Sunday, January 2, 2011
Celebrating 1.1.11 in the Village.
Yes. I joined the crowd to usher in 2011 at MATIC ( Malaysian Tourism Information Center) on the last night of 2010. There was a big crowd for the Center was holding a final rehearsal for the 1.1.11 celebration to be launched in the morning. The Homestay Association was presenting a showcase of all traditional dances and songs from different States, including the Zapin, the Makyong, the Hadhrah, the Rodat, the Sewang, Semasau etc. AT 12 midnight a firework display lit up the sky over the Centre, echoed by the booms and flashses of other displays held at various other places like the KLCC and Merdeka Square. (see pic)
After the display the crowd at MATIC joined the young dancers on and around the stage to dance through a couple of popular tunes like 'Cuti-cuti Malaysia'. 'Malaysia Truly Asia', 'Poco-Poco', Sewang, the Samasau. Banghla, etc. Even at 1.30am the weekend fair at MATIC was still crowded with the singing still going on, on a special stage set up for the occasion. Flashes of fireworks can still be seen in the sky. The cheers and humming at the Center was suddenly broken by the shrill wailing of a police patrol car entering the area. Heads turned. What happened? Oh, just somebody who got drunk and became too rowdy, came an answer.
The sun rose with full glory on the morning of 1.1.11. I had earlier decided not to attend the launching of the Homestay Show nor the full show that night for I have seen so many of such occasions. I wanted to go back to my village and see how the new year was celebrated, if at all, for I don't remember seeing any such celebration.
Sure enough, there was none at all, not even a flag, a bunting or any sign of celebration. The countryside and the rural areas in Malaysia don't celebrate the New Year. The merry-making is only confined to the urban centers. There was no sign that such celebration had been held in the night either. I had gone back to the village armed with my arsenals to do some weeding and grass-cutting, raking dead leaves and burning rubish - to clear up the compound of my old wodden home which had remained unoccupied for several years and also the village home of my wife.
It'is just a usual pastime engagement for me on weekends, to give my body a proper physical shakeup by doing some tough menial job. Staying in the village home also brings back old memories and the fun of listening to the music of the mosquitoes, the crickets and the other denizens of the rural night.
But on this new year day of i.1.11, on my way back to my wife's village house in the evening, I passed by the children's playground close by the road. The uncared for sight took me by a real surprise.
Being unprepared for what I saw, I could only take a few pictures to show what i mean. Is this the playground that the village children are supposed to enjoy themselves in. The boys in the picture don't seem to care but I felt very sorry for them. Doesn't the Headman in the village care to do anything at all about such a situation? This playground is very close to the Community Hall, UMNO village headquarters. Doesn't anyone really care for the children of the village?
I have seen other uncared for children's playground in other villages. But not as bad and dangerous as this, with plastics bottles and all forms of rubish being strewn about. No wonder Aedis can easily find a nice place to breed and launch their attack on the vlllagers.
I hope the year 2011 will put an end to such sorry sights.