Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's a matter of who I am?

I was in baju kurung on Wednesday.

I had a reason to be. Actually, a couple of reasons to don the outfit.

One, it was because the baju kurung was the only outfit I could think of in the morning that didn’t require ironing.

Second, we had a trainer who came from the states, and she wanted to see how a ‘Bajoo Koorroong’ is like.

So I wore my favorite baju kurung, the one with the elaborate golden brownish flowers, the perpel one.

Being that I was not able to surf the net properly yesterday as I was rushing to KLCC to entertain our trainer, I decided to drive to The Curve for a shot of coffee and time out alone.

I was in the mood for cigarettes that evening, so I smoked.

In my baju kurung Johor, in my ‘gadis melayu yang ayu’ persona.

I decided that I want to observe how would other people see me, someone who could be a Malay and who could be something other than Malay (Chinese, Chindian, Iban even.) who was clad in a baju kurung, who was puffing away expertly.

The fact of the matter was, I am in KL, and like how a friend with whom I was chatting with told me, me smoking is nothing compared to someone she knows who drank a glass of wine in the same outfit.

I surprised myself when I said that I still have respect for the demure costume. Somehow, the ‘baju kurung Johor’ is my heritage. I would never deny my state. I am your true blue Johorean who loves being one, and is proud of the state that I have lived in most of my life.

While some people let go of their state once they moved to KL and deemed themselves as KL-lites, I don't and I won’t. Basically, if we are to be truly politically correct and accurate, no one could call themselves a KL-lite unless they were born in KL.

So being that, I simply could not relate to how someone I know who was originally from Kuala Lipis told me that she is now a full fledge KL-lite and would never even want to mention the other KL.

I tell people every so often that I am not a KL-lite, will never be. I am first and foremostly a Johorean who loves Zapin, who loves Ghazal, who loves being a Johorean. Who is so fussy about her baju kurung that I must simply make sure everything about my baju kurung is every bit Johorean, the Pesak, the tulang belut stitching at the neck line, everything.

I guess, there is something about myself that I could never quite get. While I am your everyday fun loving person who people would call, modernized, possibly even westernized, I am still every bit traditional and old fashioned at heart.

Yeap, from smoking in baju kurung to being a hardcore traditionalist, it seemed like Sarcy is getting more merapek by the day when it comes to blogging.

Maybe my brain is still trying to adjust to the reality that right now I am back in KL and life kind of starts itself on a new note.

Bear with me now.


  1. I didn't know they had state specific baju kurongs. And I think in KL, smokers are a dime a dozen, female smokers inclusive. So I don't think anyone would give a damn. More so since you don't really look like a typical Malay girl. The wine might raise some eyebrows though.

  2. I was born in KL... but never admit I'm a city gal. I'm a kampung girl at heart. seriously. hey! I still get lost in KL, okay! hahaha...

  3. I've met a chain smoker in her baju kurung and tudung puffing away tak hengat orang keliling punya.

    Eh, baju kurung Pahang pun ada.... baju kurung Riau pun ada.

  4. babe, you can take a girl out of Johor, but you can't take Johor out of a girl... hehehe.. or so they say lah.. I'm a true blue Johorean who always ends my sentence with "ek???"

    Macam tu, ek?

  5. Its great that you can identify yourself with the state that you originated from. U have your own baju kurung, your own music, your own dance, and even your 'ek'. Org KL semua kena ciplak from other states. So who's the lucky one then? Go figure!

  6. I agree. Even if we've been in kl for more than 10 years, there is no reason to abandon state sense of belonging. You are for one a true johorean; technicalities and all. We all should be proud of our heritage. 'Wear it and bear it' I say. I always respond to the question 'where are you from' with 'Sarawak'. The appreciation deepens as I'm involved with

  7. hey babe!
    i started reading your blog properly today cos i miss u lah! anyway its fine to be contradictive- think we all are.we can be modern but traditional or a party animal who's actually shy to the bone (like me lah)etc.

  8. Salam there...reading ur entry typically recalled me of my kampung back in Sarawak...its nice that u didnt lost in the big city, the self identity is important living in such a place...anyway, at least u still have the nationality in u...

  9. Izso,

    You dont? wow... now you know. every state's baju kurung is different, some looked the same but it actually had different details...


    hihihi.... so i cant ajak you pergi KL lah ni.. later sesat then how?

  10. Dnas,

    wahh.. terer tuuu...


    on being johorean, you said it babe. Johoreans are just naturally full of ourselves la... but i do know some friends of mine who doesnt have that at all in them, which is kind of disconcerting la kan... i mean dude its like your heritage la kan?

  11. MsD,

    Well... you have a Johorean for a husband (A muorian to be exact right?)

    orang Muor is more likely to be more full of ourselves ... because of the whole Tun Hussein Onn legacy.

  12. Agus,

    yeap... good for you mate... as for myself, its always, "I am Malaysian but i dont come from KL. I am a Johorean."

    sometimes i even told my expat friends that, despite them knowing zero about the states la.... i guess it almost came to me as a habit to say it that way.


    Haha... i used to think like that until i got to know one friend of mine who doesnt believe in having a heritage and thinks tradition is 100% crap.

    that and all, and she came somewhere from ceruk rantau mana2 tah.... up in the East coast, I went WTF???

  13. back to Basics,

    correct.... and thanks! i dont know who i amm really if i dot have my roots!