Thursday, January 02, 2020

Beyond Jawi, a plan to address cultural bankruptcy among Malays

Beyond Jawi, a plan to address cultural bankruptcy among Malays

Five decades ago, Jawi, the Arabic script which was once the main written medium for the Malay language, was replaced by the romanised script.
The Malay language progressed after this conversion. It synchronised with Bahasa Indonesia in the 1970s, giving Bahasa Melayu its value and credence, becoming one of the most spoken languages in the modern world.
Like learning Latin and Sanskrit, learning the Jawi script and knowing how its letters are strung together is additional knowledge. But that’s all to it.
I learnt Jawi in primary school. I believe I still can read and write Jawi, though there has been no need for it in the last 50 years!
Even when I was living in the Middle East, there was not a single occasion that my knowledge of Jawi had been helpful. Most locals were happy to communicate in English.
That’s an indication of how useful Jawi has been for me. As such, I fail to understand the Ministry of Education’s move to introduce Jawi, to the extent that it has now become entangled with issues of national unity.
I have no objection if the ministry is really serious in reviving Jawi writing for whatever nostalgic reasons.
But why not bring back the rest of the Malay cultural components. It would also mean lifting the ban on other forms of Malay culture and traditions.
Culture is a life experience.
Although I was born into a Pakistani family, I grew up in a Malay society, steeped in Malay traditions, practices and beliefs.
In Terengganu, I was fascinated by the “Main Pantai” festival, which had great Terengganu dishes.
The festival is held annually in May by farmers after their rice harvest.
For three nights in a row, Main Pantai would feature traditional shows such as the wayang kulit (shadow play), mak yong, menora, dikir barat, as well as Chinese opera.
My favourite was ‘Rodat Terengganu’, a show similar in its splendour and costume designs to gamelan.
The most fascinating was a troupe of bare shouldered maiden dancers.
Musical beats of rodat were much faster than gamelan and songs were rather cheeky and funny.
While the gamelan displays seriousness, both in the dance movements and lyrics, rodat is entertaining.
It is beautiful, creative, educational and motivating – all of which form an integral part of our education system.
But today, these art forms cannot be found anymore, whether in Terengganu, Kelantan or Pahang.
Gone are the people who were once masters of the arts, music and compositions. There are no more prima donnas, music schools, dance academies, theatre labs, let alone halls where cultural performances could be held in these three states.
And yet, the East Coast is referred to as the Malay heartland, where Malay heritage, including Jawi, had thrived.
The younger Malays are not exposed to these art forms anymore, and probably have never heard of them.
As a result, they would not be able to handle any complex form of artistic shows such as scripting, stage production, lighting, stage management, direction and recording.
These modern day requirements evolved from people who have a passion in artistic values.
We have totally abandoned Malay art forms. And yet, today, MOE wants to revive Jawi. It does not make any cultural sense.
MOE should study what has been lost and try to revive some of the elements that have been officially banned.
The culprit for this cultural bankruptcy are our politicians, our top civil servants, the bulk of whom are Malays.
PAS politicians, for example, cannot appreciate Malay arts, culture and traditions, and so they banned cultural shows when they took over the Terengganu state government in 1999.
Kelantan had then already banned many forms of Malay cultural shows.
Sadly, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional also followed suit.
Many present-day MPs are equally guilty of this cultural assassination. Many had been among those who campaigned heavily with a religious agenda by declaring that the Malay arts, culture, heritage and traditions are all un-Islamic.
When Dr Mahathir Mohamad assumed office in 1981, he brought in Anwar Ibrahim into Umno.
In their eagerness to trump PAS, they carried out their brand of Islamisation.
Important aspects of the Malay arts and culture were erased, some repackaged into the half-baked religious education system.
This led to the rise of superficial Malays who are not only poor in both English and Bahasa Melayu, but also ignorant about their culture and heritage.

Soon, many Malays try hard to ape the Arabs. The result is the political horror that we see today.
Malays no longer have artistic abilities and cultural skills compared to the older generations. Against this background, MoE wants to bring back Jawi.
It may be asked, why is this cultural aspect of the Malays important? As a race, we cannot escape from our own culture, traditions and heritage. The Indonesians never abandoned their culture; they are still very talented and skillful.
The future of this country lies in a cultured majority. And that group happens to be the Malays, who sadly, have been stripped bare of their own traditional values.
I’m talking about original cultural heritage, songs, dance. And yes, kebaya without headscarf, tapai and tuak.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Shikasketchbook UI


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Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Förtryckta politiska konstnärer kan andas ut på Sveaborg


Förtryckta politiska konstnärer kan andas ut på Sveaborg

Shieko Reto är politisk konstnär och transperson från Malaysia.

Hbtq-aktivisten Sheiko Reto har bott i Finland i snart två år. Kylan har inte blivit hennes vän. Bild: Yle / Eva Lamppu

Friday, November 29, 2019

Linktree / shikasketchbook


RedBubble / Shikasketchbook

Hi guys, please have a looksie at my stuff on Redbubble #redbubbleartist and please support if you like the products thanks, mwah-mwah-mwah

Redbubble / Shikasketchbook

Hi guys, please have a looksie at my stuff on Redbubble #redbubbleartist and please support if you like the products thanks, mwah-mwah-mwah

RedBubble / Shikasketchbook

29Nov19 Hi guys, please have a looksie at my stuff on Redbubble #redbubbleartist and please support if you like the products thanks, mwah-mwah-mwah

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Shikasketchbook vol.1 / Gumroad

New zine, uploaded on Gumroad #shikasketchbook vol.1, Finlandia 2016/2017

thanks for the support

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

Group / Solo exhibitions

Solo exhibits:

19July2018 Lagi-lagi-Bayi-Terbuang exhibition, Pink Hibiscus, Zhongsan, Kuala Lumpur

11Dec2017 Myymalla2, Gallery, 'Intersection' exhibition

18Nov2017 TransHelsinki Week, Cable Factory, Helsinki
18Jan-25March2017 Gender:Human Exhibition by KulturKontakt Nord, Nordic Culture Point Helsinki
12-27March 2016, Buang Bayi exhibition ,Kerbau Works studio

2nd June 2014: (Exhibition - Trans issues from Malaysia & Philippines) Rainbow Week ICU/Mitaka/Japan
1st March 2014: (Art exhibition/Malaysian transwomen issues in Queer film fest) Kunitachi Film festival, Kakikomotei/Kunitachi/Tokyo
15th June 2014: (art exhibition - Transwomen issues from Malaysia)
Transmission-Malaysian Transwomen struggle and experience at Community center AKTA, Nichome Shinjuku, Japan

Group Exhibitions: 

31stOct - 17thNov 'What are you afraid of?', Backroom Gallery, Zhongsan, Kuala Lumpur
20thOct - 3rdNov Instilasi & Intisari exhibition, Bertandang XIV, Zhongsan, Kuala Lumpur
28Sep-9Oct Abort the stigma group exhibition organised by Fyi_KL and RexKL 
19July2018 Lagi-lagi Bayi Terbuang Exhibition Zhongsan/ Pink Hibiscus  
11 Dec2017 'Intersection' exhibition at Myymala2 art gallery, Helsinki 
18Nov2017 Trans Helsinki Week at Cable Factory exhibition, Helsinki 
24 October2017 TransEuropa Festival/Artist at Risk exhibition Curator: Ivor Stodovski/Marita Mukonen /Matadero, Madrid, Spain 
20 October2017 FemF / Koltuor exhibition, Third Space Gallery Helsinki 
24May2017 HIAP/Suomenlinna Open Studio/exhibition, Helsinki 
18thJanuary - 25March 2017 Gender:Human Exhibition by KulturKontakt Nord. Kajsaniemigatan 9, 00100 Helsinki. 
13-14th Aug2016 Curator: Dhiyannah Hasan Slumb-a-Chamber group exhibition (pixel-gifs animation) Artists: Eryn / Kim Khaira / DhiyanahH / Shieko Reto with a performance by spoken-word artist Skid More 
12-27 March: •Buang Bayi (solo art exhibition)/Kerbau Works Studio, Bangsar 
 May2015: Peasants and Proletariats @ Xin Art Space 
April 2015: Seed Fundraiser-The art of giving / A night of hope exhibition/Black Box/Publika 
25th April 2015: Kongketrons Art Exhibtion 
15th June 2014: Transmission-Malaysian Transwomen struggle and experience at Community center AKTA, Nichome Shinjuku,Tokyo 
4th June: Art therapy for LGBTIQ students and sharing session during Rainbow Week ICU/Mitaka/Japan 
2nd June 2014: Rainbow Week ICU/Mitaka/Tokyo 
1st March 2014: Kunitachi Film festival, Kakikomotei/Kunitachi/Tokyo 
September 2013: Singapore Biennale2013/If the world changed 
9th -12th May 2013: TransScreen Transgender Filmfestival, Amsterdam 
March 2013: "Today and Tomorrow" A book that offers a glimpse at the works of emerging Malaysian artists. 
2013 16th Feb - 23rd Feb 2013: Ape Cerite group exhibition 
2012 March - June 2012: Makanlah Buah-buahan tempatan group exhibition 
2012 Day of defiance/Daighila/This is Atlantis Split Album launch party 
2012 Nike Cortez 40th Anniversary 
2010 Chow Kit Kita mural art facilitator 
4th-21st Feb 2010 Kuala Lumpur Dreaming: A group exhibition by The Annexe Gallery 
 27th-28th March 2010: Al-Kesah/Once upon a Time in Malaysia, White Box,MAP KL 
 2010 Vans Skateboard / Sunway Subang 
 Dec 2009: 16 days violence against women by JAG (Join action group for Gender Equality) 
August 2008: Tapau group exhibtion Annexe 
10th - 31st March 2007: Throw Up - Our Lab *scape Gallery, National Youth Council,Singapore 2015 April Organizing Art Charity Fundraiser for local NGO ‘Seed’ at Publika 
23Oct - 27Oct 2007: LAMU/Lets Art Move U 
 2007 My Moleskin Exhibition Tokyo                    

16June2017 / HIAP summer open studio performance

Portraiture in opposite gender / glitter good luck charms/spells
16June2017/Helsinki International Artist Program-HIAP/

Portraiture in opposite gender from my 1st solo exhibition/April2016

Portraiture in opposite gender from my Helsinki International Artist program/16June2016