Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ada apa dengan Bijou?

OMG!!!! Dina Zaman mentioned Bijou Bazaar in her article, like she knew we existed?! OMG!!! Yes, I am jakun. We are talking about THE Dina Zaman here …

*pinching herself*

OK, it’s real.

xoxo

Thursday December 4, 2008

It will be the young who rule

A WRITER'S LIFE BY DINA ZAMAN


Young Malaysians deserve a future that is based on merit. They need, and are deserving of, tools that encourage their talents and capabilities.

IF it is any generation I am learning a lot from, it would be the young. Oh, I have learned a lot from older peers such as my parents, older friends and so forth, but I am being kept up to speed by Young Malaysia.

If I get confused about something IT-related, I call one of the boys. When I am befuddled by my digital camera, I scream for my little sister.

If I want to get the pulse on what is happening on the ground, and want to know what Malaysia’s aspirations and future will be, I hang out with my younger friends.

In no way am I deserting friends of my age and older, but the buzz and enthusiasm, which I have to admit can be exhausting, come from my younger friends.

Friends my age are busy with families and their careers, and very few have the time to babysit me! Even when it comes to matters of the heart and faith, I seek the counsel of the young.

They are well-read, passionate and are very focused on what they want out of this country. It doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative, come from urban or rural areas, shy or exuberant, these kids keep me on my toes. And I have learned a lot about fortitude from them.

I don’t think I saw this kind of passion and empathy from my generation and above. Yes, there were the activists and would-be corporate superstars, but the number was few.

What I remember of my teens was to get through my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, and in my 20s, my good friend Sharina Shueb and I were hunting doas (prayers) so we would get boyfriends and marry ASAP.

It is only now that we talk about social issues, politics, the economy; but come nine in the evening, we tutup kedai and sleep all our worries away.

One thing I admire about these kids, and which I did not see during my impressionable years, is their knack for organisation and networking. These kids, with the great help of the Internet and technology, are all wired.

Facebook, myspace, MSN – they connect with groups like Digital Malaya, the flickr kids … flashmob groups. Readings. They also organise flea markets like Bijou Bazaar.

And politics. These kids are sharp. They are not necessarily Oxbridge graduates but they understand their constituencies and the grassroots. You have already met Zaidel B, my young friend, who appeared in this column a couple of times.

Those who are not involved in politics volunteer at non-profits like Food Not Bombs, and yes, think that marching up and down Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman bearing placards announcing their causes is something worth getting into trouble for, though I did get one e-mail the other day:

“Argh Dina, I’m too young to go to jail!”

“Yang miang sangat demo tu kenapa? Go study.”

I am such a makcik sometimes and the generation gap can be glaring. Like the time I went to a gig with two male friends my age. We harboured fantasies of pogo-ing and moshing in the pit but imagine our bewilderment when the two Danish groups barely plucked their guitars. No riffs. No headsplitting music.

F, who managed to find his mat rocker black jeans and Metallica tee-shirt gawped.

I turned to Ms E, my friend, who is dating a young man in a band, and asked her, “Er what kind of music is this arr? Baik I balik rumah ketuk tin Milo.”

“Oh my God Dina you can’t say that! It’s hipster music! That’s so wrong!”

F, Sheng and I just stared at her. What on earth was hipster music?

We soon-to-be 40-year-olds grew up on a diet of New Age, glam rock and heavy metal. We hung out at Pertama Complex in the late 80s. We thought Ozzy Osbourne was really cool. And sigh, Roger Taylor of Duran Duran was hot, too.

And yes. Joe Wings. Oh, I would tell you about this crush I had on this Malay boy all those years ago, but he is married now and I dowan to get santau by the wife for nothing. But did he fill in those red Levi’s very well.

It is also from the young that I have learned more about my faith. My time, we didn’t really have all these camps and kelas ngaji. There was Abim, but they were like a foreign planet to us and seemed too “old”.

These days, these kids organise talks by themselves, organise charities and camps. I have been to a few readings and events and met with tudung-girls who cover their aurat very creatively. They don’t want to look like their mothers, they told me. Ouch.

Still a lot needs to be done. The young Malaysians I mentioned earlier are the minority even though their number is growing. Young Malaysia deserves a future that is based on merit, a success that they can brag about because it is earned, not because of who they are ethnically, religiously and economically. They need, and are deserving of, tools that encourage their talents and capabilities.

The issue of Mat Rempits is economic. The problems young Malaysians face are very real: poverty, abuse, lack of resources and guidance, and support. What does the future hold for them?

God willing, it will be the more successful young who will help empower those left slightly behind. Watch this space.

The writer hopes she has the energy to keep up!

2 comments:

Murni said...

woohoo! want some help with the pinching? hahaha ;)

wegra @ bijou bazaar said...

hehehe ... boleh jugak. :op