Thursday, January 10, 2008
What's in a name (or fashion) ?! A lot! Trust me!
Hi good people of Malaysia (A big chunk of them anyways!)
Years ago our Malaysian sport contingent at any international meet had the word MAL printed on the back or front of their sweat jackets or Tee-shirts, until friend pointed out to the Malaysian Olympic Committee that it should be changed to MAS.
Well the word MAL has a negative connotations; in Latin it means anything bad: Malo in Spanish means bad, in English you know the meaning of the word mal-function, mal-adjusted, etc!
Now, I am proud to realise that members of our sports contingents at any international meets sport the letters MAS; it could mean gold in Malay, and well it sounds better than MALo!
Then there is this bank, or rather an Islamic bank called Bank MUAMALAT! For heaven's sake the word sounds like "MEMALAT"! When I was growing when we spoke mostly Malay, we had a word "memalat" to describe anything shitty or bad, such as if a friend was doing something bad we will tell him "ooi, jangan memalat ye!".
"Now a bank has a name that sounds like that negative word; you wouldn't catch me dead opening an account at Bank "Memalat"!
When I was growing up we just call it Hari Raya Haji, not Maal Hijrah. To me Maal sounds like "MAL", thus "Bad Journey". Why cannot we just stay at Hari Raya Haji! Just like the word MALAYS, it sounds like the word "Malaise". So negative. In the Malay language, my race, is MELAYU, or in English it means wilting. Thus a wilted race, Bangsa Melayu.
The US government spent millions of dollars to come up with an un-threatening name and a PR company entrusted to do the job after many years came up with the name "CRUISE Missile". Thus the deadliest flying bomb is now seen as a benign destroyer which just CRUISEs around and "not making any serious damage". Well the Russians came up with names like SCUD, which mentally associated with SPUTUM, or SALIVA, or everything negative!
So no wonder Islam as a religion, and Malays as a race are suffering from serious personality bypass, BECAUSE we don't really care about how we sound like.
If I have the power I will revert MAAL Hijrah to Awal Muharram, name of my race from MELAYU to Bangsa MELAJU, or something up beat like I do not what, but not Melayu definitely!
Datsun was changed to Nissan simply because the cars under that name did not sell. So some Japanese expert from one nondescript building somewhere in Japan which specialises in advising naming names of all Japanese products said Datsun as a name will not sell the product. Japanese are peculiar, they like names of their products to be easily pronounced and to sound nice.
Bottom line here is, Malays should try not to be too ARABISED in their way of life, "adorn" the religion YES, that we have been doing for centuries! But do not discard their Malay culture!
Oh! How I longed for my Malay women to dress in their Kebayas, with their beautiful hair flowing down their shoulders. I still cannot comprehend why Malay women must cover their hair. My contention is, if God wants women (or even men) to hide their hair, so why did he bother creating them complete with it! Just a thought!
PS. This is my thought and I will not entertain negative comments, if anyone wants to comment!
Posted by Pasquale at 10:52 AM