kami semua dapat melalui Ramadhan ini dengan sebaik-baiknya, amiiin.