Hope

Okay so it’s been awhile and Merry Christmas for yesterday, I hope you had a fabulous one :)
Amidst all the presents and pigging out on food,
My main thought was that I was unknowingly given a gift more precious than almost anything else by a group of high school students -
On the other side of the world.

I don’t know them, and they don’t know me and well I teared up a little but shit like this gives me hope that one day everyone will be accepted, regardless of race, religion or sexual preference

These High school kids acted with more maturity than many university students I’ve met over the past two years.

I don’t care if you love another man or another woman, that’s your business. I don’t care what colour you are, your heart beats just as mine does.
I don’t care who you worship, your relationship with your god is no concern of mine.

Nobody lives forever, why live to try and make someone else miserable because of their race, religion or sexual preference.

Please give the article a read here

Seasonal Greetings All :)

Islam Awareness Week 2013

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Last week week, the 30th September – 4th October, was Islam awareness week on campus whereby students not of the Islamic faith could learn more about the Islamic faith from Muslim students on campus and various speakers throughout the week. Allowing students to experience various facets of the islamic faith including listening to passages of the Qur’an (The holy book), letting students write on a board their perceptions of Islam, answering other students questions with regards to faith , experiencing islamic art and cultural aspects such as a mass prayer which was open to anyone and using mehndi (henna) as a artistic reference to the artistic side of the religion.

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It was a wonderful idea by the MSA (Muslim students association) of UCT and being a little more than conflicted I wasn’t particularly certain of my own feelings towards the event.

I admit, i was highly skeptical and somewhat wary of the entire event at first. Similar to the reaction of a wild animal experiencing kindness for the first time. I didn’t trust it, I didn’t want to learn more but i found myself drawn to a topic which seemed strange and somewhat elusive to me. It fascinated me, this topic which was integral to my fathers life, taboo to my mothers and mocked and defamed by many media outlets because of preconceived ideals and common misconceptions fed to the masses by media and reporters who spend their lives rushing to meet deadlines with what is often considered to be sensationalistic hard hitting news. So instead of taking the time to do a little proper research and present the public with facts. The public is fed bite sized portions of propaganda which makes that pill much easier to swallow and believe.

I decided to take a step back from my preconceived ideals with regards to the religion to try and understand it from the viewpoint of a non-believer attempting to understand it ; without letting any of my own history and current interaction taint my perception.

Certain aspects of this awareness week I liked:
- The clothing collection for the underprivileged.
- The talks by various outsiders on the five pillars of Islam, the role of women in islam and the misconceptions of islam.
- The tours of the prayer room and the Jumu’ah prayer which was open to everyone.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the talk on the misconceptions of Islam and the Jumu’ah prayer but I believe that it was set out wonderfully allowing people of other customs and religions to experience facets of Islam in ways that show what the religion is truly about. I recall the man who had given us the talk with regards to the misconceptions of Islam telling us that the Arabic root of the word Islam is derived from “slm” which encompasses not only humility and unity but peace as well. Others may not agree with me but I find that, that is my interpretation and I find that it does indeed seem that way. The speaker also mentioned the difference between religious and cultural beliefs, regardless of what people believe the two are not always interlinked therefore the cultural customs practiced in Saudi are not practiced in Somalia for example, even though people of both countries practice the Islamic faith. The cultural belief is different. The Jumu’ah prayer was enlightening as well, speaking about the duties of the child to his or her parents.

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The main aspect I disliked about the event are the signs that some of the Muslim students held signs saying “Meet a Muslim” Or “meet another muslim” To me it seemed offensive and belittling to the believers, as if they were a strange anomaly with whom the rest of society is finally coming into contact with.

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The other was somewhat funnier .. But only somewhat

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However I believe that overall Islamic awareness week has actually created an awareness not only about the religion and the various misconceptions which surround it but about the people who practice it and the manner in which they came together to make this event a success. There were no pushy “you must convert” types it was just a beautiful experience.I found myself blessed with a desire to learn more, not because i am meant to (due to my fathers religious beliefs ) but because *I* wanted to. It had nothing to do with either of my parents but rather about what I wanted to learn.

One person remarked that my soul is searching for something more; an inner calm and peace which it has not yet found and I replied that I agreed but my soul strives to learn and I see nothing wrong with learning until I settle and discover what I truly want from life.

Ignorance is bliss is how the saying goes but I believe that to go through life ignorant, is similar to going through life blind and unprepared for the many facets of life that fate may toss my way. Doing that is a sure way to live my life unfulfilled.

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My life, my religious choices.

For some reason people place so much faith in their .. well respective faiths.
I don’t have an issue with this, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. I find it to be a “cool bro, you do you” kind of thing yet the only thing that seriously gets to me is during religious occasions (Christmas) or customs that are observed (Ramadan) and it seems like people suddenly find religion all of a sudden and that gives them the right to preach about your supposed misdeeds regardless of the fact just last month that specific judging asshole was drinking himself into oblivion.

Hypocritical much?

I’ve mentioned it before and it seems like I’ll need to mention it again..

I am .. To put it mildly

Religiously screwed.

I have an overprotective muslim indian father who only wants me to date a muslim/indian boy and a coloured mother ( German /Filipino mix) who prefers white/christian males.

And honestly? I think I’m okay with being “religiously screwed” for now. I’m learning more about myself in the process and the respective religions.

However I loathe that when it comes to religious occasions (Christmas) or customs that are meant to be observed (Ramadan) the biggest sinners become the ones who decide you MUST follow tradition.

I mean I go to church sometimes and it isn’t always full … Until Christmas Day when people decide they need to get their “blessings” and decide to turn it into a fashion show in the process.

Uhm.. No the good Lord does not care that you’re wearing the the latest fashion, cover your ass up you’re in church. Also? Do you REALLY believe despite all your previous transgressions that Jesus wants you to like and share a status/photo about him … Or “you will go to hell”.

And then I saw, what could only be described as the epitome of human stupidity (with reference to religious context).
Regardless of the religious clashes between the two groups ( and let’s be honest, there are plenty of clashes between Christians and Muslims) .. There was a Facebook photo up with the caption “Like if you believe in Jesus or Comment if you believe in Islam” .. And no my dears, that’s not the worst.. The rest of the caption went as follows “Let’s see who gets the most likes/comments”

How stupid can you be to decide to which one is better based on comments or likes, and people had actually liked an commented, when chances are you barely know anything but the basics of the opposite religion. I mean people dedicate their ENTIRE LIVES to researching their own religion how do you suppose you of all your what? 21 years? Know enough about BOTH religions to adequately judge or make commentary.

So to end that social media tangent I felt the need to vent…
Keep your religion away from social media. No one but you cares or join a like minded group but don’t tell others they will go to hell for not believing, don’t say one religion is better than the other when you barely understand your own religion well enough.

Back to the hypocrites ..

Currently it is the month of Ramadan and since my name is Arabic sounding enough and I apparently look the part, I’m often asked if I fast.
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Granted I’ve made more effort this year than in any other (but that’s for altruistic reasons if I must be honest – I’ve decided that since my father makes an effort with regards to my mothers religions beliefs/celebrations, I should make more effort for his)

What gets to me is the judgement I see in some people’s eyes if I or others don’t fast yet these same people (who are judging myself and others) are usually to be found drinking in town or Claremont on Thursday nights etc.

Personally, if I’m NOT going to be remotely religious EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Why on earth should I do it for just one month , just to make myself feel better for MY transgressions (of my own making) so I may place myself on my pretty little religiously moral pedestal and judge those who do not conform or observe the religious customs during this holy month.

My understanding of the Islamic culture is limited, and I won’t deny it, but surely I’m not incorrect to say that technically Muslims are not allowed to consume alcohol?
So I don’t see why someone who usually consumes vast amounts of alcohol deems fit to call me out on whether or not I fast and if not, when will I begin to do so.

Point In case:

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Whether I fast or not, it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but me and well in this case, Allah. When I die none of you will be up there with me. I will probably die alone and I’ll meet my maker (whomever he/she may be) ALONE. The fact that you seem to have this misguided subconscious belief that when you kick the bucket you’ll at least be able to say “Well .. I told Mish she must fast and so-and-so that his behaviour is wrong etc”. It honestly wont stop your god from judging YOU. Since your god is the only one who should be passing judgement**. Mankind has somehow given themselves a god complex, and in doing so man believes that he/she has the right to judge others regardless of his/her own less than exemplar behaviour.

I’m happy that you have a religion and you’re welcome to share it with me as I’m not opposed to leaning more, but don’t try and judge me because I don’t comply with your standards because chances are mine are still much higher.

To each his own and the like but when you meet your maker, Kudos to you for the GOOD DEEDS you have done for others NOT the judgements you have passed on others.

Live and let live should be a simple concept but most don’t understand it, I try and avoid religious debates/conversations/arguments etc because I’m living with a duality that isn’t the easiest thing to manage based on the preconceived notions others have of me that is solely due to my appearance and how I dress.

I AM ME AND YOU ARE YOU and I’m happy for both of us.
You’re not an indecent person and neither am I but if I decide to observe religious occasions or customs it is a personal thing between me and my god and should have nothing to do with anybody else. To reiterate that point ME AND MY GOD; not you,me and god. It’s a one on one thing between the two of us; not you me, him and the rest of the world. The fact that I’ve tried or am trying should be enough to appease and satisfy him, It has no impact on your life, so try and keep it that way.

**Yes the irony of this post and that statement does not escape my notice but the truth must out and I must vent before I end up strangling someone

Afrikaans is nie dood nie ( Afrikaans isn’t dead)

I don’t know why but I rage when people make fun of Afrikaans as a language.
Some of you act like total tools when people can’t speak or write in English “correctly” but you think I’m overreacting when you GOOGLE TRANSLATE Afrikaans? Making a mockery of a language or a group of people who speak that specific language is a form of discrimination ( because no, google translate is not an accurate way to translate languages indigenous to one country). I’d love to see you speak afrikaans.

Afrikaans is a truly proudly South African language.
I’m PROUD of the fact that I can understand it, write it and can even speak it.
(Granted,I don’t speak it often because I struggle to pronounce some words but that’s because of a speech impediment ).I then meet people who go on about Xhosa and other African languages that are indigenous to South Africa, berating people who don’t speak their “mother tongue”. Guess what? Afrikaans IS indigenous to South Africa.

Yes, it’s based on Dutch but does not that mean its exactly the same.It just means that there are similarities.It’s completely different, ever looked at American spelling of words vs the British version of the same word?
Our African languages are dying and that includes afrikaans. Unfortunately many associate Afrikaans with the language of the oppressors but guess what? Many of the northern African countries were also oppressed, and they can speak Portuguese, French , Italian etc AS WELL as their native language. Why can’t we do the same?

I’d love to relearn Xhosa even, simply because at my primary school we were afforded the opportunity to learn it. That’s 8 years (including Pre-primary) I spent learning Xhosa AND Afrikaans simultaneously. High school afforded me the opportunity to only learn 1, Afrikaans ( as anyone who had taken Xhosa as a subject instead was expected to speak it fluently by then – the class catered for the Xhosa home language speakers only ).

I love afrikaans. I grew up in South Africa, I underwent 12 years (14 if you include 2 years in pre-primary) of compulsory schooling learning the language. Much in the same manner many others have, but unlike most of them. I don’t detest the language. I embrace it.

I love it.
I find saying certain things means so much more, Afrikaans is so much more expressive, be it in terms of endearments or even cuss words

Ek is lief vir jou – I love you
(If I ever had to say those words and truly mean them, I’d say it in Afrikaans)

Natgenaaidetepeltief – Basically calling someone a slut
(There isn’t a translation for this but it is an emphatic cuss word,that is much more expressive than its English “counterpart”)

So no. I don’t believe I’m overreacting (“as usual”) because I feel like you have insulted some part of my heritage. I do not mock the languages you speak, and Hindi/Urdu etc is not easy.

I’m a BA Language student at the University of Cape Town and I’ve learnt to respect these languages. Granted I might not have done well this semester but it doesn’t mean I can’t try again next semester or even next year.

Language is a gift. It’s a means to communicate with a wider world and you blatantly disrespected that by google translating the text instead of asking someone who can speak it. Like I said before, since when has google become an expert on a language indigenous to South Africa (and wherever else SOUTH AFRICANS have immigrated)

Is that what we’ve come to? Are we so reliant on technology that WE as the next generation will allow a language and culture to die out because we don’t feel comfortable with it? And yes, Afrikaans is a CULTURE as well.

Ever been to a “sokkie” (It’s an Afrikaans social gathering with music , food, conversation and dance- to give a brief explanation )?
Ever had a braai? (A Barbecue is not the same, and never will be)
Ever had biltong? ( Jerky is not the same)

It’s all part of the traditions and culture of a SOUTH AFRICAN language.
Go have a braai in Aussie mate,
Go find something similar to the vibe at Mzoli’s in any other country,
I can guarantee you one thing .. It will NEVER be the same.

You want to live and study here? No problem but this is my home, and Afrikaans happens to be my “French ” or my “Hindi ” or whatever other language you speak in your country, besides English.

The same applies for native Xhosa speakers, or native speakers of any language other than English. How dare you mock them for their “bad” English when chances are, they probably speak English better than you could ever speak their language.

So here is my kudos to you ..

Kudos to those who get mocked for speaking/writing English incorrectly when it’s not even their first language, hell it may not even be their 2nd or 3rd or even 4th.
Kudos to those of you for trying, you’ve done a lot more than many home language English speakers have, I don’t see you breaking them down when they can’t speak your language properly.
Kudos for never giving up, don’t feel any embarrassment based on anything anyone else may say. You’re already doing better than they ever could.

.. And it’s also been a year

Well that’s a surprise .. After posting the blog “really woman?” I saw a little notification pop up saying I’ve had this blog for more than a year now. The 17/06/2012 marks my first blog entry on this site.

That’s kinda sweet. It serves as a reminder of everything I’ve been to get where I am today.
It’s a reminder of the people I’ve met, places I’ve been, emotions I’ve felt and the general sense of belonging one feels when you do something “right”, and that’s exactly what this blog is to me.
It’s my sense of right, my comfort and my companion when it seems like no-one understands.
It’s my way of expressing to the world what I feel without the sense of judgement that usually follows in public. Here I am known but not known and that makes it worth while.

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Dreams may be figments of our warped imaginations but this blog contains my dreams, it contains my life and the depth if my feelings hidden between lines of not so random verse. Each line a choice I have made, each thought “penned” with somewhat careful deliberation. This blog is my warped imagination and so much more.

Thank you for being a part of the experience, especially you Nuky and a few others. You know who you are and you’ve been with me since the start almost. Navi you went through the entire blog in the span of two days just to increase your understanding of someone more complex than what meets the eye. You delved deep to try and find me and you almost have.

So thanks I guess … thanks for reading it and sharing these experiences with me, thanks for being a part of the experience.

Really woman?

I read the original expression on UCT Confessions and I felt the inane desire to respond accordingly and I did. No doubt the response will receive critical reviews (grammar nazi’s, sexists, feminists and the like) but honesty some women just don’t get it. There is a lot more to life than money or looks or the petty things that women seem to go on about. I’m female and even I get annoyed by the fact the stereotypes enforce the fact that ALL women want a guy with money and looks and that irks me to no end.

I don’t want a guy for money or looks. I want someone who will be happy with me and accept me as I am. I’ve learnt to be strong enough on my own before coming to rely on any one else. Granted I have my moments of weakness where I’m “stupid” and act rashly but that makes me human, not fragile or vapid.

This world we live in is filled with misconceptions. Like those you’ll read below but honestly? Change takes time. Some people are old fashioned, others too independent for their own good (and that’s when trouble comes calling ). Women can’t change the view of all the men in the world but they should focus on changing the views of the men who matter in their lives.
Relationships are a give and take. Not only a take or only a give. It’s a partnership.

Granted the expression is meant as a light hearted joke but the sad truth is that many men won’t accept it as a joke. Females will see it in a light hearted manner but turn the tables and BAM most of them scream and rage at the “blatant sexism” and begin baying for blood.

So here is the expression and my response…
(I thought I’d post it here first)

In response to UCTExpression 2893

1.The nice men are ugly.
-No. You friend zoned that motherfucker so hard he saw stars before you had a chance to see what he “looks” like INSIDE. Looks fade with age, personality doesn’t ( just a tip though : plastic surgery won’t help you either ..)
Also. Take what you can get woman (if his handsome, ugly whatever), I’m not saying settle but no-one likes the crazy cat lady next door.

2.The handsome men are not nice.
-That’s an assumption. Just like my assumption that you are intelligent.

3.The handsome and nice men are gay.
-gay guys usually know where to find the hottest guys – make use of that

4.The handsome, nice and heterosexual men are married.
-The hot nice girl is dating a douchebag anyway

5.The men who are not so handsome, but are nice men, have no money
-The girls who aren’t so pretty but are nice shouldn’t care about money. That’s why they’re NICE

6.The men who are not so handsome, but are nice men with money think we are only after their money.
-The girls who aren’t so hot, think they’re the shit without having anything to back it up, seem to be the money hungry greedy bitches.
(Just a tip for the guys .. It’s called a Pre-Nup )

7. The handsome men without money are after our money.
- Same applies to chicks if the situation were reversed ( it always comes down to the money doesn’t it? It’s no wonder you get those misogynistic chauvinistic bastards who think women are beneath them. Make your own damn money )

8. The handsome men, who are not so nice and somewhat heterosexual, don’t think we are beautiful enough.
-The beautiful girls have self esteem issues when the aforementioned not so pretty girls think they’re the shit ( where is the logic in that )

9. The men who think we are beautiful, that are heterosexual, somewhat nice and have money, are cowards.
-Girls need to grow that metaphorical pair and approach a guy. How dare you spout feminist bullshit about being equals when you won’t even a approach a guy. CONFIDENCE is sexy ( but arrogance is not – back your shit up )

10. The men who are somewhat handsome, somewhat nice and have some money and thank God are heterosexual, are shy and NEVER MAKE THE FIRST MOVE!!!!
-Again. Where’s the equality? Confidence trumps arrogance.

11. The men who never make the first move, automatically lose interest in us when we take the initiative.
-Okay, this seems to happen since some guys can’t deal with what they perceive to be a “dominant” female. But quit whining and find a guy who can, there are plenty of guys who dig that.

NOW, WHO CAN REALLY UNDERSTAND MEN?
- Bitch please, who can really understand women ?? I’m female and I don’t even understand the way some women think.
You want what you can’t have and when you get it you don’t want it anymore.

“”Men are like a fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it’s our job, to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.”
-stomp on a woman and she’ll cry abuse, so this reverse won’t work

“No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.”
W. C. Fields

Sometimes I wonder about humanity..
And I wonder if most of us realize we’re slowly but surely loosing ours…

Demure smiles

You tell me I wouldn’t rip into you since you’re “family” but I would. I would rip into you without hesitation. I’ve told you before exactly what I’m like and what mentality I possess.It leads to believe that I’m better off alone and currently none of your actions so far prove me wrong.

Sometimes in my insanity. I believe the best course of action is for me to not be involved. To keep my distance. To maintain the facade of menial pleasantries I exchange with every other person. To dim my enthusiasm and emotional response to most of “my older family” members.

If this is what voicing my opinion gets. I feel as if I should rather submit to the stereotypical archaic practices. Whereby women kept quiet in a “mans” world, for his word was law. Every thought she had would be carefully monitored; discarded if deemed inappropriate , every “untoward” emotion hidden for fear of being seen as irrational and melodramatic. For fear of not only physical scarring but in this instance emotional scarring.

I will resort to silent contemplation, voicing what must be said by means of the written word. “Voicing” thoughts supposedly better left unsaid.

I will smile.
I will demurely agree with whatever you wish, regardless of my beliefs.

And that is how I will let these sleeping dogs lie.