Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tale of the Sarong

After a day spent in sarong, I think this is what "she" has to say:

Having spent over a year in the cupboard, I was delighted to finally see daylight, dust shaken off and feeling warm skin next to mine. Hung up to air for a day, I was paired with my cousin, the kebaya top. We always went hand in hand when it came to matching a nice nyonya kebaya suit.

I was brought out for a purpose. My cousin and I were to attend E & K's wedding reception with our human. We did so with a friend, cream heels. A matching ensemble we were and in line with the theme colour of the event.

Getting to the venue was a tricky affair. My human, although grew up in this city, could not find the right roads to lead to the building. In the end, she had to rely on looking out for the nearest landmark and finding a road that hopefully would lead to the building. Ultimately, we arrived, just before the bridal couple made their entrance.

It was beautiful. A quintet comprising feminine vocals, double bass, acoustic guitar, flute and drums to serenade us all and witnessing the "merenjis" ceremony for the bridal couple. The bride and groom were blessed with rice, rose water and petals by the elder family members of both sides. My human's friends, E & K were dressed in shining teal songket and were just stunning.

My human met many friends from her previous workplace with friendly exchanges of smiles and chatter. Weddings are always such 'touch & go' events where one can easily escape being held in an unwanted tete-a-tete conversations with a previous acquaintance. There are many outlets of distractions available.

I met many brothers and sisters with their beautiful patterns - some traditional and many a fusion of tradition and modernity.

After taking photos with the bridal couple and saying our goodbyes, my human had to rush off to water some plants and attend church celebration. My human was split between deciding to wear me and my kebaya cousin to church or to put on the change of clothes she had brought to work in. Unfortunately, that meant wearing short pants to church - which was so inappropriate! So she decided to swap my cousin with a brown scoop-neck t-shirt with the words "tuff cookie" printed on its front.

To tell you the truth, that was a pretty bad match - my traditional intricacies hand-printed on cotton versus modern elastane knit with meaningless text!?! I think my human suspected what I thought about the combination but chose to ignore the nagging feeling of incongruencies. *whispers: She looks like a maid with little to no choice of clothings to wear! Shhhhh!!!*

So off we went to the Dream Centre to celebrate God and remind ourselves that it was the Malaysia Day weekend. Ok, I will give my human a little credit - she almost nearly became an accessory to the troupe of performers that evening, who were dressed in traditional costumes for 2 cultural dances. Therefore the modern monstrosity of a t-shirt saved her this time.

However I felt that I was an appropriate addition for the day, in remembering what makes us Malaysians, and not about racial stereotypes, cultural polarisation, religious superiority complex or western colonisation. Plus I kept my human's legs warm and toasty all through celebration while that soulless t-shirt couldn't do its job properly! My cousin would have done a better job, even on a cold rainy day.

And so, at the end of the day, I was not cast aside - I am happy to be of use. And happier still to be brought out in such a strategic time! Happy Malaysia Day everyone!

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