Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stereotyped, again...

It's interesting to see how people get stereotyped all the time, much like in the West where demonisation of Islam is so complete that the mere mention of this faith brings forth spectres of fanaticism and terrorism.

I would have thought by now hijjab-clad women in Malaysia is as common the garden snail that pigeon-holing was non-existent. I was sorely mistaken, as what happened at the Royal Lake Club today proved.

After attending a wedding kenduri in Keramat, Pak Abu and I made our way to the Club for tea with England-based blogger 'Anak Si Hamid" aka ASH (Kak Maz in real life) and her husband Iain.

ASH and spouse have always had one foot in KL and the other in Leicester and return often. Their trips have become more frequent now, since dear Iain is undergoing treatment at Tung Shin Hospital.

After tea, Pak Abu and I adjourned to the karaoke lounge for a couple of hours, before having dinner at the poolside terrace, after which we proceeded to the Club surau for solat maghrib.

There were four middle-aged women and a jeans-clad young lady in the surau when I entered. From their conversation I noted that one neatly groomed, immaculately dressed woman of ample proportions was the mother of the girl.

Whilst the other ladies (amongst them two Club workers whom I knew) finished their solat and left, the duo remained a while longer, to do their face. In the mean time, I proceeded to take my wudhu and prayed.

I was donning my tudung when the woman, perhaps to show her affirnity with the hoi polloi, turned to me and said: "Baru habis kerja ker?"

It dawned on me that she had mistaken this rotund, tudung-clad makcik in lime green baju and grey long skirt as an elderly Club employee, perhaps a kitchen helper or cook or even the changing room cleaner.

Naturally my ego was dented, albeit slightly and momentarily. I gave her my best smile and answered: "Tak, baru habis dinner dengan husband." With that I gathered my handbag and 'tapau'ed bag of satay and sauntered out.

Pak Abu guffawed when I related the episode to him. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, we both could see the funny side of it... :D


Pp said...

I salute you for your calmness and a healthy sense of humor shared by Pak Abu~!

What is life without people with 'ego' bigger than a fully inflated hot air balloon, but with a brain smaller than Pak Abu's golf ball?

I am often mistaken for a 'Certain nationality who calls each other Kabayan' by one of them and the Arabs alike - the Kabayan will speak to me in Tagalog, and the Arabs will make sign langauge calling me to push their shopping trolleys to their cars!

A kind smile, and a 'Assalamualaikum - I am Malaysian' will always do the trick to regain their respect, and of course my self-respect!

BaitiBadarudin said...

I can totally relate to this. Ever since I started wearing the headscarf and, now, the hijab, I have people speaking to me in Malay and perceiving me as a member of the 'underclass'. For example, at a 'readings' session in Bangsar, a leading literati asked me to "Ambil lah 'ni, semua 'ni percuma!" while, a minute later, she turnined and said to the other western-dressed ladies, "And which part of the English language that you don't understand?"

BaitiBadarudin said...

pardon me, it's 'turned'.

mamasita said...

Alahai Puteri..hehehhe..Yes, look on the bright and funny side okay..

I haritu nakgi buat jab before going for my Umrah..the guard stopped eh he said.."sini takder kerja kosong"..all because I pakai T-shirt buruk and seluar jeans pudar..kakaka..

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
Wah...this is more fun than a Pretty Woman moment, eh? Interestingly, in Japan, my Mama was always mistaken for an American. Why, ah???? purrr....meow!

Anonymous said...

A similar encounter happened a while back in the Club. In the same place. Puan Snooty was quickly reminded that maids are not allowed in the Club. That was a good one.


pakmat said...

..take heart, is just a gentle reminder that in His eyes, it is the most taqwa among us..

Wan Sharif said...

I was normally mistaken as Chinese Contract worker at most Supermarket.. bawak bersabar ajer lah!
Wow... have to agree with Pak Mat's comments above ;))

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Pp - I dah tak kisah sangat sebenarnya at this age. Sometimes nak tergelak pun ada bila kita observe perangai orang.. :D

Baiti - Oh, so often I kena this 'cakap melayu' thingy. mentang2lah kita look so makcik2 gitu kan.. heheh

Mamasita - hah, you lagi teruk! LOL!

Cat - i won't be surprised. your mama, with her putih melepak skin and sepet eyes, doesn't even look melayu .. heheh..

Derebar - touche! kena

Pakmat - waaah pakmat, rarely i get this kind of taqwa gem from you.. selalunya kelakar :D

Ayohwang - hehehe, one look at yr sepetness dah cukup to convince ppl that you memang ada gaya suami ah so..LOL

Wake UP! said...

Salam sis. Everything that happens has a humorous side to it.

Anonymous said...

maybe you look like one...

the principal said...

selalu org ingat I ni salesgirl

must remind org2 mcm ni that clothes dont make the man

Kama At-Tarawis said...

anon - what does a cleaning woman look like?

principal - wise words indeed.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

the way people dress these days, you can't really tell what/who they are, thus the stereotyping. a high class hooker (not a streetwalker), more often than not, dresses like a 9-5 laptop lugging yuppie. and that's just ONE single example.