God

“I believe there is a God. Some believe there is Only one. Some thought there is none. And some believe there are many. And therein concludes our little, little differences which gradually piles up into centuries old feud. And in our quest to seek the all powerful invincible God who largely remains invisible and powerless in solving world calamities, we became divisive and destroy others who believe otherwise. If humans were born of God, why aren’t we exuding the all natural traits of love, peace, happiness and forgiveness inherited us? Not unless we came from dust as some believe- dust, being residues of all things destroyed. Hence, our destructive tendency.”

Mindset of the Chinese Women

To understand the mindset of the Chinese women in particular, one must readily immerse themselves into the many customs, rites and rituals grilled into their thoughts since time immemorial. Collectively, the many do’s and don’ts made up what is known as traditions. And these traditions manifests as good moral behaviours exemplarily found only in the Courts of the Mandarins, Mandarins being people of higher social standing in the world of the Chinese. The whole world describes Chinese as purposeful and enterprising but unknown to many, to be born a women in a Chinese household was to be submissive, not even looked forward to. Heirs must be from the stronger sex and so is the throne.

In olden days China, Emperors are believed to have the mandate from Heaven to govern and rule. And ruled they did, as some of them make rules based on the teachings of anointed people of their times such as Confucius, Lao Tze and the Lord Buddha. Buddhism eventually became a revered religion of the Emperors that spreads its roots from India to the Far East before it was brought to the archipelago of what is today known as Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, Buddhism is a tripartite cocktail mix with Confucianism and Taoism. And with religion came steep must-dos and morbid forbids submissive believers adhere to. Some good, others extreme, whilst others are purely bizarre. And with each dynasty, rules bend according to the wishes of such anointed rulers. Some ruled by brawn, others with their brain. Many loyal subjects followed their ruler’s belief, and the rites and practices that goes with it.

There is this age old tradition that womenfolk born into Straits Chinese households of yesteryears are never allowed to straddle beyond the confines of the family home, until the day she marries. They don’t get to go to school because that’s the privilege of the menfolk. So her early childhood education is stifled and fate depended on the matriarch, the maître d’ of the household (who is usually the most senior womenfolk) who taught her rudimentary skills like mannerism and conduct according to the revered teachings of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, rituals, customs and traditions, grooming, seaming, cooking, and cleaning the once fashionable extended family home where three generations of the same family purportedly lived together in a perpetual cyclic motion till fate and time decides the future outcome. All in the course of preparing her to be a commendable maiden for a fleeting finale, to be given away in holy matrimony to a suitor she never had seen nor knew of.

And thank god for the trendy middle courtyard that lungs the passageways, she could play and mingle with her siblings and cousins day and night amid some greenery besides catching the occasional glimpse of the moon, the cold breeze, and the pelting of rain. Not forgetting the daily updates from gossips happening in and out of the kitchen to revitalise and work her sanity.

Womenfolk in the Straits Chinese household never get to choose their own husbands. And so is her wedding date and other preferences. They are the domesticated party to the nuptial agreement by virtue of tradition while the menfolk were encouraged to work hard for a living and raise his own family. Everything is adhered to, in strict century old traditions and rituals of which by now she is routinely acquainted with and her suitor, like an unwrapped gift, comes with surprises and add-ons depending on her luck pre-assessed by her own three generations of extended family headed by the matriarch, after bouts and bouts of cordial discussions between both families with a marriage broker (Mui Lang Po) as their intermediary.

To look for a Chinese wife, the menfolk would cluster themselves along the roadsides and riverbank ready to catch a glimpse of the most likely love interest who would during Chap Goh Meh (or the Fifteenth Moon of the Chinese Calendar), arrive in a motorcade to participate in the quaintest ritual of all- an annual courtship gala of throwing Mandarin oranges (Tim Kum) into the river or sea which is believed to attract blessings of a good marriage for the maidens and likewise for the menfolk who threw apples (Kor) for the same reason- to find a good wife. Once a year, these womenfolks would be heavily coiffured and decked in the finest of jewellery where they were given permission to leave their homes in lure of the pearl of great price. And these Chinese Cinderella’s do not dare leave their slippers behind. Chastity is of great importance and honour to the Chinese household (hence the roasted piglet adorned with a paper-cut tail on the offering table!) what more they must be proven on the wedding night or the menfolk can revoke their consummation if found to be in the contrary. Thus, there is no better way than to keep them in the safe confines of three generations of walking cctv’s than to expect unruly things from happening to a maiden before she got married.

Upon spotting his chosen candidate, the man would then return home and express his love interest to his own family who would then hire a marriage broker (Mui Lang Po) to investigate the maiden’s family background and demands before pairing them up. If fate were to be cordial to them.

Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism rituals reigns thick in these households beginning from the early migration of the Chinese to the southern hemisphere until the late sixties. Therefore the practice of honouring and respecting the elders not forgetting appeasing the spirits of bygone ancestors is encouraged to ensure abundance of blessings to come. These believes and practices were then handed down the generations and faithfully re-enacted year after year.

Where taboo is concern, misfortunes and the mere mentioning of the word ‘death’ was frowned upon by the Chinese. That said, the rites and rituals of appeasing spirits is common place. Thus the Chinese All Souls Day (Cheng Beng) is marked by tomb cleansing, paying homage and a family get together.

These practices continued till the modern day for some families but as the months and years passes by, succumbed by the British Colonialists who took a stranglehold of our motherland, many traditions and customs were gradually weeded out. Not by the British but by the inquisitive repatriators. Progress took on new forms. Dwellers became more liberal. And in came concerns and fairer treatment for the fairer sex.

Nowadays, Chinese womenfolks can finish school, choose their own husbands, travel and as the larger extended family homes became more and more expensive to maintain, each family went their own way leaving behind derelict mansions being consumed by weeds and undergrowths. Whilst some prefer to stay out of town, there are those who strive for a living in the bustling city. There is no longer the once landscaped courtyard that embellishes a family home and a compound of today is no bigger than five strides both-ways. Many of these womenfolk now has the privilege to travel West and as a result, many exchange their wooden clogs and embroidered sandals for stilettos. Many of these privileged womenfolk intermarried with foreigners and never came back.

However, for those who do, many converted and eventually gave up Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism practices. But at the back of the minds of these neophytes stood subconscious moral teachings and observations ingrained into them since time immemorial. When they returned, they too hardly break these laws in front of their elders for fear of being beaten, chastised, or estranged. In consolation, they would assure themselves that these are the customs of the Chinese which has nothing to do with their own belief at all. These includes the annual celebrations of Chinese New Year and All Souls Day. And chastity was surprisingly still a big hit till the early seventies.

Prophet?

If a prophet by clear dictionary definition means a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration, a person chosen to speak for God, then anyone who speaks on the pulpit proclaiming God’s word is by your sweeping regard, a prophet. However, in the second definition, a prophet could be a seer/soothsayer/forecaster. Shouldn’t both be read together?
And who anoints a prophet? God or its people? If it is God, it is clearly divine intervention. But what if it is people?
To me, one whom by outstanding example and enlightenment does good, provides, protects, leads well, and has followers is a politician. But to be a prophet, you have to fulfill both definitions above as defined by the dictionary not forgetting that you too have to be anointed by God. Not by its people.

Uncanny Ways

“God has an uncanny way to solve problems. At most times he uses nature, at others he sends businessmen that carries crude diplomacy to ensure political correctness which is hardly pleasant. But our current world has them. Putin, duterte, Shinzo Abe, jokowi, hard policies and language you may not like but only terrorist understands. We were, since young, been taught to be flexible and adapt. The more adventurous were taught the scouts honor- be prepared. So are we prepared to adapt to a new cultural language sweeping the world right now or should we continue to ignore corrective surgery long due and adhere to conservative diplomacy which may plunge us deeper into implosion after years of watching bolder politicians betray our trust and terrorist culling our freedom, both smiling, both laughing at us as they get used to the ropes of crime and corruption suffocating us with power from within? You decide. As for me every action has reaction. When God jolts, submit. His ways are not our ways. If he doesn’t care to send weeders, your wheats may soon be strangled.”

Women as compared to Men

“Women are vulnerable creatures. But they make better friends. They are more emotionally attuned than the male specie and instinctively more mature and understanding. That’s the reason I have multitudes of girl friends. And each of them is close to me, as a friend, in a special way. A plateau no man could get close to, nor reach.
Men are different. Men are such emotional wrecks. Put them in an emotionally charged situation and they loses control of their mind, and body. They scream their lungs out, shook like a 7.0 Richter tremor and thus, many a time, endangers their surroundings and they themselves even. Those are the ways of men.”-

Tongue Twisting

As one gets older, one’s voice mellows down. One could no longer attain that pitch one used to be able to achieve and the voice crackles- intermittently just as it whimpers- intermittently. Occasionally one will find oneself tongue twisting through certain words one never had difficulty pronouncing before. And occasionally needing to catch ones breath to stress sentences out from ones chest. One may be well built but as one ages, there certainly are other elements that creeps in that are beyond our control, or repair.

Do not Belittle the Uneducated

“Men made books out of the seeds of his own exploration, experimentation and logical evaluation of his experiences thus men does not need to belittle other men whom are lesser educated when books were purely a product of men. Men exists long before books did.
And an uneducated man can always reenact the glorious learning cycle without the dependence on books so long as he bothers to explore, experiment and evaluate his experiences then record everything he learnt without the need to be influenced or be taught by others. All he needs is a brain that is totally functional.
And this same uneducated man can apply everything he learnt by himself to become cleverer if not great even when fate deprives him of the education that simultaneously co-existed during his lifetime.
In my hometown are two such examples- one is a family member, the other, a friend. And both of them became great visionaries and generous philanthropist, if not legends, unlike those with bread and butter and a silver spoon stuck in the mouth that begets nothing but opinions and selfishness. In the international arena, the celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando is one of them. And industrial design supremo Philippe Starck.
So, do not belittle uneducated people living in your midst because one day, some or one of them may eventually be greater than you.”

Great Nation

“Poor people can be very rich and at the same time, rich people can be very poor depending on the level of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness each desires. If everyone is made to feel that their smallest of contribution is important towards the daily life of a nation, if everyone is dedicated to the one craft they are good at that it inspires others to emulate and learn from them, then progress and modernization can be achieved without the fear of culture being lost. That’s what makes a nation great and everyone happy in the end.”

Small dollops

“A woman’s heart is like a sieve. If you want to give them something, give them in small dollops like a gravy train with multiple coaches with no end in sight. If you lavish them with an Audi thinking that’ll stop them from querying your whereabouts for one month or that it’ll stop her from assaulting your Facebook with image tags that you belong to her, please understand. Your Audi, just like a small box of chocolate or one kiss or a bud of rose are all of the same weight. It is just one dollop filling up one coach, on a gravy train, with no end in sight. My advice: Let them buy the Audi themselves.”

Detachable Wings

If we are all born sinners as according to St. Paul, then the clergy should stop the laities from sharing the good word. But many a clergy are sinners as well. False? So how?
For only a good tree will bear good fruit we were all told. But crooks has produced many a scholar and scholars has produced many a crook as well. How then?
Confession can absolve one’s sin. But can it purify one’s thoughts?
Therefore for those who lead dubious private lives, please refrain from teaching or sharing the good news. It takes discipline to acknowledge that your own private life is in shambles.
And for the spiritual, self reading the bible may be the answer to a good clean relationship with God. Have a personal online with God. If your backyard is not laden with filth to begin with.
I must admit I am no angel but I am sure I do not wish to be misguided by those with detachable wings..