The Great Irony of Malaysia's Merdeka and the Malaysian Malaise

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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

I came across this article by Bakri Musa which I had taken the liberty of posting it here from the portal Malaysia Today

Although I try my very best not to get myself all tied up in Malaysian politics which really should be in the gutters by now,  I just cannot keep myself from commenting on the latest episode.  Okay, I won't comment because if I start, I cannot stop ...... and somebody might just sue me for libel.... and most probably it will be our '  glamorous 'Family Affairs Minister Sharizat. ( I'm sooooo 'itching 'to say my piece here but I better quit before it's too late !) But please allow me to  just  explain the situation for newcomers.  Here's what happened............................................

The Member of Parliament, Teo Nie Ching, who happens to be Chinese lady , visited a surau, ( a moslem prayer house akin to  a chapel ) in her constituency to present a donation to the Muslim congregation.  She wore a Malaysian kebaya  which covers her feet and of course, she wore no shoes too.. and she did not wear a scarf but otherwise, she was decently dressed, I'd say  ( go to Youtube and check it out for yourself.)  The congregation nor the imam at the surau had any  problem with that.  If they had, they would have surely conveyed it to the MP. Tell me, would any MP just pop into a house of prayer and give a speech without it being planned and agreed by all parties involved ?  More so in Malaysia, can a Non-Muslim lay person, or for that matter, even an elected non-muslim  MP walk freely into muslim prayer house and have his/her say?  Common  sense would tell you that it is highly impossible and disrespectful too.  Surely, proper communication and arrangements had been made by the mosque committee for such a meeting to take place in the first place, isn't it ?

My question here is,   what was the fuss made by the Islamic  authorities / the government authorities, the mainstream Malay dailies and the loud mouthed  politicians ?  Can't they let things be as it is and take it at its  face value ?  It's the constant needling and looking for faults in others that is bringing our peace and country down.......................   just  read the article written by Bakri Musa,   ( not me ) and tell me if the MP Teo Nie Ching was in the wrong. 

Beyond the rituals of Ramadhan

Teo Nie Ching had in the best tradition of Ramadan come to a surau in her constituency to share in the iftar and to present a modest donation from the state. She had rightly assumed that to be her role as their representative to Parliament.
By M. Bakri Musa

Involved as we are in the many rituals of Ramadan (beyond the integral daytime fasting), it is not surprising that we fail to appreciate much less live the true spirit of this holy month. This is especially so if we live in a predominantly Muslim country like Malaysia.

Muslims hold Ramadan in reverence because it was the month in which the first revelation of the Qur’an was given to Prophet Muhammad. It was a message for “all mankind, at all times, and till the end of time.” 

It was a message that would later change for the better not only the Arabs but also the world.
Ramadan thus should be a time for us to re-commit to the central message of the Holy Book. As Eboo Patel so eloquently wrote in the inaugural Ramadan series of the, “Ramadan is about remembrance and return – remembrance of the origins of Islam, and return to its essence.”

The Qur’an, was revealed “as a guidance for mankind [in] distinguishing between right and wrong,” (Surah Al Baqara 2:185), with its recurring theme of “commanding good and forbidding evil.”
“Be a community that calls for what is good, urges what is right, and forbids what is wrong; those who do this are the successful ones,” commands Surah Al Baqara (2:177).

Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West, the Surah continues. “The truly good are those who believe in God, and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; give away some of their wealth to the needy; liberate those in bondage; keep up their prayers and alms; fulfill their pledges; and remain steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.”

The Ugly Reality

Alas, the reality in so many Muslim countries today is so far detached from those lofty Quranic messages.

Peruse the headlines during this Ramadan, filled with deadly wars, civil unrests, and suicide bombings. While Malaysia is fortunately spared such horrific tragedies, nonetheless the lead items grabbing the headlines in the mainstream as well as the alternate media tell of an ugly reality not much different from those seen in other Muslim countries. If there were indeed differences, they would be merely in degree, not kind.

Consider our current diplomatic squabble with Indonesia over God knows what this time. The Indonesians, we are repeatedly reminded, are our kin and kind; we share the same faith, culture, and language. We even affectionately and respectfully refer to them as “Abang!” (older brother).
Yet there was precious little brotherly love or generosity in the spirit of Ramadan displayed in the recent demonstrations at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, what with human excrements thrown into the fray! Perhaps that was the best the Indonesians could hurl at us!

Back at home, there are the two ugly, loud-mouthed and self-professed champions of bangsa, agama dan negara (race, religion and nation) – Khairy Jamaluddin and Ali Ibrahim – going after each other in the hideous tradition of our Malay kurang ajar.

Don’t those two, and countless others, pause to reflect just a wee bit on the meaning of Ramadan as they go through their hunger pains during the day, or when they partake in their generously-sponsored iftars? What could they be thinking of as they then perform their prayers?
Consumed with the rituals of Ramadan, they remain blissfully unaware of if not downright contemptuous of its essence.

I would have expected them to be guests at each other’s iftars, in the spirit of Ramadan. If they cannot do that, then at least have the decency to be civil with each other during this blessed month.
If these Muslim leaders are downright crude and rude with each other, imagine their attitude towards non-Muslims! I pity the poor freshman MP from Serdang, Teo Nie Ching. She had in the best tradition of Ramadan come to a surau in her constituency to share in the iftar and to present a modest donation from the state. She had rightly assumed that to be her role as their representative to Parliament.

She must have been blown away by the storm of controversy that subsequently erupted. I am not at all surprised that characters like Khairy Jamaluddin and Ibrahim Ali would seize the opportunity of Neo’s visit to the surau to expose their hideously ugly chauvinism by condemning her. That would be par for the course for any ambitious but untalented leaders everywhere.
I am however severely disappointed in the reaction of the Sultan of Selangor. According to the state religious council (MAIS – its Malay acronym), the sultan was “murka dan dukacita” (angry and disappointed).

The sultan should not be so quick to react; he should at least wait for the full facts. Ramadan after all calls for patience and restraint. He should also remember that he is not only the head of Islam by virtue of being a sultan, but he is also sultan to all Selangorians, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and that each should be treated no differently from the other. It is time to tell our sultans that we expect more from them if they wish to remain on the public payroll.
For her part, Teo was quick to put in her formal apology to the sultan. She should not have done so. She should have the courage to stand by her conviction that she had done nothing wrong. In this she can rely on the arguments put forth by Tok Guru Nik Aiz and Datuk Asri, the former Mufti of Perlis. As a Muslim, I would rely on these two luminaries on matters pertaining to Islam rather than from the likes of Khairy, Ibrahim Ali, or Datuk Sharizzat.

Things Can be Different If We Will It

Things need not be this way; it is within us to change them.

Consider that on the first Friday of this Ramadan, President Obama continued a longstanding tradition of hosting a White House iftar with Muslim and non-Muslim guests. Mosques in the San Francisco Bay area, like many elsewhere, continue the tradition of “Open House” where we invite non-Muslim community members to join us for iftar. Yes, they sit and eat with us in the prayer area. We do not have the luxury of separate dining and praying areas!

In an earlier Ramadan PBS, the public television channel, chose the occasion to premier its highly-acclaimed series on Islam. This Ramadan, the, a highly influential Internet news and commentary portal, initiated its faith and religion feature by posting a series of articles on Islam. These are non-Muslim organizations and entities that sponsor these wonderful and highly informative initiatives. They deserve our praise. Better yet, their actions ought to be emulated in the Muslim world.

It would be wonderful if the first iftar were to be hosted by the King and all senior political and community leaders be invited. It would be a great tradition if similar events were to be replicated at the various state capitals! What a wonderful way to bring the community together!
There are many other ways to demonstrate our reverence for Ramadan and live its essence without having to resort to chauvinistic displays in a crude attempt to portray ourselves as “champions” or “defenders” of the faith.

It is said the first ten days of Ramadan are for mercy. What better way to show this then when making the announcement for fasting the next day, the King would also release the names of prisoners granted amnesty in the spirit of Ramadan. That would be a very tangible demonstration of the power of mercy of a Muslim state. I stand corrected, but I have yet to see this as a tradition with any Muslim country.

These are the traditions of Ramadan that we need to cultivate and demonstrate.

Need I say more ? By the way, I'm giving an iftar treat  ( buka puasa treat )  to my fellow Muslim and non Muslim friends at the Shah Alam Golf Club this Friday.  I'm as Malaysian as I can be


Rose Cake Stand

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Sunday, 22 August 2010

This cake-stand was painted in Jo Sonja and Americana colours.  The basecoat was in Jo Sonja's Shamrock. 

For the yellow rose, I used a combination of Raw Sienna, Yellow Oxide, Naples Yellow Hue and  Cadmium Yellow Mid .  Gold Oxide for 1st shading and Burnt Sienna for 2nd shading.  The highlight colours were Warm White with  touches of Titanium White.  Diox Purple was used with glaze as a tint for the overall effect.

The red roses were painted with a combination of  Royal Fuschia, Brilliant Magenta, Cadmium Orange, Amethyst with touches of  Black Plum .  Warm White was used  for highlights. The 1st shading was in  Burgundy and the 2nd shading was in Burnt Carmine.

The edges of the cake stand was touched up in Rich Gold and Pale Gold

On another note,  I have not uploaded the wedding photos of Sharifah Farrah Soraya held at  KLCC simply because the ones that I personally took were too few  and too far !  I have been told that  even the   wedded couple nor the immediate families  have  seen the wedding albums because they ( the albums)  have not been delivered as yet!    Will do the necessary as soon as I get them.

( The ones which came out in the STAR daily did not do justice to the beautiful wedding reception which took place and that's my personal opinion, by the way !)

Happy painting


A Comedy of Errors and A Token of Appreciation

Posted by Lakshmi

Thursday, 19 August 2010

About 2 weeks ago, my children were at the LCCT airport  on the way to Langkawi with their cousins from Holland.  To their horror, when they were checking in their flight tickets, my silly kids realised that they had not taken their identity cards with them and were thus stranded at the airport.

I received their frantic call whilst buying fish at the market at 8.30am.  "Could Mummy please, please fax a copy of  our identity cards ASAP to the AirAsia counter, otherwise we can't board the plane, Mummy. Our flight is at 9.15am ".  My first thoughts were " stupid kids, they deserve it"  ( I had continuously reminded them all week to pack everything they needed  and make a checklist ) but of course, the bothersome  motherly instinct took over .  After giving them a piece of my mind, ( well, they did deserve that ) I quickly  left the market place and walked real fast to my house. ( I would have  normally takn the car but since I had no hurry to cook on that day with the children away, I had  taken  a leisurely walk to help reduce my  weight! )

Rummaging the drawers, I found the cards and hurriedly left the house and walked the short distance to the shops to look for a fax machine.  They didn't have one.  I then  crossed over the other side to Petronas station.  Horrors! they didn't use one either, so did the 7 Eleven outlet which was about 100 metres away..

It was 9.00am.  I had 15 more minutes  One passer-by told me to go to Section 3 where there were more shops ( I stay in Section 6) Fighting against time, I literally raced back to my house and then stopped dead at the door. I had no key! I had locked myself out . God, what an awful situation !  Luckily I came to my senses and quickly called my husband. It was just pure luck that I had the handphone with me. I called my husband and  explained the need for him to come home and give the keys  Boy, oh boy ! My better   worse half started questioning my sanity and how inconvenient it would be to come home , blah... blah.. blah... ... ( Am  I alone or most wives have to go through these periodic    drama episodes ? )Talk about asking for help from your  nearest and dearest at moments like this !

All said and done, I got the keys and drove to Section 3.  Guest what ?  None of them had a fax.  After going round and round for the 3rd time and getting myself tizzy , I tried one more time and knocked on the door of a half opened office.  The nice Malay gentleman told me to ask the Clerk .  I explained to her  the situation and asked if she could help me. "  I'll pay for the service, of course" I said.  I must have sounded really desperate, for she  readily obliged. My relief came to a halt when she explained that  the office copier was down ! So I zapped in my Kancil again  and drove  around the block to make copies and zipped back to her office. 

It finally went through. 

A lady with a somewhat bulging  brief case, walked in .  From her attire, I realised that this was a law firm and the lady with the black long skirt and white blouse, was obviously the lawyer.  She was neatly dressed and looked sort of  'officious' .  It dawned on me  then to look at myself.   Good God !  I was in a  faded pair of bermuda shorts with a somewhat crinkled and faded blouse. My sort of casual market clothes..... I was using flip flops on my feet and my frizzy hair,  well, it looked really frizzy with a capital letters !  Not to forget, the harried look on my face with all the zipping and zapping in my small car ...........I must have looked like a bigger version of Rumpelstiltskin !  It couldn't get any worse than that now, could it ? 

Her quizzical look at me confirmed my worst nightmare!  She probably thought ' this typical housewifey from the boondocks ' looking person had come to plead a case !!  Aiyoh!, so so mortifyingly embarrassing it was........  Pulling myself to my full height of 5' 2'' and gathering my wits about to make up for the 'look',  I explained to her the purpose of my 'unofficial' visit . And just so to make up for my ' look' ( in case she thought I was penniless too !),  I offered to pay for the service . She  refused to accept any payment. I thought that it was very  kind and gracious of her.  So I decided to give this small token as my appreciation for her gesture ( and to the equally kind Clerk ) 

 I glimpsed her name on her office door as I left the  office.

The  cream crackers tin which was repainted as a give-away  for the kind  Clerk.

At times like these, I'm so glad that I learned how to paint.  One of the many benefits of decorative painting................... to be able to create a piece of art anytime. ...................................what else can I say?

Happy painting


The Rose Craze Again!

Posted by Lakshmi
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Monday, 16 August 2010

It's that time of year when festive celebrations are going to be in full swing.  The fasting month has already started and I've been gorging on the wide variety of food sold at the Ramadhan stalls near my home. 

I managed to paint these for my customers in between the gorgings...........

Happy painting


The Dinner Reception of Sharifah Farrah Soraya & Arfiz at the Grand Dorset Subang Hotel

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Saturday 7 August 2010

I have just returned home from the dinner reception given by YM Raja Taharudin bin Raja Dato Nong Chik and Puan Faridah bt  Abdul Rahman, which was held at the  Grand Dorset Subang Hotel.  The dinner reception was in honour of their youngest son, Raja Arfiz Shah Putera Raja Taharudin's marriage to Sharifah Farrah Soraya, the eldest daughter of Tan Sri Syed Yusof and Puan Sri Sabrina.  

My daughter and I arrived at the reception at a quarter to 8.00pm.  Puan Faridah, together with her husband YM Raja Taharudin and their entourage were already assembled there to receive the guests.  Dressed in a deep rich lilac kebaya, as were all  her family members, they greeted us warmly. Soon after, I spotted Tan Sri Syed Yusof and his beautiful wife, Puan Sri Sabrina,( who incidently was dressed in a shimmering red designer labelled  long ensemble and looking fabulous as usual ) doing their rounds with the guests who had arrived. 

The guest of honour, the Sultan of Selangor, arrived around 8.30pm, followed by the newlywed couple.  After the official photography session was over, the bride and groom walked down the red carpet, holding hands and looking  very much in love.  What a lovely couple they made.

Farrah looked elegant and chaste ,  dressed in an off shoulder white gown with a fitted bodice and a long train while Arfiz was dashing in a black  suit and tie. With a pearl encrusted necklace on her slim neck with matching drop earnings, Farrah looked  the perfect bride , all elegance and grace.  There was so much love, exuberance,y outh and  and eagerness on the faces of the young couple as they walked the red carpet to the dais that you couldn't feel anything but happiness for them on their journey together.

Dinner was served shortly after that and the groom's parents were seen  engaging  with the dinner guests at the  tables who were busy tucking in briyani rice, chicken korma,  pineapple in spicy gravy, sweet sour fish fillet and beef rendang.  Dessert was creme brulee with  local cakes,which was  followed by coffee/tea.  A video presentation of the couple during the 'akad nikah' ceremony  was shown for the benefit of guests who did not get to attend the ceremony.

It was almost  11.00pm when everything came to a close.  As I said goodbye to the couple and wished them all the happiness in the world, Farrah told me that she read my bloggings  of her wedding !  Ha.. ha  now that's what you called an ' informed and up-todate bride ' !  

All guests took home a beautiful    jewellery container  with Farrah's and Arfiz's names engraved on the lid . The gold/silver gilt container was filled with heart shaped chocolates , as was the extra box of chocolates given by the Grand Dorset Hotel. Each guests also received a miniature dome shaped iced cake as part of the wedding/guests goodie bag giveaways.

Below are some of the pictures taken at the dinner............................

That's the mother of the groom, Puan Faridah, her guest and I

That's Puan Sri Sabrina and I..... thankfully I needn't have to wear a Merlin's costume this time !

The tasselled uniquely designed wedding cake

Farrah and Arfiz entering the dinner reception hall

The  beautiful train and the slim silhouette of the bride

Oh, how sweet and young they look ! The start of a wonderful journey with their best foot forward.............

The perfect looking bride and groom...... (sigh) their youthful looks reminds me of  erhmmm.. my  days gone by................ Gosh , how long long ago was that ?

My very good friends, Datin Zaleha Shamsuddin and Maggie Ehsan at the dinner

That's my daughter and I

The goodie bags galore.................

A close-up of the beautiful jewellery container filled with chocolates.........

That's all for now folks, for I'm deadbeat writing this piece, past 3am.......time to knock off............

Happy reading and painting


The Wooden Rice Bin

Posted by Lakshmi
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Friday, 6 August 2010

After the hectic wedding rounds recently,  it's back to my painting stories and students................. 

As can be seen below, Ms Intan, my very diligent art  student, has just finished this wooden rice bin project.  The geraniums were done in Deep Fuschia   with touches of Napthol Crimson and Titanium White.  The leaves were done in  Moss Green and  Avacado  with touches of  Yellow Green, Blue Mist and Warm White for highlights. 

Looks very good to me.  An 'A' perhaps ?

Intan has started on a bear painting project next ......................

Happy painting



I have had no time to sort out and download the wedding celebration pictures  of Sharifah Farrah Soraya as yet as  I could not  click my camera as much as I liked to at the reception.  The security and protocol was real heavy with practically all the Sultans in attendance, together with the King and Queen and the Chief Ministers of the states too.  Phew !  it was simply too much  pressure for me and with about 3000 guests in tow, it was really difficult with security and paparazzi all over the place.  However, Puan Sri Sabrina has kindly agreed to let me have a few pictures from her albums and will upload it as soon as I get my hands on them............... 

By the way,  did anyone notice the picture in the Thumbnail section, STAR  daily dated 5 August 2010...?  The bridal car was the stretch limousine Hummer as was pictured in the Thumbnail section .  I don't think anyone  had ever seen  that   long a Hummer  in Malaysia  ever! 

The ' Berinai ' Ceremony of Sharifah Farrah Soraya

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Monday, 1 August 2010

Farrah's ' berinai' ceremony was held at the Concorde Hotel's Ballroom in Kuala Lumpur on the same evening of her 'akad nikah'  ceremony.  The dress code stated 'Arab' and the function started at 8.00pm.   Since I had no Arab like anything, my good friend, Roslinda Ismail, kindly offered me a few ' jubah' to choose from.  I tried on a few, but as you might have guessed, the nice ones didn't fit me, it was either too long, too short or too big and swallowed me in complete.  Finally, I chose one , a leopard print like design with a hood at the back.  Don't laugh when you see the picture okay..... my daughter told me I looked like Merlin's mum and my son said I was a cross between Yoda ( Star Wars)  and Gaius!   All I could do was give them a killer stare and huffed off to Concorde!

The ballroom was themed in an Arabian Night style with rich colours of crimson red and gold.  The VIP guests for the occasion were the Sultan of Selangor and the Ambassador of one of the Eastern Europe countries, which I can't get the name right now, but it did end with a 'tan' like in Krygstan, perhaps.?

The glowing bride was dressed regally in a lush  green and gold Egyptian styled  long gown with a beautiful and intricately designed train.  Oh, was she stunnning or what!   Her fair skin against the rich brocade of Irish green and gold was a real stunner.  She looked sooooooo beautiful when she made the entrance from the back, where I was temporarily seated, that I forgot to take out my camera! Holy Cow! what a waste....... sigh...........

The groom was dressed in an Arabic headgear  and looked quite lost  beside the glowing bride in her regal gown..---- oops!  did I say that?!    Well, you can't blame me,  for all eyes were totally fixed on the bride!  My, my, Arfiz is one lucky lucky guy, that's about how I can sum it up. 

Farrah walked down the isle  with Arfiz , holding hands together and took their place on the dais on the stage.  The resplendent couple then went through the ' merinjis air mawar' ceremony.   The Sultan of Selangor was the first to start of, followed by the other VIPs and dignitaries present.  The Ambassador presented Farrah and Arfiz with an ethnic costume in rich gold and  he draped it over her shoulder.  Farrah  looked like the Queen of Sheba herself !  Unfortunately, I could not get the picture as the paparazzi were all over them.  Hopefully, I'd be able to  click a copy of the  photograph of the couple with the costume when  I go over to lunch with Puan Sri Sabrina tomorrow.

After the speeches were over,( thankfully not that many)  the Arabic songs were on and professional belly dances were dancing to the rhythm of the beat. .......... it was a mesmerising and hypnotic dance, for sure.  I honestly wished I could dance like that but with my Yoda cum Gaius costume, I didn't think I would have had any admirers, so I silently sat through the whole belly dancing routine although my hands were tapping the table.  One of the dancers danced behind a transparent screen and her dance kept the entire guests glued to their seats.   Totally, totally awesome!

Hmm.... the food, glorious food was, of course  authentic Arabic style -   flat bread with  hummus and mint/tomato dip, 2 different types of  fragrant long grained   briyani rice with  roast lamb and another with tender chicken.  There were also  ' bamia  '  which was okra in a spice based preparation, another  dish of grilled lamb and chicken,  a fish based dish which I left out as I don't take fish and the best spicy prawns ever,  which i totally 'whalloped'. And guess what ? the 3 Aussie guys sharing our table were stuffing their faces silly with the hot stuff too.  (heard from  the grapevine later that all the dishes were prepared in one of the best Arabic restaurants  in KL as Concorde did not have an Arabic chef )  Everything was done in the best possible way with no stones unturned.  Dessert was a mix of local cakes and an Arabian dessert - hallabah ( or something like that ) which was an overly sweet sweet mix of honey and ground nuts and spices.  Otherwise, everything was perfecto !  Even the waiters were in Arabian garb............. the whole works !  I must say that Tan Sri Syed Yusof and Puan Sri Sabrina gave the best of the best to their daughter's wedding. 

It was time to call it a night at about 11.00pm when coffee was served in small cups and sweet cardarmom tea was served in gilt demitasse cups.  The music was still on and the some of the guests were warmed up enough  after the dinner to go the the floor and dance their calories off.

Too bad I couldn't join in but on second thoughts, with my Merlin outfit, it was best that I left quickly..............................................!!

I happily share with my readers, some of the pictures taken

That's me with the Merlin/Yoda/Gaius costume!

Roslinda Ismail, my dear good friend, without whom I would have had difficulty in arriving at Concorde.  She kindly took me in her car.

Ha, that's Puan Sri Sabrina in a gorgeous deep fushia red Arabian kaftan and me ?  Haiyo ! in my Merlin/Gaius costume, I don't dare describe myself !   Only consolation is my wide wide grin and happy face - readers  are severely warned not to  comment either !!

                                      See what I meant when I said Farrah was a real stunner ? 

 I told ya !  Arfiz is one extremely lucky lucky guy, no ?

Note the beautiful long train of brocade on the floor.  Simply gorgeous!

 The Sultan of Selangor is seated on the left of  Puan Sri Sabrina. ( probably shying away at the paparazzi's camera lights )

 Thats' all folks that I have for the 'berinai ' ceremony.    Next will be the wedding dinner proper at the cavernous hall at KLCC.  Now, that was  THE WEDDING OF THE YEAR....... if you know what I mean.

Gosh, I was sooooo carried away with the wedding that I haven't had time to slot in my painting pictures.......................  what the heck! it was for a happy and joyous occassion anyway, so me think it's okay, what say  you ?

Happy reading and painting


PS:  Wait until you see the KLCC dinner pics, you'll fall of your seat .... ( but that's for another write up so have patience, ya !)

Sharifah Farrah Soraya's Wedding Ceremony

Posted by Lakshmi

Sunday 1 August 2010

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the 'akad nikah' ceremony of Sharifah Farrah Soraya, the eldest daughter of  Tan Sri Syed Yusof Tun Syed Nasir and Puan Sri Sharifah Sabrina Syed Agil with Raja Arfiz Shah Putera Raja Taharudin,  whose parents are YM Raja Taharudin bin Raja Dato Nong Chik and Puan Faridah bt Abdul Rahman.

The ceremony was held at the bride's residence in Shah Alam on the morning of Saturday, 31 July 2010. 

Having known Farrah from her primary school days - I was her English Tutor - I can truly say that she has grown into a simply charming and beautiful young lady, full of poise and confidence but yet with a hint of childish exuberance.  A most polite young lady with no airs, with a soft spoken voice and  graceful demeanor. Hmmm, sounds like one of those fairy tale princesses, doesn't it ?  Well, if you see her pictures below, you'll certainly agree.

The 'akad nikah' ceremony was held in Farrah's house, which her Dad built just next to his house!  Just shows how much they love their daughter huh. Actually, the house stands in the same family compound, only that since the daughters are all grown up - that's Farrah and her younger sister, Farhana, a separate house was built within the family compound  to provide for their privacy.

It was a lovely morning and the air was filled with the sweet smell of roses and daisies in an  all white theme.  The wedding planner was Rizalman  and the house was decorated in a white theme.  The all white roses and daises swag over the spiral staircase and the the front entrances, together with the huge posies of roses  everywhere gave an air of simplicity and purity which, against the grandeur of the the ceremony and house, bestowed  an aura of taste and decorum.

The groom's party delivered 9 trays as gifts or 'hantaran' in  silver containers and the bride's family presented 11 trays in gold themed containers ( see pictures)  I think I spotted the latest craze - Apple's i phone 4, in one of the gifts.... not quite sure, but I did see one which looked like it...The 'mas kahwin' or dowry was RM1000.00

The house was full of VIP ladies all  in their finery ....... my, I haven't seen so many variations of the headscarf ........................  Most of the ' Mat Sallehs' , mostly Australians, since Farrah went to Perth to continue her studies , were in full force and since her grandma ( on her mother's side) is also an Australian, they filled the foyer and everywhere.......... there was no place to move and I had to squeeze to get through.

Puan Sri Sabrina, as usual, was appropriately dressed in a ' baju kebaya' of  soft white with purplish pink floral knots.  Slim and beautiful in her own right, she was her usual graceful hostess, making sure all the guests were comfortable and well taken care of.  She's one of the few people whom I 'm glad to acknowledge  as a   friend, for despite her beauty,  status and  wealth , ( and that a very lethal combination !) she remains a very down-to-earth person . Farrah has definitely inherited all all of that and more ................................................  

The professional photographers from Rizalman and local dailies were strategically and stupidly  positioned at every corner of the best spaces available, so I had to literally jostle my way, sometimes bending on all fours, to get decent shots , some of which are shown below.

As a picture says a thousand words and I'm already going to exceed the limit , I'll let the picture do the rest.......

The huge rose posies.............

The front entrance to Farrah's residence

Farrah sitting demurely on the dais after
the 'akad nikah' ceremony

The 11 gift trays from the bride's side

Another pic of the beautiful  bride........ the cameramen were all over the place and we ladies had to jostle with them to even get a decent picture!  so kiasu they were !

the gifts from the groom's side - 9 trays... including a diamond bracelet, ring and chain

This picture was taken after the entire ceremony was over, the newlyweds with their well wishers......

This was taken just after the solemnization rites were done.  So sweet............ but I did wish it was the groom who was  kissing the hand of the bride, in the traditional romantic fairy tales way!

The young lady in red is Farrah's sister, Farhana

The proud parents of the bride, Tan Sri Syed Yusof and Puan Sri Sharifah Sabrina

Note the cameraman  again ?

The groom's mum, Faridah and I..... our friendship goes a long long  way back

Puan Sri Sharifah Sabrina and I ...... we've known each other since Farrah was 10 years or so

This was my first attendance at an 'akad nikah' ceremony and how glad I am that it was the joyous occassion of my student to start with.  

The next posting will be the 'berinai' celebrations which was held at the  Ballroom of Concorde Hotel, KL later in the evening.  The dress code was ' Arab'.........

Till then, ciao and happy painting