Quote Today

    If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    This Raya, What Social Class Do You Belong To? Share

    First of all,

    I like the festive season. Everybody gets a reason to get all dolled up and visit friends & relatives. For me, though, I like it because I get to do some people-observation. In other words, I'm gossiping with myself inside my head where no one can hear me say stuff like "She's about to blow up in that tight baju raya" or "Oh my, what thick make-up" and even ask things like, "Are you expecting?" while looking at her tummy and then getting a jerked response, "NO!" There's a drama in my head and I provide the scripts, too.

    Call me cruel - but I'm sure you do that, too.

    I guess for others this festive season is for them to show the scope of their wealth in everything. The big house, the grandeur buffet table, the crystals-adorned lightings and decoration, the size and amount of "manik" on the baju raya, the blings on the shoes and rings; and all the other glitzy paraphernalia. I will admit that that is what I look at when I'm "raya"-ing.

    Nevertheless, I'm not saying that that is necessarily a bad thing - to want to show how "kaya" you are during Raya. Besides, I'm only observing the etiquettes of the social monkeys during this month of get-together and making new acquaintances.

    If there was one thing I could nit-pick about what I don't like that people do during Raya, it would definitely have to be someone creating a division of social classes in terms of what we do (occupation) and assuming how much we're making in a year.

    Yesterday, my family and I went to an uncle's place up in Sengkurong for an openhouse-lunch. My parents were making small talk with my uncle and his wife about much-ado of nothings when another batch of family came, I assume a colleague of my uncle, who later joined the conversation. Out of formalities, my parents were introduced to the colleague, of whom was a high-ranking officer of a department in the ministry or of the sorts, I presume. So the conversation turned into a showcase of his connections with "pehin-pehin", the "dato-dato" and the likes.

    Maybe out of courtesy to not leave out my parents in the conversation, he asked what my parents do for a living. My parents are both in the education department - nothing glitzy about it but it is a noble profession. The high-ranking officer did not think so highly of it, though. In fact, he responded to my parents' answer with a "hmmph" and nothing else. Then he continued his showcase of connections with people in higher places, snubbing my parents off into oblivion.

    Later, in the car when my parents told of that incident, I told my parents that they should have said, "Oh, we are just teachers but we still make as much money as you do." My mother however, reasoned that there is no need to show your social standing because it doesn't matter. We didn't need to get that high-ranking officer's approval just so that we could be in the same social class.

    My mother has a point. I reckon this is what becoming a teacher does to a person - it gives you the power of wisdom, much wiser than that of a high-ranking officer, at least.

    That was Day 1. Wonder what else will come next?

    Christmas, I hope.


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