Friday, February 10, 2006

Incredible Shrinking World

It's become trite to observe how the Internet is shrinking the world (or at least making it "flatter", as some have preferred to say), but it's still remarkable when you think about it. It has become especially apparent to me in the last few days. My quiet little blog has only a handful of readers and only rarely gets comments, but in the last few days, my thoughts about the Danish cartoon controversy, as well as the Palestinian elections, have drawn the comments of a Malaysian Muslim girl, a Muslim immigrant in Australia, and someone who seems to be Palestinian. I am amazed and delighted that people of such different perspectives than my own can reach across the world to share their thoughts with me. (I only wish they hadn't all posted anonymously. It would be fascinating to continue the conversation and get to know any of them a little bit better. I'm sure I could learn much from such different viewpoints.) Comments like these give me hope for our world.


Anonymous said...

I suppose you can add Scotland to that list (sort of)- This is Allen, I believe we're second cousins (I'm Jim's son)- I've been reading off and on for about a month now and have to say I've enjoyed hearing what you have to say.

Anyhow- I'm in Scotland for a semester abroad and thought I'd take the opprotunity to say hi.

Allen Chatt.

zeti said...

hi, im glad u are a very open person. Which is why i am interested in sharing comments in ur blog. My name is Zeti Omar, im a muslim girl from malaysia..and am now studying architecture in australia. I also left a comment in ur Palestinian post.

well, i received my formative education since 7 y.old in a convent school, my dad is a professor who is not so religous but very idealistic, a student leader in his years in London and once joined the socialist movement in the 60s while my mom is a housewife who is quite traditional but very practical as well. u can imagine how confused i was as a teenager?? hehehe

i was brought up in a multiracial Malaysia, where tolerance is the glue that binds us. Still, I do have a long list of things i would wanna improve in my country, and realistically it would take time.

ill frequent ur blog now that im hooked, hehehe. Keep on ur good writings,i read each one of them. Its a pleasure for me, Thanx!!

zeti said...

oh yeah i forgot to mention that i wrote the comment on ur post about hannukah as well. its a good article. its funny that i should say this; but it reminds me of my mom.

She's creative in a similar way, always looking at a way to make an abstract comparison between two seemingly different situation into something so much alike. And then the whole world makes more sense.

I know u must be curious how come i can say that my mom has the beautiful sense of perspective as u do, when she is just a kampung (rural) girl, from Asia. She holds our customs n traditions dearly, and weighs them realisticly. We dont do the -mumbo-jumbos- give offerings to the spirits, and we shy away from the constraints of superstitions that are deeply engraved in our culture. My mom had been againts old tradition by merely fighting for her education. Back then, a girl going to school is seen as too ambitious for only the elite could afford it. And u can imagine other nasty remarks that follows such daring act againts the norm. She got an offer to go 2 thelocal uni but couldnt afford it. After years of working as a teacher to support the education of her younger siblings, she married Dad and followed him overseas for a while.

From her, i get the education that evryone is alike, but in different places and circumstances. The journey and destination is the same, values we hold are similarly well motivated as well. Inevitably there are those among us who are content with receiving ancient writtings without continuing the journey of thought. These ppl are stagnant thus ignorant,and in Islam's case, pose a threat to the balance.

My evolution is perhaps more abvious than some, Mom's family are of the nobles of Hindu-Bhuddist from Java, and now it comes down to us generations afterwards; hybrids i guess?

I think this is why i like ur blog, it discusses the "grey" area. Hybrid spaces. Like how a conservative can approve of gay marriages, rite? i understand that completely!! i shared a house with my bestfrens- a lesbian couple during uni (malaysia), have more than a handful of gay friends, and they are all firm Muslims!!

>> maybe there is a big rainbow of grey shades in the world!! :D