Friday, June 26, 2009

The Malay Male Family Values: Blood of the Ancients

My father can walk, but not so well. He can talk, but not so good.

He can eat on his own, put on his own clothes, and he can walk with the help of a walker.

A few weeks ago, when I heard he had another stroke, I seriously thought he was going to die.

I thought this was going to be the last birthday he was going to have. If he's lucky, a last raya later this year.

I am not a family man. In fact, I hate the pretentiousness of most families.

I hate it when parents use their children as insurance policies.

I hate the way some Malays put family above everything else. Not as a philosophy or a belief, but so others would look up to them.

I hate the falseness. The facade. The farce.

When it comes to my own parents, it is not about me.

I made a decision long ago (three years) to be there for them, not for me 'not regretting' later in life, and not for most other Malays to be fooled and think I hold to the same values they do.

I don't. I don't think getting married and having children - breeding - as my ultimate purpose in life.

I no longer hold it against them, but I still think it is frivolous and unnecessary. Just that I try not to judge those who do not agree with my views.

I do my best for my ailing father, because I want to. As simple as that.

Not for other people's approval. The fuck can I do with approval? Can I eat approval? Can I wipe my ass with approval?

Not because I want to pretend that my family is excellent or even normal. Well, we are normal in the sense that we are just as dysfunctional as any other family. 85 per cent of families are dysfunctional, said a survey quoted on TV.

My family does not value sweet, fake gestures of affection. We are practical people, and fierce individualists. We handle things, each in our own way.

Our ancestors were pirates and spiritual teachers. We came from Pattani, Celebis, Makasar, Guangzhou.

We are descended from the noble Bugis pirates, Pattani preachers and Cantonese landowners.

We will kill all of you.