Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sugar and Spice, Everyday Rice.

Thanks Intan!

I was queried by some of my Arab students to why Malays consume rice everyday especially in the morning. They were quite an observant lot, questioning the rationale of our food intake which is dissimilar to theirs. These big guys feel that rice is too heavy to be taken in the wee hours(wee hours according to their time is between 8am to 11am)and our habit somehow nauseated them. In comparison to their appetite, the food that we take makes us look like Gorgons!

I paused(an act of transmitting a message that I am more intelligent than them)and looked outside for awhile before I continued.

My explanations quantum leaped from the early times, reasoning with them how the Malays slaved themselves working in acres and acres of paddy fields to earn a living. Naturally, they required adequate amount of carbohydrate to work under the hot sun. As rice could be found in abundance, it became the staple food for the Malay community. A necessity became a habit which later progressed to a norm and in time it was ingrained in the genes of the Malays. A word of advice to my students was not to be ethnocentric to culture or ways that are strange to them. I explained further of the geographical factors that governed each race. For instance the Arabs live in the deserts. The hardships of the dry land in many ways have influenced their personalities and even the types of clothing they wear. Food of the Arabs are ones that could survive in the extreme weather or grown in the wadi around, such as sheep and dates. They nodded their heads in agreement and seemed to understand the discussion. I was pleased to see the expressions of empathy from the faces of these tough guys. The contentment to know that I was able to impart such comprehensions of our culture and tradition was beyond the lesson plan intended that day.

As the class was about to adjourn, like always, I asked if there was anything they wanted to know or found different in this new country. One tall chap walked towards me and asked "I only have the one question for you. Why teacher here in the morning, I always see many people eat a the rice?"

I paused yet again, looked outside and instead of trying to appear intelligent, I composed the sweetest smile, picked up my bag, and headed straight to the cafe for the compulsory dose of rice. My brain needed some carbo!

Thanks Siti!
Thanks Anis!
Desert Rose - Sting

4 treats:

Ahau - Dee said...

Kelakarlah Wiz your posting kali ni.

You should ask them kenapa Pak Arab makan banyak sangat?

Tengok apa pulak response dia orang... he he he

domestic engineer said...

You should ask the budak-budak Arab tu...Why the Arabs like to eat a the big, big bread...sangak la, nan la, barbari la...? he he he

Anonymous said...

Wow, rice for breakfeast? Okay, typically American response since the average person eats bacon eggs and all that fatty stuff for breakfeast here in the United States but I hate that, I cannot live without my dose of hot chocolate and bread lathered with honey and butter every morning. Okay, I'm done sharing my morning rituals, haha sorry if this is a weird comment

Wiz said...

Dee - students in my class semua masih dalam category slim lagi. They are the modern ones. But will brave myself tanya them one day, why apak2 depa besau2 k.

Ziela - I have asked them already, they said itu biasa punya portion. They dont think that it is big at all.

Good Lookin - It all goes down to what is easily available in the pantry. Over here rice is and it's cheap. We love bread butter and honey and jam too!!!!