Wise Women Warrior Dance of Mothers

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fly Jentayu Fly for International Women's Day 2009

Sharing some photos from Joie Koo's Allspire collection of Fly Jentayu Fly presented by Ombak-Ombak Arts Studio in 2009 for IWD celebration by WCC and Penang State Dept. At that time i was working on looking at the problem, from a point of view that to STOP violence against women is by making women aware that Change begins with ourselves. That we need to be empowered, our women elders - mothers, aunts and grandmothers must be empowered, and not enforce violence to control their daughters,niece and grand daughters. Change begins with us! I am not sure if that was the right message that the Women NGO's would like us to take, now that i review it 6 years after. But at that time it was an important message for us to make a say to the public. Fly Jentayu Fly is a dance of the women evoking the warrior spirit of Jentayu within them to rise rise above against violence, abuse and injustice. Here are some of the photos

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eva the Mother - in support of keeping mothers and children together

One year later, the dance film is completed ...

the art of motherhood is creativity, love, care , common sense and play

Saturday, February 13, 2010

First step to Being WISE about what you want?

So here we are, I have spoken about our shared mission as a woman, wife, mother. And I have shared some stories on courageous women fighters in Asia.

So how does it make us wiser? Are we wiser because God has given us women the special gift and ability to reproduce. And that we somehow have this natural instinct when we are born to feel that for us to be valued, to be simply what we are, feminine, beautiful and desired women - we must reproduce? Or is it just having babies is just what we do best?

We play with dolls, we go to school, and then to the university, we find a job, we meet a boyfriend, we get promoted, our ambitions stir, we fall in love, we get engaged, we run around doing everything for everyone, we organize parties, we fight for a cause, we pay our bills and debts, get a better job, we get married, we survive Raya with the in-laws,.... and then we have a baby. Is it because this is just what we do. Should it be, that the next obvious part of life is to have a baby? No, I don't think so. It should not be the 'done thing', it should not be that is what is expected of us. Or that "I am not getting any younger, and my parents wants a grandchild" or that "We need children to look after us as we age, and grow older", " a child will provide us companionship and care so that we are not alone in our old age", or " having a child will save our relationship, he/she will love me again and in fact he/she will love me even more and having a baby will solve all our problems." All the above are the very wrong reasons for wanting to have children.
Woman, having children is just what we do, right? Wrong!!! It is definitely the wrong reason to begin making a family.So be WISE, do not do so without giving it a thought. If you want a baby, it is because you and your husband are ready to share the love they have for each other - with a child they create through God's lovey,... because the baby is conceived out of love and passion that you have for each other, because you are both ready to nurture and raise a child and be a committed parent unconditionally. Child raising is a vocation, or divine calling, that God/Allah/ The Al-Mighty has created in each of us , the gift and talent oriented towards this specific purpose and way of life. Parenting is a vocation just like an occupation where we must be specially suited, trained or qualified to guide and raise our children to the best of our ability for the sake of the greater common good. WOW! Big words, but this is exactly what I am speaking about,.... be WISE. Wise enough to say STOP and THINK,... Woman, Do you really want a baby?

It is important that we understand the question. Think very hard and discuss with your husband about whether children will be a part of your marriage. Ideally you should have had a preliminary talk about this before the wedding,... seriously, and not wait for it to be ... "oh i thougth that you and I share the same opinion about this,..that it is the next step in our lives, and oops, it was an accident". No no no! It must be a discussion and conducted as formally as a discussion at work. Nothing doing that conceiving is God's gift. You have the right to say no. No, if one partner is unsure and not ready. And to always remember that there are a few absolutes,... and we have to accept it as a fact, in life and people - we do change our minds, views and ideas. Without a doubt, so talking is the most important thing that a couple should do again and again. And if you seek me for advice, don't just talk, but dance with your partner or do a role play in drama. Take out your used toys, child toys or even dolls and puppet. Be silly and improvise a scenario about being a family and having kids. Then later on paper, write the outcome. For those who draw, draw out a storyboard, others write without stopping - how doyou feel about childbirth, parenting and starting a family. And the most important thing to remember is that this is a decision between the two of you. Your parents, friends and other relatives have no say in whether you should get pregnant. You need to listen to your heart and your spouse, and no one else and do not succumb to " bila nak dapat anak?". Make a decision that works for both of you because deciding to become a parent is a huge decision as you'll be committing to a lifetime of work. Most importantly,... who will be the one having the responsibility to serve your lifetime to this vocation. Can you accept that? If you are leaving childraising to a third party such as a Nanny and babysitter to care for your child, which includes, diaper changing, food prepartion and having sleepless nights of caring for the crying child in sickness and in health, spritually guiding the child, be there to catch them when they fall, be there to transport them to places between work and out to buy groceries, potty train them, and as they grow up, follow up in their development, their needs and problems, teach them to be independent and disciplined, be firm and strict when you have to be, say no and take up the fights when there is a conflict, speak the truth and not hide away from responsibility of confronting with the child' issues and true needs, physically involved in their health and mental wellness, and more and more. And of course including but definitely not only participating in spending time with the child by just watch tv, talk baby talks about cartoon characters and playing video games, and read a book at night, and go to the arcade and movie. What about teaching them or sharing and doing household chores with them, over see their social interaction with friends and family .............. and more and more. Some parents, just prefer to leaveall this to the maids or those who looks after their kids, while thye are busy at work. That is not parenting, to my opinion, it seems like a relationship where it is more about the parent needing the child to play with at home rather than the child is the one in need for attention, care and love.
So moving on.

What to Consider

As a couple, you should consider your feelings about children, time management skills, your finances, and your goals for the future. Ask yourself whether you like kids, whether getting pregnant would disrupt your careers and how that would make you feel, and whether you could afford a child. (Kids can be pretty expensive, even in the early years.) Are you emotionally, physically, and financially prepared to bring a baby into the world?

Another important question to ask is whether your marriage is strong enough for pregnancy and child rearing. Sometimes, couples think that a baby will solve all their problems. In reality, a baby adds stress to the relationship. A baby needs your constant care and attention, and he or she will get in the way of alone time for the couple. There will be fun and satisfying moments – when baby says his first word or falls asleep with your finger in his hand. But there will also be moments of panic – when he won't stop crying no matter what you do or when he gets his first fever. And what about a special need child or disable,... are you ready?

Determine Whether You're Ready for Baby

Your marriage must have a strong foundation before you bring another life into this world or you won't be able to handle the inevitable stress that comes with being parents. In other words, if you find yourselves bickering all the time, having a difficult time adjusting to living together, or feeling lonely or unloved, you should work on your marriage first. Once you have resolved the issues creeping up on the two of you, then you can start to think about parenthood.

Keep Up the Communication

Those who are ready to take the plunge have more decisions to make. When is the right time to try and conceive? Again, you must talk it out. The woman, who will be the one getting pregnant, must consider her career and if she minds taking the time off that will be required during the pregnancy and right after delivery. Whether we like to admit it or not, having kids requires some sacrifice on the part of women when it comes to their careers. You have to decide if the time is right for you. These days, even fathers are taking paternity leave; therefore, he should also think about whether he can take the time necessary to start a family.

Other things to consider are your ages, which affect fertility and the level of energy you might have for raising kids, and the woman’s health and body. Is her body healthy enough to try conceiving and to carry a pregnancy to term? These are things you should discuss as a couple with your doctor.

Consider All the Possibilities

Parenting means being prepared for anything. You should discuss with one another what you’ll do if you end up carrying twins, being unable to conceive, having a difficult pregnancy, etc. You need to talk and listen, listen and talk. The pressure from family and friends can not get to you. In the end, the two of you have to live with your decisions. In the nicest possible way, tell everyone to essentially buzz off and leave the two of you to decide for yourselves whether children should enter your relationship.

So BE WISE. DANCE and PLAY OUT your roles,... and then discuss. Is this what you really want?

Friday, February 12, 2010

A woman wira behind every great man?

I am sharing with you a summarized and simple list of women fighters in our history, past and present. Some known and some forgotten

From Wikipedia. Tun Fatimah was a well-known Malaysia Heroin and daughter to the Malaccan Bendahara who lived during the 16th century. She was married to Malacca's Sultan Mahmud Shah as one of his consorts after all her male siblings were executed. She was of a Tamil Muslim descent, her father was Tun Mutahir, a Bendahara (Prime Minister) in Sultan Mahmud's time. Tun Mutahir was the descendant of Tun Kudu and Tun Ali's marriage (Both are prominent figures in the times of Sultan Muzzafar Shah, the 5th Sultan of Malacca).
She was the first Malay woman to lead her people like a charismatic sovereign queen. It is said that the Portuguese were more afraid of the Queen than her reigning Sultan husband. She was known to help Tun Perak, a Malaccan bendahara, to lead the Malays in their fight against the invading Portuguese Forces in the early 16th century. Unfortunately, the Malays had later lost the war to the more technologically powerful Portuguese army. According to Malaysian historians it was a sly foreign Datuk of Malacca who gave out the secrets to them to conquer the city, and thus had eventually made the Malays lost their control of it. Perhaps the fall of Malacca is also partly due to the Sultan's cruelty. When Malacca fell to Portugal in 1511, it seemed that it was mainly Tun Fatimah's work that expanded the new Malay Johore-Riau from Johore and the Riau islands to parts of Sumatera and Borneo. The Malaccan Sultan's power was almost restricted to a figurehead. Tun Fatimah created an alliance with neighbouring kingdoms by letting her children marry the royal families of Aceh, Minangkabau and Borneo.

Next refering to the Malaysiakini visit and talk with some of the battle-hardened 'communist insurgents' on their role in gaining independence in Malaya. Here are the Malayan Communist Party women fighters.

For fifty-two years they have been forgotten for their hardships. Their struggle and fight for gaining independence for our country and till today remained unrecognised. They were members and leaders of the fearsome 10th Regiment of the Communist Party of Malaya. They were the communist guerrilla fighters that had waged a war to get rid of the British since the formation of their regiment since May 21, 1949. However, with the declaration of Emergency in 1948, the party was banned for the next 12 years. They were women leaders such Suriani Abdullah, Shamsiah Fakeh, Siti Mariam Idris, Zainab Baginda to name a few. It was said that their involvement in the independence movement in Malaya had paved the way for women participation in politics today.

They played a big role in emancipating the kampung women on issues of being independent and free. They were warriors, heroines forgotten by history. Siti Mariam, known as Atom among her comrades, joined the revolution in May 1949. She was a section leader and was involved in major fights with the enemy. " I took up arms to free my nation, for my race and religion. I have no regrets for doing that". " Women fought just as fearlessly for our ideologies as we had an equal role to paly and were accorded the same level of support and respect. My only regret is that our fight for independence is being sidelined by the others," she said.

From the book The memoirs of Shamsiah Fakeh. She was a leader in the independence women who fought persistently right into the jungles of malaya - know as ratu rimba malaya. She was the head of Angkatan wanita Sedar (AWAS), which joined forces with Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API) as flag bearers in the demand for independence for the British. Shamsiah is also a member of the 10th Regiment, the Malay wing of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). Her life was filled with thorny obstacles. She got lost a few times in the jungle in pursuit of the armed struggle for independence. Her struggle was regardless of pace, whether in the jungle or the international arena. She and her husband Ibrahim were sent to China, Indonesia and Vietnam within a framework of inflaming the sprit of nationalism among the people of Southeast Asia who were still colonised then. Shamsiah sacrificed her life and limb to free Malaya through a path that was hers to choose. After she was expelled from MCP, she stayed on in China and continued her life there working in a ball-bearing factory. She and her family finally returned to Malaysia on 23 July 1994 . Upon her return home, she lived a moderate life in her old age with her children and grandchildren. She never regretted rising against the British and never regretted going into the jungle to join the Communist Party. She was grateful that her struggle had unsettled the colonisers.

And there is Aung San Su Kyi - a great fighter. The greatest ever wo-man martyrdom the world has seen. She is a courageous personality fighting for Myanmar's independence. She had experienced several years of jail life and was house arrested for more than six years. But that didn't stop her from pursuing her goal. Her hard work and selflessness brought a good image among the public. She fought for them and strived for them.
a note by qdagrist.

* I could only sit in awe reading and observing their history and spirit to fight for what they truly believe. Wishing I was just as brave, but I can only dance and creatively express my fights,... I find that it is a peaceful approach to stir awareness, but others like my ex, his circle of friend and family believes without a doubt that my joy and passion to create change and possess knowledge and attain enlightenment through my expressive 'fights' poses a 'danger' to my daughter and their surroundings, (but I shall not waste my time on the blog harbouring over that) I wonder how it is with the women fighters I mention above. I believe that they were well supported, or else they must have had/have husband, children and family members with strong resilience to cope and endure hardships and struggles ,... and yet standing on guard by their loved one believing, protecting and supporting her cause. Like a pillar of support. So, why not behind every great woman, is a great man? But no its a male dominated world, so I accept that behind every great man there is a great woman. But that does not mean tha I can't sing this song out loud,

Now, there was a time,
when they used to say,
that behind ev'ry great man,
there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change,
you know that it's no longer true.
So we're comin' out of the kitchen,
'cause there's something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves

Al-Fatihah for all those who have passed, unrecognized and forgotten. I shall dance for them.

Wanita Cekal

A song by Rod Crosby/Kitty Murray/Roger Murrah/Phillip White.

I have not heard the song myself. But lovely to have the lyrics posted to inspire us women that our men does appreciate us,.... though they do not express it enough, not just for their loved ones but also to their mothers.Therefore, I dedicate this song for all women out there, though the lyrics are a little mainstream....but sweetly a soft encouraging reminder for us not to lose hope, but to hold on to each other and appreciate our collective and global power, courage, determination. resiliency in love, truth, beauty and creativity. And to prioritize our time towards embodying the birth of our glory.

It takes a dreamer to get this far from my hometown
A real believer to look up when things are down
It takes a fool to let a good life fall apart
But, when a man knows something's missing in his heart,
It takes a woman

It takes forever to get beyond the bitter years
And if I ever get that far from here
I can look back, and say that I survived
but for a man to really make it in this life
It takes a woman

You can gain the world or lose your soul
but if you don't have someone to hold,
You can't feel the victory for defeat
Climb higher than you've ever gone
When you reach the top, you're still alone
flying high don't make a man complete
It takes a woman, it takes a woman.

Flying high don't make a man complete
Any fool can let a good life fall apart
But foolish pride can't fill an empty heart
It takes a woman, it takes a woman, it takes a woman

an additional poem I have added here, shared by Haslina Usman daughter of our greatest Malaysian Poet, for Kak Siti Zainun, a relative of our treasured Usman Awang (at )


Megah berseri dihari baru, tahun baru
membawa berkat penuh kesyukuran
kita menyambut hari untuk wanita cekal
hatinya mulia penuh cinta
hatinya kasih untuk si lara
hatinya rindu untuk kekasih
betapa santun berbudi bahasa
betapa sopan manis bicara

Ayuh langkah wanita cekal
usiamu baru bukan lama
wanita cekal penuh peradaban
menabur ilmu menabur minda
untuk adat yang harus dikenal

Mana dia si budi pekerti?
langkahmu dinanti si anak jati

Semoga kasih tidak mengenal usia
semoga Allah memberkatimu senantiasa

Kami sayang wanita cekal
pinjamkan kami hatimu sebentar
untuk kami menjadi engkau
melihat cinta dibalik embun
melihat fana dihujung dunia

Teruskan perjuanganmu
ajar kami apa yang kau lihat
lukiskan kami sebuah cinta
agar nanti kami beringat
tidak sesat tidak angkuh
tidak lupa diri tidal biadab.

Wanita cekal suara beralun
langkahmu sopan tiada menentang
selamat untukmu moga usia yang panjang
sambutlah kasih untukmu yang cekal

* Terima Kasih Lyna Usman dari Aida Redza.