I live in a kampung near Mersing on the east coast of Johor. There are some very
beautiful beaches. The people in the kampung are very friendly and closely knit.
I would like to tell you about our favorite pastime, kite flying. In fact, the
whole community loves kite flying. My father used to take part in international
kite flying contests. Kite flying is purely for fun nowadays.
everything from scratch. The whole family is
involved and it is the work of the men in the family. Usually one of us together
with our neighbors will get together to make the 'wau'. We first start with the
frame. It is made of a special bamboo. After the bamboo is cut into lengths
carefully, the strips are tied into position. My job is usually to help my
brothers cut out and paste the paper. When we have pasted the third layer of
paper, we will usually compare our kites with the others in the neighborhood. We
love Pak Abu's decorations and ornaments of mythical birds.
Then it is time to fly the kites. Everyone would gather along the beach or
the football field in front of the community hall. During weekends and school
holidays, we will fly our kites. It is exciting to see gigantic kites soaring in
These days, we watch a lot of television for relaxation. The womenfolk
particularly enjoy soap operas. They love Korean drama serials the most. They
will talk about the stories and characters whenever they meet. The grannies will
warn the young girls about the danger of going to such dangerous places as pubs,
quoting the serials they are presently watching. 'Don't be like...' is something
we hear all the time. In fact, our dinners are timed in such a way that their
view time is not interrupted and not a single part of any episode is missed.
The menfolk will not mumble too much for
they have the football fever. The English Premier league, the FA Cup, the
Champions league, just to mention a few. They will gather in a few houses to
watch matches. They will cheer and shout encouragement and boo! The next few
days they will discuss the performance of their favorite teams at mamak stalls.
The one time that the menfolk and womenfolk watched television together was
the Beijing Olympics. Even until today, an unintentional mention of Usain Bolt
will make most people including my mother beam
and talk about the amazing athlete.
A lot of people in our community also like to do gardening. In fact, Kampung
Suria is famous for its herbs. Selasih, mint, kunyit, misai kuching - you name
it, we have it. Early morning and evening you will see us in our little plots of
land. We will be weeding, trimming, putting fertiliser, watering the herbs and
vegetables that we grow for our own consumption. We are the organic pioneers. We
even have a contest annually. It could be the biggest pumpkin or the most
bountiful bitter gourd harvest. It is all in good fun.
Times had once been difficult for the residents of Kampung Suria. Learning from
the past experience, being self-sufficient, taking delight in living a simple
lifestyle and enjoying one's pastimes have long been most people's philosophy of
life. This is why the senior citizens of Kampung Suria are always in good mood