Looking back and discovering more about Malaysia

It's funny looking back and seeing my post about Malaysian culture. When I wrote about chivalry culture in Malaysia, refer to (www.foxholejanice.blogspot.com/2010/02/ladies-first-not-in-malaysia.html), I've never been to Malaysia and never thought I'd be going there. I learned about it by reading didn't actually realize I'd learn it in person. True enough you will not see Malaysian men saying "after you" or opening the door for you. But although you would not see those obvious chivalry some of them who I got to interact with are gentle and respectful in their own way. Just by simply giving necessary precautions or driving for us or serving you extra food when you buy. Yes it's not so much but it is something. For me, chivalry doesn't have to be so dramatic; it can be done even in the simplest ways.

As for the other aspects of their culture. Malaysia is divided into three races: Malaysian Indian, Native Malay, and Malaysian Chinese. All three differ in way of lives because of their backgrounds.

So when you buy food you have three choices: Chinese food, Native Malay food, and Indian food.

My experience in a Chinese restaurant is adventurous and wonderful at the same time; it's where I usually eat my lunch with my classmates when I was there for two months training last year. A couple of times I do not understand what I really ordered until I get the food because the owner doesn't understand English so much. There is great adventure in not knowing what you actually ordered and then end up enjoying it. I'm blessed to have Malaysian Chinese friends with me most of the time that ordering food did not have to go into the extremes. On the top of your mind you'd probably think of sweet and sour dishes, noodle soups, or tofu and you are right!

Indian food is so much different and I eat it mostly for dinner since it's close to the place we stayed. Roti and Nan w/ dips, Curry (seeing it already satisfied me, I don't think I ever bought it),  Lamb w/ rice, Tanduri chicken, and fried chicken w/ fries (actually American food). So many other choices but all are displayed everyday so just seeing them is enough.

I didn't really get to eat so much native Malaysian food. But I've tried it a couple of times and you usually eat it with bare hands somewhat like Filipino. Their food is rice with 2 kinds of cooked vegetable side dishes and the meat of choice (mostly spicy). Yummy! The fun is eating it in a banana leaf (so much like Philippines in the province).
More to come my friend as I discover more about Malaysia! I hope you enjoyed.

Travel for a reason

Ask me. I feel like I had just unpacked and tried to settle down then I have to pack my bags again. I am a traveler by heart. Traveling inspires me; it opens my mind and heart into a whole new world. So when I was in high school and found out that you can be a flight attendant by profession I wanted to do it. Anything that involves traveling makes my heart beat faster and dream bigger.

Yesterday I found myself reading books with stories of people and their travels. As I read through those books I got myself into thinking. What is the purpose behind their travels? Did they experience temporary joy or is it something that will last. Growing up in the Christian faith and by choice I've always Learned that everything you do must have a lasting purpose. The purpose that goes beyond earth life. One that is eternal. These people may have purposes for their own travel experiences that I do not know. What I need to be sure of is my purpose as a traveler? Is it then just for pleasure which is not bad in itself? No, I travel with a higher purpose in my heart placed by the highest being I live by and live for--God. I believe that He wants to use me wherever I go as an instrument for His glory. Whether be it to make friends by breaking culture barriers; teach children; dance; share His love; discover cultures; or simply "Be still and know that He is God" through my experiences it doesn't matter. As long as I know that wherever I go I have maximized my time there to do what He wanted me to do and oftentimes it might not be what the people around me wants.

Traveling can be for temporal joy or can be for everlasting significance. What do you travel for?

What defines your nation?

Last Friday, I was going through the books about different countries in the library and ran into a book about the most dangerous countries in the world. I scanned through the book out of curiosity on what dangers the author have encountered and which countries were included. The author/s wrote about the different sicknesses and diseases you could accumulate from different countries; the weapons being created or used in those different countries; and many different facts I believe of whatnot dangers you could encounter. In short this is a pretty scary book so if you're easily scared because of the negative facts throughout the book. Not wanting to waste my time going through all the stated "dangers" of the different countries I decided to check out what the author had to say about my countries of interest--most especially what it had to say about the Philippines.

Though I was not born in the Philippines, growing up in that country as a half-citizen helped me develop great love and knowledge about it. Sometimes I feel like I know it more than I know my birthplace. As I was reading what the author was relaying about how dangerous the Philippines is my heart grieved for a couple of reasons. First, I grieved for how the Philippines was described in a way that an ignorant person about the Philippines would not want to consider going to the country. Unless that person is brave enough to face it's "danger". The second thing that I grieve for is that too many negative is relayed and no positive about the Philippines was relayed. Again a foreigner might perceive very different and could forget their desire to discover the country. No matter how dangerous the Philippines could be, there are many good counterpart to it that makes it a wonderful place to live in. Third is the reality that struck me that the Philippines and any other country can be as dangerous as it could be because people are sinners. Danger could be or is available anywhere as long as man remains selfish enough to steal, rape, murder, covet, and any other danger resulted from selfishness.

If you value safety, do you think you are contributing to making your community, or your country a safer place by rejecting selfishness and choosing to care? Or are you the person who choose to contribute to the danger of the world by not choosing to care for the needs of others above your own?

How would you want your country to be interpreted by others? What would you want your country to be defined as? You choose. Every individual of a certain country plays a big part in defining their nation.

Joining Tortured hearts of the Khmers

I still remember walking through the prisons cells where innocent Cambodians were tortured by inhumane leaders of Pol Pot regime known in history as the Khmer Rouge. The cells still had the marks of blood drops of the people tortured inside the prison. As to how they were tortured you wouldn't want me to describe because it's more than cruelty--it's too evil that you might throw up. The torturers even managed to take photos of their innocent prisoners their numbers pinned to their skin. They even allotted killing fields in different places in Cambodia where they take the prisoners and kill them. We also visited the killing fields and saw thousands of people's skulls, bones, and ripped clothing throughout the field. I cannot imagine how the relatives, friends, and even co-citizens during the Khmer Rouge in 1975. My heart joined the tortured hearts of the Cambodians who were victims or family-members of the victims.  This could not only be a simple heart ache but is a torture to the hearts of the Cambodians maybe even till the day they die. With tortured hearts how can it be possible to forgive such an inhumane act?
Toul Sleng Prison, Pnom Penh, Cambodia

Finding out that most of them do not know Christ made my heart sank even deeper. The Khmers having experienced so much mind, heart, and physical torture--for those who were killed need to find hope. They need someone to tell them about the one who was innocent of all sins yet tortured and crucified to death--Jesus Christ. He who died from physical torture did not remain dead but rose again to give us hope. Whatever pain, no matter how hard the suffering was, no matter how tortured our hearts and minds are Jesus is here to set us free because He already paid for those sufferings. He who experienced for Himself the meaning of inhumane torture can set the Khmer free from the enslavement of anger resulted from the Khmer Rouge. He can heal them from the wounds of the past that stayed in their hearts for the longest time.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." -Isaiah 53:5

You can be an instrument to let them know about Jesus Christ.