||W.P & Selangor Branch, Malaysia / January 2009
- Contributor: Prisca Totu
Christmas and New Year in Sabah, East Malaysia
It's Christmas and new year 2009 will follow. What do we have to do to mark the end of 2008?? Sensei Yacob happened to be holidaying in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. But it did not stop him from joining in a family gathering as part of Shorinji Kempo Selangor's community outreach program.
On 28 December 2008, a telematch comprising traditional games was held. Seeing the enthusiasm on each participant's face trying to outdo the other in eating a banana hung on a string with the skin was really hilarious. Then came the game of running with the egg on a spoon, followed by brick race which saw most of the bricks reduced to pieces due to the rough handling by the big-muscled boys. Spectators of the other game where participants were required to retrieve coins from a plate of black coffee powder with their tongues were reduced to tears which much laughter and gaiety. Another game requiring a participant to sit on a betelnut leave strip and pulled by his/her partner had some tearing their shorts due to the friction....it was indeed a joyous occasion.
The merriment actually started on Christmas Day when all the family members started to gather at the home of Mr Alfred Totu and ended on the second day of new year 2009 which saw the members leaving one after the other..
New Year Eve saw the group gathering not only to welcome the final countdown for 2009, it was also the moment long awaited especially by the children who participated in the telematch - and they wanted their prizes!
Christmas Day was the exchange of gifts. New Year Eve was prize-giving ceremony with another much-awaited final activity... It was the hunt for MS TRANSVESTITE. The participants were the young boys who had sportingly agreed to be made up, wear tight-fitting ladies' attire and who also tried to squeeze their big feet into the ladies' shoes and sandals. Most of them ended up putting on shoes of their own choice. The Sensei himself participated, unfortunately he failed to make the Top 5 due to his big belly.
On New Year Eve, several members stayed up till the wee hours of the morning. Some did not sleep at all. At midday, everyone was once again preparing for another activity - picnic. The picnic spot was a popular attraction with clear fresh water streaming down from the mountains. The weather was nice with the sun shining up above, probably understanding that the fresh water would be cold and the picnickers needed to be warm to enjoy the dip. Wow! Swim and dip! Swim and dip and then stomach hungry...members came up to enjoy the foods and drinks brought from home...simple dishes but quite mouth-watering.
The gathering was indeed very enjoyable for the whole group who were made up family members scattered all over the country and who came home just to be together - another homecoming and reunion. It was a tradition for the group to gather together and reunite on Christmas. It was also a time of forgiveness and of sharing. The spirit of sharing, love and friendship was obvious amongst the members. Aaaah...it was indeed a happy occasion and Sensei and family were happy, knowing that should they decide to come again in 2009, they would be welcome and once again experience the happiness. It was like home sweet home....