If anyone were to doubt the creativity of Malaysians, just run a poll and discover how creative Malaysians can become when coming up with saaaaaay…..excuses: Excuses for being late for work, excuses when getting caught by the traffic police. I once came up with “Datuk, saya bukan sengaja tinggalkan driving licence ni.. Tau je lah kan orang perempuan suka tukar tukar beg tangan, nak matching dengan kasut dan bajulah katakan”, then I went on and on and even talked about where I shopped and there was a sale at where I shopped for the bags and shoes up until the “Datuk” got totally fed up and let me off the hook. And that was just me, a doctor, species famous for being one of the least creative people around. Of course this is not our fault. We went to the Medical School and everyone knows that that is where people go to, to have their creativity murdered.
Speaking of being a doctor, I can vouch that Malaysians are creative with excuses judging at how we come up with some while desperately trying to obtain MC (Medical Certificate…..ya…like no one knows what MC means…even the foreign workers are catching up with this…) for example. Here’s one, “ I had a nasty fight with my boss and now every time I see his face, especially on Mondays, I feel nauseated. The best thing is for me to stay away from the office”. Creative isn’t it? Oh, and here is my favourite, “I have such a bad diarrhea and I’ve sharted (a term for accidentally shitting while farting) and I now I have no underwear so you’ve got to give me MC lah doc.” Needless to say, doctors are forced to come out from their comfort non-creative zone to become creative in answering these types of excuses. For the former I’d tell them, “Should I give your boss MC too? I’m sure he feels the same about you especially on Mondays” and for the latter, “Some of your colleagues are running around the office without an underwear, judging from the office scandals circulating and they seem to be doing just fine at work. I’m sure you can manage just this one day”. Okay…confession…...I’ve never said this (the latter), but it was on my mind okay. See why doctors don’t sound creative? Half of our creativity stops at the tip of our tongues, due to professionalism.
If anyone is still not satisfied with only the doctor’s testimony on how creative Malaysians are, then they should look at the Mat Rempits. I suspect that initially, these Rempits were just trying to be creative with ways to gamble their lives. The motorcycle was just the manifestation of this.
And shuffling (no ..I don’t mean the shuffling done in places like Genting Highlands)….yes…I mean the dance shuffling where one get down and…well..shuffle. Malaysians for your information, are known for our own brand of shuffling.
One of the people whom I have high respect in the Art world is our very own Indian Classical dancer, Ramli Ibrahim. Of course he’s not the sun of Ibrahim Ali the …oppppppppppppppppppp….chop…I just remembered that I this is a campaign to say nice things. I’ll practice reticence then. Moving along... I mean, how cool is it to have a Malays dancing the Indian Dance. And we have many other artists who cross their culture in performance, for instance , Alley Cats, Vince, Francisca Peters, Jaclyn Victor and many more.
It would be nice to have Malays singing Chinese or Indian songs more. Then again, even though the Malays hardly travel outside their comfort zone when it comes to performing arts, (I guess it takes too much effort to learn other languages. After all, if we stick to Bahasa Malaysia, then automatically we will understand English…that’s two in one twin pack), Malays do enjoy being in the K-Pop stream for instance. And of course we have many Malaysians who are berjiwa negro and indulge in soul from the getto brada hood and yo yo wassap bro kinda art…nowadays we have especially Malays and Indians talking like they are from the getto. Suddenly Jais becomes Jay, Mohanan becomes Mo etc etc etc…with braided hair and tattoo all over the body that is so kewwwl that their own grandmother would not even recognize them when brushing shoulders.
Although we have the tendency to preserve our cultural heritage, we could, if we wanted to, be very creative when exploring the realms of fusion, be it fashion or culinary for instance. Food of course, apart from the Peranakan’s, had taken flight with fusion creativity. We have for example “teh tiga lapis”, durian cake, Milo+Hollicks+Kopi drinks which I read a comment made on Facebook, that if
tea was added to the recipe, the drink should be called “LickMiKoTeh”. (see, we are even creative in our marketing strategies). This is of course excluding the “hal ehwal semasa” dishes like the time when Anwar case was hot, there was, “Sodo Mee”, wait, what? There wasn't ? Oh, pardon me, there should have been then. I remember eating Roti C4 at one time. I remember this roti quite well, not only because of the name but also because at the end part of my digestive system, the one that is not involved in copulation of the French kind, had an explosion the very next morning. I remember thinking, “If this was America, I would have sued that mamak right down to his underwear”.
And then there’s the interesting method of the making of teh tarik and roti canai, where food are tossed up in the air and more interestingly, landed back where it is supposed to land. Trust me, it requires good skills to perform these. I remember attempting tossing my roti canai and I did it too high, and well..there must be something wrong with my dough mixture too, because next thing I remember, I had to look for a ladder and climb it to scrap the roti canai off my kitchen ceiling. Imagine if we comprise of only one single entity, we won’t be blessed with all the privileges in a form of Mamak stalls, Peranakan culture and the Yusuf Tayooooooooooooooooooooob advertisement. Oh yes….brace yourselves to another yet new culture. The Arabinization of Malaysian Muslims. Who knows, one day, we will have roti panjang John with Shisya coming out between those long roti…..endless possibilities folks…endless possibilities…
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