Archive for December, 2012

Once as an Emcee

Posted: 15/12/2012 in Fun, Myself, Singapore Life

The ridiculous thing was we had never been to any kind of wedding in Singapore yet my b.f’s friends believed us to be the emcees at their wedding! And we knocked our head at once.

Thank  to the public speaking training at Yangon University of Foreign Languages, precisely Japanese Department, I am never afraid of presentation. Still, the wedding emcee thing was too far away from us especially when we didn’t know how a usual Wedding goes here.

As there would be two emcees, we didn’t need to argue that I would handle English announcements while he would do for Burmese. Not because my English pronunciation was good but because he didn’t want to study by-heart the polished words and sentences good for a wedding.

So, I googled, googled and googled. The problem was that the westernish guides for being emcees were prefect but not really suited for their kind of Myanmar, Singapore-ish wedding and the customised Singapore wedding script were meant for Chinese couples. #_#

I had to take bits by bits from here and there to complete our very own bilingual wedding script. After adding up his idea and some jokes I could think of, the script had looked good. We had finished the script a week before but could spend only about two nights (i.e. around 3 hours) to practice it. Just not to disappoint the bride and groom, we did make effort to study the lines by-heart but couldn’t make it for all sentences.

Then we had to go for shopping for both of us. I was looking for a nice dress, I wanted it to be in some bright colour but ended up with picking up a black one because I do not want to be too obvious in the whole wedding. We found a nice coat for him, too.

And so the wedding day came. Oh, about a week before the wedding day, the couple invited us to join food testing with them. Believe me, there’s no such thing in Myanmar. It might even cost more there to throw a wedding party but no hotel would provide you such service which I find awesome. We commented for a couple of dishes, I personally enjoyed that dinner. 🙂

So, the wedding day came (it actually came not like in last paragraph, lol). I took half-day leave from office to make it on time to go for make-up. I am one of such weird girls whom make-up artists find very difficult to help with. On that day, she could neither curl my eyelashes nor put the fake lashes on. Furthermore, I even failed to let her do the eyeliner for waterline. ROFL

Long story short, we checked the stage, had a short discussion with event supervisor, prepared for songs and did a quick rehearsal with microphones. When the couple actually came out, it was all smooth until the DJ forgot to play the chosen song while the second clipping was being streamed. But everybody did not take it seriously which we had to thank a lot!

We had prepared two lovely games – an ordinary shoes game and “come to wife”. If you don’t know what is “Shoe game” at a wedding, just google it. For the “come to wife” game, I found it from a Youtube clip of a wedding in Malaysia if I’m not wrong. It sounds simple but very engaging and every audience will find it fun.

We asked the bride to stand near the stage and blind-folded the groom. A friend of groom took him to somewhere far from the stage. The bride would have to instruct the groom to come to her by directing “go left”, “go right”, “walk straight”, “move backward” and “stop”. But to make things fun, we swapped with instructions with some other wedding related liners which finally became
“go left” = “I love you, darling”
“go right” = “Do the dishes”
“go straight” = “Buy me Gucci”
“move backward” = “Let’s make baby”
“stop” = “Kiss me please”
Imagine how it would look like the bride saying those sentences to direct the groom! In our particular one, the groom went drunk just by some cups forced by friends, it was much more difficult for him to reach her. LOL We did torture them a lot.

We touched up with Myanmar traditional wedding custom for the end of the event. It is called “Kyoe-Tar” which can be directly translated into “Blocking with rope”. Whenever the newly wed is about to enter their bedroom for that night, the close friends and relatives draw a line with any kind of rope – golden necklaces in most cases, sometimes they go wild with belts and anything that is considered rope. And the couple had to pay cash to break the rope! Just a way of torturing them before their exciting night. In this wedding, I totally forget what they used for it but as there was no handy cash for the groom and bride, we considered one little glass used as door gift was equivalent to S$10. And the groom signed on it not to get cheated with normal door gifts! LOL

That’s it. I have the ready pdf for the scripts we used but need to clear out the personal names so later I’ll upload it  and uploadedEmcee Script (English & Burmese). ^^

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12 Resolutions on 12/12/12

Posted: 12/12/2012 in Myself

I do want to post something on 12/12/12 no matter how much it could sound cheesy or lame. So, I’m going to write about 12 New Year resolutions. I didn’t usually set new year resolutions because I had no confidence that I would ever make it happen. But yeah, here it is for next supposed-to-be-awesome-year. (If the world wouldn’t end on 21/12/12.)

  1. I will keep Global Voices Burmese active no matter what.

    Though I’ve joined it since 2010, I never happen to keep it active every single month though it recently got the momentum to be so. If you are a native Burmese speaker and every happen to see this, feel free to volunteer!

  2. I will go abroad at least twice!

    One trip is almost confirmed so I have to look for another awesome country.

  3. I will earn more!

    I don’t love money but I do love to have it and it is also a crucial part to fulfill my dreams – be it for myself or for others. So, I will definitely earn more and make my “earning plans” happen! (Stay tuned!)

  4. I will read more (English) books.

    If there is one reason why my English usage is so lousy, it has to be lack of time spending on reading English books. I own a kindle but it’s stuffed with Burmese almost all the time. Yes, I will read more. I will read more. I will read more. I will read more.

  5. I will talk less.

    (Don’t raise your eyebrows, my buddies!) I know I am one of the super talkative girls in the whole entire universe. But in this case, “talk less” would mean “do more” – not that I will stop endless chit-chat with you guys!

  6. I will stay healthy.

    My BMI is still under average although I gained weight and went beyond 110 lbs (Yes, in Myanmar people still use  Imperial Units as a result of once being under British Colonies.) And I have some unwanted fat. #_#

  7. I will write more.

    For me, writing reflects “fiction” works rather than articles etc. I have been writing a number of fictions (in Burmese) and couldn’t even finish one though some fictional short stories got published. I will finish at least one of those in progress. Let’s see if I can transform it into a physical book!

  8. I will learn Buddhism in English.

    Because I feel like it is more accurate and practical to learn it in English rather than in Burmese with many tales and non-Buddhism related thingies.

  9. I will study Spanish.

    I know 3 languages quite well and 1 a bit but 3 of those are Asian languages with their own characters. I always wish to learn a western language with English characters or similar ones. Among shortlisted French, Spanish, Italian and German, I will go with Spanish because I love the culture of Latin America!

  10. I will polish my Japanese.

    It would be very shameful if I couldn’t teach it to my children in future although I spent 3 whole years for it, wouldn’t it?

  11. I will care my parents more.

    Let’s see if I can persuade them to retire at the end of 2013! 🙂

  12. Last but definitely not least, I will love him more.

    He has been too perfect for me. Can you imagine a boyfriend who doesn’t smoke, drink, gamble and horny and stick with you for 2372 days by not minding your awful mass, intolerable scolding and daily drama and by supporting whatever crazy craps you are dreaming?

Oh, it’s so exciting just to imagine for the moment I can strike those off line by line!

[This is a backdated post.]

I grew up with some sense of disliking Muslims just because I thought that is not a delicate religion like Christians. I used to read all Christianity related booklets that were delivered to our houses without our own will so I kind of understood what their main goal was since I was around 12/13 but didn’t have a chance to read similar things of Islam. And the five main principles that every Buddhists try to follow include “not to kill any living things” which is directly contradictory to Muslims’ Eid celebration. Believe me, that is the #1 reason why some foreigners think Myanmar people have intolerance to Islam or as some of you label, Islamophobia?

I will not deny the fact that many Myanmar Buddhists prefer Christians/Hinduism over Islam but that does NOT mean that they are intolerable. We always have Muslim friends in any kind of environment, we would even spend more time to go to halah shops if we were dining together with Muslim friends just for their convenience and we would try not to talk about pork or pig if they were in the group. My first ever best friend is a Muslim girl and my family enjoy having many Muslim neighbours. Though we don’t like killing animals (don’t ask me if it is not contradictory while we are not vegetarians, it takes a genius to answer, I might be able to explain to you if you speak Burmese!), we enjoy the tradition snacks sent by our Muslim friends during Eid. During recent Eid period, even township welfare offices allowed people to submit Guest List (I’ll write about it later) only once per two weeks for the convenience of those who were on feasting. Yet, our parents are used to guide as not to get married with a Muslim just because we have seen many scenarios where girls were forcefully converted to Islam when they had gotten married with a Muslim. Those are the general situations how Buddhists deal with Muslims in Myanmar.

Let’s deal with reality. I’m not quite sure about Buddhists in other countries but very very rare, if at all, Buddhist in Myanmar would entice you to convert to be a Buddhist. On the other hand, Buddhists are easily attracted by other religions as Buddhism has no such culture of Sunday school nor Friday prayer. It is NOT a must to learn religion related stuffs for every Buddhist kids who might grow up with less knowledge on what they think they believe. So, it is very apparent that it is not too difficult to convince a Myanmar Buddhist to believe in other religion if you are a good speaker. That is why parents are worried about their children getting too familiar with other religious stuffs. Freedom of religion? C’mon, you should have freedom to choose which religion you want to follow (or not to give a damn about the religion) when you are old enough but when you are too young, shouldn’t parents be the one to teach about their religions? How about Muslim families in Myanmar? Do they even let their children convert religion peacefully when they become adults? That’s it.

And for above reasons, we have been taught to stay away from “Islam” but not from “Muslims” which we practically cannot . And as Muslims’ fertility rate is higher than that of others (At least, it seems so. No, I did not do a research that cost thousands of dollars so it may or may not be accurate. But if you have some spare time, you can compare the number of children in Muslim families and Buddhists families in Yangon or anywhere else you have been.), Myanmar Buddhists are worried about their growing influence and some like to defend for cultures that are based on Buddhism. And for some people who are not familiar with Myanmar’s culture, they want to generalize it as “Islamophobia”. Such voices become louder and louder since last June when the you-know-what happened. Unfortunately, as a group of people claimed themselves as Rohingyas share their faith with Muslims, headliners are shouting as if there is HUGE degree of Islamophobia in Myanmar. Let me assure you that if Rohingyas were Buddhists and if locals believed that they immigrated from another country (let’s say Buddhists immigrants from Thailand), they would definitely still argue that not all of them should be entitled to citizenship. Yes, Myanmar Buddhists are afraid of “growing population” of Muslims in Myanmar but I do not believe it is fair to label as if they have Islamophobia. They are just scared to lose something they have been cherished.