Sunday, 25 September 2016

Festive Weekend

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

This weekend was full of festivities. On Saturday, there was the Malaysia Festival (previously known as Malaysia Night). This festival has been my routine thing every year. 2013, 2014.


This displayed Lotus sports car is one of the exhibition that is being showcased every year.  This car is manufactured here, but I just knew that DRB-HICOM owned the company through its subsidiary Proton. Awesome right! One of the great achievements of Malaysian company.


I didn't do any posting for the 2015 since we came very late and didn't stay very long.


Just bought some dinner and came here to meet my friend who just arrived for her masters.


We did our bachelors degree together in IIUM and she's continuing her masters degree in King's College last year. 


This year, we came a little bit earlier after finishing my lab work. There weren't a lot of people just yet, so it's great to look around.


We suddenly bumped into the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Malaysia. We actually saw someone that my bestie knows, and it turns out, she was accompanying the IGP and his wife. We got to talk with the Puan Sri, asking where they head to, she asked what we studied and prayed for our success. She was very friendly and nice.


 I mostly love browsing and shop for food that are quite hard to find here in London. I found some Longan!!! But it was expensive!! 7.50GPB which is equivalent to RM35+..woah...


Neelofar Hijab made it here. huhu..I know these things are quite the catch back home.  

Guess who else I met.


Dato' Seri Ahmad Farid Ridzuan, the  CEO of the Television Networks and International Business, CEO of the Media Prima Berhad. I guess they were doing some report about the festival.


On the next day, as every year, there was the Japanese Matsuri festival. My aim was only two:


Motchi...this one is matcha rolls off the tongue by saying this 


and the main aim...TAKOYAKI!!! I've been craving for these for 2 years. Last few years, we didn't get to buy these since we didn't manage to go to Trafalgar Square two days in a row. The day we did manage to go, it was already very late, so they ran out. Looks good right?? hehe... 


We found some dorayaki (Doraemon's favourite food) too...

There were also chances for visitors to try on the traditional kimono for 3GBP. This guy isn't Japanese by the way...haha...he's Bruneian. But he did look the part. =P


Cute/weird Domo which  is the official mascot of Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

The great part of the Japanese Matsuri was that they have many stalls with Japanese crafts and culture (anime, manga, cute plushies..), which I thought the Malaysia Fest is missing. Malaysia should introduce our arts and crafts more as well as our tourism and food. The only upper-hand that the Malaysia Fest had compared to the Japanese Matsuri was the performances. 


The Japanese Matsuri did show some very interesting performances such as this one, which is the Odori Deer Dance that is the folk dance widely practiced at the north-east of Japan.

 That's it for now. There was also one magician that gave an awesome show, integrating tradition and the art of magic.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

An Interesting Encounter

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

The day began like any other day. In the morning, I went to the lab to do some work and went to donate some blood in the afternoon. My bestie and I had made the appointment months in advance since it was our quarterly routine. The day falls perfectly on the third day of Tasyrik or the third day of Eiduladha (one of the biggest Muslim celebration) where you are encouraged to do a lot of donation and other things that will get you closer to Allah SWT.

After the blood donation (my bestie was the only one that gave blood since my haemoglobin and iron level are too low), we went to Chinatown to regain our blood glucose.

After buying some drinks, we had to sit down outside the store for a while as my bestie was feeling dizzy. While we were sitting down, a middle-aged white guy suddenly approached, asking what our names were. I asked him why. He said his name was Ed and hold out his hand for a shake. We could tell that he was a bit drunk. We politely refused and said sorry, we can't shake his hand and the conversation began...

Ed: You can't shake my hand? Why?
Me: It's against our beliefs. 
Ed: That's the problem. That's the problem with you lot. I think you are good, beautiful people, but that's the problem with you. (at first from what he said, I thought he would want to have a meaningful conversation. That thought declined immediately from my mind after the next few things that he said)
Me: Why is that a problem?
Ed: It makes a division between us. You make a division between you and other people.
Me: How does that divide people exactly? A lot of people around the world that don't shake hands when they meet.
Ed: So what would you do?
Me: What would I do? About this?
Ed: Yes
Me: Well, we will part our own ways, and wishes each other good luck in their life (trying to end the conversation immediately and hoping he would leave on that note)

He smirked.

I don't remember his reply exactly, but if I remembered correctly, he kept going on about how Muslims, by not shaking people's hands, divide the community.

Me: Do you know where shaking hands come from?
Ed: Well, I know when I went to Morocco, a guy wipes his a** with his hands and you wouldn't want to shake their hands after that.
Me: Definitely not. (he didn't exactly answer my question and what was the point of that story anyway?).

Suddenly he jumped into a different topic

Ed: You know all this thing about Muhammad?
Me: You mean our prophet?
Ed: Yeah..what is that all about? He's not even the first one.
Me: I know. He's the last messenger.
Ed: You should listen to the first one.
Me: Muhammad's (peace be upon him) message, completes all the other teachings of the prophets before him.
Ed: Is it? well...but he's not perfect now is he?
Me: No he's not. He's human, just like you and me. He made mistakes.

No reply from him..

Suddenly he jumped to another topic insulting my bestie's features, which is totally discriminatory and not worth mentioning. My reply was, that's how she was born, she can't change that now, can she?

Me: I think we should respect what other people believe, even if we don't agree with them.
Ed: I'm a Christian, so do you agree with my beliefs?
Me: I don't have to believe what you believe nor agree with it in order to have respect for you. As long as you respect my beliefs.
Ed: What about these Chinese?
Me: I love the Chinese. A lot of my friends are Chinese.


He showed a sign of wanting to leave, which gives me much relief, but suddenly again, he hold out his hand for a shake. Again, we declined, and he returned to the beginning of the conversation.

Me: So we're back to this again?
Ed: Yes..because it's a problem
Me: It's only a problem if you make it a problem.
Ed: Yes, we will make it a problem (at this point, it was clear that he only wanted to provoke me and have a fight)
Me: Well, that's really up to you. I personally wouldn't want to stir up any problem with anybody.
Ed: Yeah..we will make it a problem (while gesturing a tube his holding towards us).

He kept repeating it while pointing that tube of his towards us and finally walked away.

This situation has been frighteningly increasing in Muslim minority countries. Alhamdulillah, I've never been physically abused like some have experienced, just verbally or through gestures. For people like me, I always have my own country to look forward to if things get any worse. But what about millions of Muslim that call this country their home. They know nowhere else, just here. They were born here, they grew up here, all their families are here. Where else should they run to? Middle east? Other Muslim countries? That's not their home. What right do these bigots have to cast other people that they perceive as not one of them?

So my advice to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, let's continue spreading awareness. Don't add to the confusion and hatred towards us and our beloved religion. Just follow what the prophet Muhammad saw had thought us, and the rest will fall into place. InsyaAllah...

To my fellow non-Muslim friends, if you have queries, just ask. We will be more than willing to answer your questions and confusions. But don't judge us, just like you would hate to be judged. Don't force your beliefs on us, like you hated some Muslim forced their beliefs on you. Communication is key to opening up a lot of doors and possibilities.

Until next time...
Head strong...and have faith