Sunday, September 21, 2008
When Sakura blooms, she blooms beautifully. That's all I can say while watching the very adorable creation of God, Sakura yesterday.
I went there with my friends by using cars (Note that, its plural. Because I went to Palmey and then back to Welly by using different cars. :) ). Thanks to them who were willing to let me join this fantastic trip to Palmerston North. While in the car, we could see along the way to Palmey the Sakura blooms by the roadside. And we couldn't help but wonder; why there are here?? what is so special about Sakura? how many types are there? and lots more questions answered by a considerable amount of assumptions. So here's a bit of Sakura facts that I cited from Wikipedia:
Sakura, or Cherry Blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.Whereas in China the cherry blossom symbolizes feminine beauty, the feminine principle, or love in the language of herbs, in Japan the cherry blossoms are believed to exemplify the transient nature of life, because of their short blooming times. Cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality.There are varieties of Sakura. Here is another few facts about that:
The most popular variety of sakura in Japan is the Somei Yoshino. Its flowers are nearly pure white, tinged with the palest pink, especially near the stem. They bloom and usually fall within a week, before the leaves come out. Therefore, the trees look nearly white from top to bottom. Other categories include yamazakura, yaezakura, and shidarezakura. The yaezakura have large flowers, thick with rich pink petals. The shidarezakura, or weeping cherry, has branches that fall like those of a weeping willow, bearing cascades of pink flowers.
I had an awesome day this time! Big time, indeed. Thanks again, everyone.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Last night I went to MSVUW (Muslim club of Uni) iftaar and AGM at Uni. Earlier, I planned to sneak away after tarawikh with my friends. In other words, we want to be completely absent during the AGM (Annual General Meeting). Nevertheless, last night I found my friends and I were attending the AGM and on top of that, we sat at the very first row..
Many of the members turned up for the iftaar and the tarawikh prayers. Yet, only about half stayed on for the AGM. During the elections, lots of the nominees withdrew as they were not up to the post. It was the top High Committee post anyway. Seems everyone felt that there were others who is better suited for the post and thence, withdrew from the nominations. Only few was really up to the elections and these people eventually won the post. It was kinda lame, that everyone resisted the position although I believe that Muslim Club in uni is a big and essential club representing Muslim students in Uni. For this year only, the club comprises more than 200 members atltogether. That is a big number and there must be a lot of issues that the club has to handle to cater its members.
However, thanks to William Wu from VUWSA and few members of the hall who stood up and encouraged people to take part in the elections. Being a non-muslim, William explained the necessities of being the leader of the club. I was impressed by his little speech, and so did others. However, I couldn’t help but felt a bit shameful because we needed an outsider to tell us that.Not to mention, the disappearance of half of the members for the AGM affected our choice upon leaders ..and that’s another issue.
They were 5 posts nominated; the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Cultural Council Representative.At first I thought that I would never want any of these post because I already hold a top post in Wellington UMNO Club. So I kept looking forward to elect suitable persons for the first four posts. But oops, for the Cultural Council Representative suddenly I opened my mouth to the 07/08 President, Mr Mustaqeem and said “Can I volunteer??”. After that, I realized the effect of my actions immediately and said “Oh, What have I said??” But the members agreed to accept me as their Cultural Council Representative afterwards and I got the post without elections. Sounds like G-Pang isn’t it? Oh well, I was tempted by the role of the position, that’s all. I’ve got to make a lot connections afterwards and that will surely be a helpful experience for my duration of stay in New Zealand. I'd double the benefits if I'm in the commitee. Plus, I got friends who supported me as well. (takdela rase yakin diri sangat.hehe :P).
Oh, and the management this time have 2 Saudi Arabians (Mr President and the Treasurer), 1 African (our Vice-President), and 2 Malaysians ( the Secretary and Cultural Council Rep - that’s Aisyah and Me ) Let’s see onwards just how are we gonna move the club with such international faces. Heheh
Friday, September 5, 2008
The first one is Hanafiah Md Yunos (Tesl) who lost his mother on 3rd Sept at around 8pm(Malaysia time). His mother suffered from cardiac problems for quite awhile until recently admitted to a hospital and was discharged last week. However, I'm not sure what went wrong but last night she went away forever.
Another person is Ain Fatihah (Architecture) who lost her grandfather 7 hours ago. Her grandfather died of a sudden asthma attack today. Earlier, he refused to break his fast for his medicine. Kuat betul semangat beliau..
The third person is Fay (Chemistry) who lost her friend due to skin disease. I'm not sure of the details but he/she was quite close with Fay.
I may not know exactly how to lose a mother like Na but I may understand the feeling of losing persons that I love. Once, while I was in form five I lost my Godfather(bapa angkat) that I lost contact with for about 5-7 years. The next time I met him was at the CCU (Critical Care Unit) at HKL while he was in a seriously critical condition. Later, while I was back in hostel I received news that he passed away. I was really depressed that I wasn't able to greet him properly after so long and couldn't ask for forgiveness at his very last minute.
About a year before I lose a friend. He was my classmates in form three. Back then, he was diagnosed for thyroid disease and later blood cancer. He missed class for almost a year but he managed to sit for PMR. I went to visit him at HUKM and later when he regained his strength he came to beraya at my house at the end of that year. After a few month I transferred into MRSM he called me with a loud and clear voice. He told me that his health was getting better and so, I encouraged him to continue study and try his best for SPM. Little did I know was, he was actually in Putrajaya Hospital (not Pluto planet like he told me) and I received the news about his death a week late. I was extremely shocked by then.
He was definitely a good friend for me. I was touched for what he did and seriously sorry for what he went through at such a young age (16 years old).
Just now, I chatted with my parents through YM and cried silently as I couldn't imagine my life without them. I nearly lost my father once, but I was never ready for it. Thank God that I could live my life the way I am now with the people that I love. Alhamdulillah..
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Jika di Malaysia, persiapan menyambut Ramadhan akan dibuat sebelum mula bulan puasa lagi, tapi yang lebih meriahnya adalah persiapan beraya. Sebelum raya dah siap-siap tempah baju raya. Bulan puasa hanya dimeriahkan di surau-surau, masjid-masjid. Rata-rata orang akan sibuk bercerita tentang baju raya, kuih raya, balik kampung, dan macam-macam lagi aktiviti untuk memeriahkan Hari Raya Aidilfitri yang hadir sejurus selepas bulan Ramadhan.Hmm..
Aku masih ingat isteri Ustaz Puad (cikgu homeroom di MRSM Terendak dulu) pernah bercerita kalau di tanah airnya (Arab Saudi) bulan Ramadhan akan disambut dengan meriah. Aktiviti berbuka layaknya seperti rumah terbuka yang mana sesiapa sahaja boleh berkunjung dan menikmati juadah berbuka di rumah teman-teman dan sanak saudara. Aktiviti seterusnya akan diteruskan dengan solat tarawikh beramai-ramai. Ramadhan dinanti-nanti dan sambutannya lebih meriah berbanding tibanya Syawal. Bahkan, pemergian Ramadhan jua dirasakan amat menyedihkan dan ditangisi semua. Perbezaan budaya dan amalan ini tampak sangatlah besar bezanya.
Di New Zealand, sementelah aku belajar di sini inilah masanya untuk aku refleks kembali pengertian Ramadhan. Kalau masa kecil-kecil, menunaikan puasa dan Tarawikh itu hanyalah sekadar amalan yang aku lakukan hanya kerana semua orang lakukan. Aku ingat lagi, kakak pernah membawa aku ke surau di kampung untuk solat Tarawikh. Setiap kali aku solat aku cuma fikir “kenapalah imam ni banyak sangat solatnya dan panjang pula bacaan-bacaan surahnya?? ” Sedikit pun aku tak mengerti fungsi dan peranan solat tarawikh tersebut. Bila aku makin besar, aku mula tinggal di asrama. Solat tarawikh dijadikan satu kemestian bagi semua pelajar. Sekali lagi, aku menurut apa yang orang lain tetapkan. Tanpa tekanan, sedikit pun aku tidak merasa mahu menunaikannya sendiri. Di kolej, aku mula diberikan kebebasan. Aku boleh memilih untuk pergi ataupun tidak berdasarkan kesesuaian jadualku. Hmm..waktu itu, aku pergi solat tarawikh dengan penuh rela dan keihklasan. Namun, bila saat peperiksaan menjelang aku tinggalkan semua itu dan cuba tumpukan sepenuh perhatian pada pelajaran. Sekali lagi, aku sesat dalam kejahilanku sendiri. Solat tarawikh hanya satu aktiviti berfaedah tetapi agak mengambil masa. Aku memilih untuk memanfaatkan masa itu demi pelajaran (kononnya).
Kini, bila tiada ustaz-ustazah, pak imam mahupun keluarga aku tetap menunaikan tarawikh. Tapi di sini, aku melihat teman-temanku berusaha menghafal skrip selawat dan zikir, aku dan teman-teman bercanggah pendapat menentukan arah kiblat dan kami juga cuba mencuri masa untuk menyediakan moreh (makanan ringan selepas solat tarawikh). Segala kesukaran ini aku hadapi dengan penuh kesyukuran kerana aku percaya, apa yang aku alami ini adalah satu pengajaran yang sangat penting dalam hidupku. Saat ini, aku akui aku masih belum memahami pengertian dan signifikan solat Tarawikh ini tapi padaku, keihklasan melakukan sesuatu adalah sesuatu yang lebih penting. kerana Ikhlas itu adalah asas untuk menjanjikan kehidupan yang lebih bermakna.
Puasa pula, kalau masa kecil -kecil hanya memberi makna menahan lapar dan dahaga. Kini, aku dapati bahawa menahan dari perkara-perkara yang boleh membatalkan puasa itu adalah jauh lebih penting. Sesungguhnya aku pun manusia biasa. Dosa pahala bercampur-baur dalam kehidupan seharian. Tapi bulan ini membuatku berlatih dengan lebih tekun lagi demi memahami erti menahan diri tersebut. Almaklumlah, hidup dikelilingi masyarakat yang tidak mengamalkan cara hidup Islam mudah sahaja mengheret aku sekali. Kalaupun tidak membuat dosa, fikir tentang sesuatu yang berdosa pun belum tentu dapat kuelak seratus-peratus. Nauzubillah.. Justeru aku berharap Ramadhan kali ini akan mengajarku lebih lagi pengertian hidup seorang muslimah..
Mampukah aku menahan godaan??
As for me, it's my first time spending Ramadhan abroad without my family. There are pro's and con's that I managed to think of so far.
- Strengthen my relationship with fellow Muslims here (eg: Got to Sahur, Break fast and prayTarawikh with my friends)
- Nice weather. (Unlike the hot and humid Malaysia, I find it more convenient and bearable to fast in New Zealand. It's spring season now, which makes the weather pretty cold yet better compared to winter season).
- No sahur or berbuka meals already prepared on table.
- No Bazaar Ramadhan.
- No Azan (which makes me tentatively looking at the prayer timetable published by FIANZ - Federation Islamic Association of New Zealand).
- No special TV drama for Ramadhan month. eg: Diari Ramadhan Rafique
- No family to celebrate with.
But most importantly, we do know what we have to do no matter where we are.
Notes: Fasting/Saum literally means "inhibit" which means inhibiting oneself from hunger and thirst but most importantly is inhibiting oneself from committing all kind of sins. And that reveals the true purpose of fasting.
With that simple notes, I ended my post with a greeting: