You can wear my baju kurong

So not too long ago, there was this American girl who wore a cheongsam for her prom. A cheongsam, as you know, is Chinese dress, usually made of cotton or silk and is designed to accentuate the female curves. It’s gorgeous, making it something that a lot of women, even non the Chinese, interested to wear them.

I think she looks cute in it, even if I would have styled the hair different and think the pose in the third picture looks awkward.

However, there was a guy who took offence to it, saying that it was inappropriate for her to wear it for prom. I get the feeling that the guy is being a troll, in the sense that he wants attention by spouting vitriol and doesn’t actually believe in what he is spouting.

Why would he? Even Chinese people in China doesn’t have an issue with it like how you see in the video below :

Personally for me, I think I’d be happy if someone was interested enough to wear my cultural outfits. In fact, I’d be proud for them to wear a beautiful Baju Kurong or a Kebaya to a nice event.

Back in school, once a year, we were even encouraged to wear a different outfits for racial harmony day. A lot of of were excited for this day, because it was a chance for us to wear something different instead of our normal uniforms and it was fun exchanging and trying out outfits with each other. Racism would not even cross our minds as we don the clothes.

(My gosh, this picture was taken 20 years ago)

Why is it so bad that we wear other cultural outfits? I can understand with certain cultures, you need to be of a certain class to be able to wear them – like how it is for wearing the headdress for the Native American tribes.

But for the rest, we shouldn’t have to feel afraid to wear something beautiful, in case that someone would feel offended because we’d be misappropriating their culture.

Burn house beat mother

I mean, if you really want to be pissed off at cultural misappropriation, be pissed off at something that makes more sense – like someone who has never eaten rendang before, telling you how to cook rendang.

With that logic, I should just wear a sarong all year round, even when the temperature drops to minus zero degrees during the winter in Rome. I should stop wearing jeans because it’s only meant for cowboys and miners. And while I’m at it, I should stop learning to dance flamenco because I’m not Spanish, stop learning Italian because I’m not Italian and don’t eat sushi, burrito, paella and all the delicious food in the world.

What nonsense.

Letting go

It’s been a while since I’ve written a new post. Yikes! My apologies for that, but on the other hand, if you’re on Instagram, I’ve been posting stories when I can. You know, instant gratification and all that 😛

But I’ll try to update more, and now that the weather here in Rome is getting wonky, it’s a good opportunity for me to start hitting the laptop. There are so many things that I’d love to update you guys with.

As you know, I was in Singapore during the summer and reconnecting with my friends and family. Each time that I’m there, it never seems like enough but I’m grateful for the amazing experience that I had.

One of the places that I went to was to my old secondary school. It was by coincidence as I saw a facebook post saying that there was a brunch event there, so I took the opportunity and went back to Bukit View Secondary – where I spent my formative years.

Walking through the campus, a lot of things has changed and the building didn’t looked exactly as it was before, I don’t recognize 99% of the staff there, and even the uniform has changed to a light brown compared to my white and grey.

Nevertheless, as I passed through the various rooms, there were a number of memories that flashed through my mind – pretending the sewing machines was a pedal to a car during Home Economics, trying to get anything better than a ‘C’ during Arts classes, the restroom where there used to be so many toilet paper stuck on the ceiling for some reason … I had so many happy memories here.

Which was was it was shocking to learn that a former classmate passed away not long ago. I was even thinking of him while I passed by my old classroom. His name was Safras Khan. We weren’t close but he was a memorable character – he was opinionated and confident of himself and he’d walk around with a swagger. For some reason, he liked to play November Rain on the PA system every chance he gets, and he’d always be roaming around school with his best friend, Sufian. They were like Ying and Yang. Safras was the gregarious one, while Sufian was quiet.

When I found out that he died from a heart attack, I was surprised because we are all relatively still young. It didn’t feel as if it was that long ago since we were all in school, you know, I still have some memories that are quite vivid, including that 15 year old bespectacled boy with gelled hair.

But I think that at length, the older we get, the more we have to anticipate this happening (Especially since my aunt passed away) and it puts things in a lot of perspective that we have to let go of a lot of things. Which in turn, more and more has changed how I view upon things.

Relationships for the most part. Be it with friends, or be it with family, let’s just enjoy our time with the people that we love. And even if there are people who we dislike being with, just be civil anyway, without being over the top. It’s not like you’re married to them.

There was a time when I got offended at how there were people who didn’t include me in things like dinners and conversations … I still don’t like cliques, but things like that happen. I just have to remember to be kind as everyone makes mistakes, myself included.

Update!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update post so here’s one. We’re almost close to June, which means that in about a week’s time, public schools will be closed in Italy and I’ll be freer for some mischief 😀

Unfortunately temperatures has been quite high these days, and the Roman sun is really harsh and brutal on the skin that I have to moisturise every few hours just to relieve that horrible itchy feeling.

rinaz.net Toons

Sometimes it feels like I’m in an Outer Limits series – remember the one where a young student listens to a tape and eventually gets skin deformities.

(I just realised that the younger sister is Kirsten Dunst)

In any case, we’ve now reached Ramadan, the fasting month. I guess it’s starting to get easier now compared to some years back. Although waking up at 3 am and then abstaining from any consumption of food and water till about 8.35 pm is still challenging nevertheless.

rinaz.net sunrise

As I don’t want to overly exert myself, last Thursday was my last day of cross training. And can you believe it? It has been 8 months that I’ve been training. At the end of every session I feel half dead, but amazingly I do enjoy them and it’s nice to have such a friendly group of mates.

rinaz.net Iron Dragon

While I don’t see any noticeable weight coming off, there are some things that I am able to do now that I wasn’t able to do 8 months ago – most noticeably, I can now jump up to the bar and kip myself up a little bit. I still can’t do a full pull up, but it’s a start.

rinaz.net Iron Dragon

Now that Ramadan is here, it’s best for me to stop because I guzzle a lot of water when I exercise. As much as I’d like to continue, I’d risk dehydration. But it’s a shame though, to have 8 months of work to probably be gone in a month.

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(Yeah, you wish Marina!)

I haven’t been running much since doing the marathon. Nevertheless, I’m considering to participate in a running event when I’m in Singapore.

Have you heard of the Durian run? You run with a whole durian and at the end of the race you get to eat that AND drink a whole coconut. It sounds amusing to me but of course, one has to be careful as this fruit is thorny. But while I’m interested, I’m not in Singapore at that date unfortunately.

rinaz.net Toon

In any case, there are quite a number of activities that I’m looking forward to  –  like seeing the Yayoi Kusama’s display at the art museum, and then going to an Ingress anomaly in Malaysia with my brother. Reconnecting with friends and family. So that’ll be fun. If there are anyone who wants to go with me, just let me know 🙂

And of course eat all the food in Singapore! I’ll warrant you that I’m going to fill my luggage with all the packed food I can fit in!

Going back to Singapore?

I’m in a bit of a conundrum. It’s been a while since my last visit to Singapore, and I’d really like to go back and spend some time with my family and friends.

Initially, I thought that July and August is the best time to go because I don’t have any engagements then, since a lot of things such as schools and public gyms are closed.

I’d have to go alone without Cart though, but he can’t leave the country for too long. I don’t like the idea of being away from Cart for that long, but oh well. Checking on the airline tickets though, it already costs quite a pretty penny now to compared to if we travelled in December.

Maybe I should have booked on earlier instead of waiting for Cart to give me the green light? I really don’t know what to do now.

The cute response is when I asked my mum for advice, since I’d most probably stay with my parents then –

Me : When would be better for me to come over? August or December? 

Mum : Come in August! And go back in December 😀

rinaz.net Haha

Pagare alla Romana

In Rome, there is this term called “Pagare alla Romana” or to pay the Roman style which basically to split the bill equally especially when eating out in a group. It makes it easier and faster to calculate.

I’m not a big fan of it though, because there are some things which I don’t consume which costs more, and many a times I’d think to myself, “Why should I pay for your beer which costs 5 euro, when I’m just having water which costs 2?”

Which probably sounds a little bit selfish, considering that when we go out with friends, we’re there to enjoy each other’s company and we shouldn’t be too calculative, right? But then again, it just doesn’t seem justified if one has to do it multiple times.