Sunday, September 13, 2009

Religion is an Ocean that Divides the World

But to absorb the Malay culture is one thing; to be absorbed into the Malay world is another. As a young man, my father fell in love with a Malay girl but because he refused to become a Muslim, had to give her up and leave his kampong forever, thus cutting himself off from the “mainland” of his childhood. Hearing the story when I was a child, I learned that religion is an ocean that divides the world into islands.
Eric Forbes' blog (which I'm daily getting more jealous of, such good stuff does he have up!) features a fascinating essay by Chuah Guat Eng about her cultural roots and what drives her fiction.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Posted a comment on Eric's blog too, but just to leave one here: this is such a great essay! It's one of the best things I've ever read on the subject of hybridity, assimilation, etc. in Malaya.

-- Preeta

Anonymous said...

Sharon,
Thanks for sharing this..how beautiful how our experiences with culture conflict brings about many drama in life...

I guess many people went through a similar experience like Chua's father...its like the experience in Sepet the movie..

Some ppl might hv different interpretation on it..but those who have been in the situation would truly understand the significance and the impact of those experience on their lives..

Talking abt the same thing...
I cud write you a great novel on a similar issue ...a semi-auto of my own experience..but maybe will keep that until the other party is ready to linked to the events..

Jessie U said...

John..i beg to differ..it depends on who we are with /I've met ppl from various religions n hv come to appreciate my religion more after talking to them...the only type of people I haven't quite feel comfortable talking to so far is the extremist group...but most people out there are tolerant...
Sharon-as u might hv known the UN declared this year as THE YEAR OF ASTRONOMY....was doing some reading at questia.com and came across an essay titled something like ''we will truly be united if there are aliens out there''...studying astronomy and observing all the phenomenons might help us humankind to be more understanding of who we all are really...that we are mere living things placed on a tiny planets left hanging in the center of a vast universe...we thought our world was so big that we started creating systemic divisions among us...where infact actually...play with google earth u'll get that feeling

BrainJuice said...

Nice blog, Sharon ... Very relevant stuff you have here ...