Thursday, December 18, 2003

Choir Days

Choir Days

When I was primary school student, I was part of the choir team (we called it "kuayer"). No, I wasn't a particularly good singer, but I simply loved those traditional and patriotic Malay songs that they used to teach us to sing.

Today, many people feel slightly disgusted everytime they see Siti Nurhaliza go on TV to belt out one of those pro-government patriotic songs. I hate to admit it, but I kind of enjoy them, because it brings back good memories of my primary schooldays.

Until today I can still remember the lyrics of songs like Tanah Pusaka (...biar putih tulang jangan putih mata) and Sungai Pahang (...hilir-mudik, dan membawa berita). Our music teacher, the bubbly Mr Chin--ever-ready with his accordion--used to teach us traditional children's songs like Ikan Kekek, Enjit Enjit Semut and Burung Ketilang. I wonder if they still teach these songs now.

During the puasa month, we'd sing Selamat Hari Raya and when Chinese New Year was approaching he'd be teaching us to sing "Her Sin Nian" phonetically. And of course, we had to sing the school's song (Sekolahku) and the national anthem, Negaraku every Monday and Friday at the assembly.

So forgive me if I am such a patriot now, for I've been "brainwashed" ever since I was a kid. I have no regrets, because my soul was forged in Malaysia. No matter how far I go, I will always return to the land where the mighty Sungai Pahang flows: Tanah Pusakaku, Malaysia, where my soul will ultimately find its peace.

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