Who are you, Mom?

Growing up in a traditional gender-relation household, I had never turned a critical eye to a figure, which has been central in my life, my sister and my dad’s life- our life as a whole essentially- my mother.

We may have taken her for granted: that is she is our mom and his wife that she was obliged to do all the roles and the assumed responsibilities assigned (by the society, by the cultural values) to her. We never questioned why she had to cook for us on a daily basis, while simultaneously help dad earn the monthly income. We did not ask why she needed to get our dress ready, or manage the daily housechores just to keep our days rolling…

Whilst she has been actually playing a central role in our life, she has actually never been recognized as an individual who essentially has her own emotion, and her life. We take her for granted that her life is ours so we tend to forget what she actually wants and enjoys the most, because for us, she is a mother who will ultimately enjoy whatever her children may enjoy.

We forget that our mom, before she turned to be our life savior, is a woman. Her identity as a woman who needs to takes her own time, enjoys her own pleasures is unconciously absorbed by her children, her husband, and her family’s needs. Her joys eventually turned to be what the children’s joys or the family’s. We take her for granted that she will forever be by our sides so we often forget to ask how she is doing or send a little a prayer, while she constantly does that for us. For her children. For the family.

We easily forget her maiden name, as we got used to her other identities, which often excludes her own name. She is called by “Ny. Pram” or “Ibu Desi” or “Mama Zakia”, the new identity which indespensibly emphasizes the husband or the first child’s name and gradually removes herself from her own identity. We never ask whether or not she is happy with that. We take her for granted, because she is our mom.

With this little note, I just wanted to remind myself that my mom, just like any other woman, is first of all, a woman- a human being who needs her own time to be up, down, sad, happy, and most importantly to be herself.

She has sacrified so much to the point she could sell her own soul to raise her children, so it may be time for us, to at least give her some moment to make her realize that she is also A WOMAN, the most beautiful one. She can get married and has children, but we should never allow her to lose herself.

*in my deepest reflection of Ibu, the most important figure in life.

Summer 2016, PNW


Happy Birthday, the most important Introvert in my life



Through the years, I have been learning about you, about us… Most importantly, the significant and noticeable difference between you and me….

Through the years, that is our difference that I admire so much, from you, from us…

Happy Birthday, one important introvert in life. I love you. We’ve been thru a lot and so much- the good times and the bad times, and they all only tell me how much I am blessed to have you, in my life. Let’s have more good times, adventures, traveling moments in more countries, more continents, L.

Selamat 21 Juni. Selamat hari lahir, kakak lebih tua sehariku. May your dreams and aspirations come true!:)

— Mengutip katamu: “I have loved you since I was 17, Nelly”, and so have I, L!

PNW, Ramadan, 2016


Being ignorant or being linguistically incapable?

Saturday morning drive- very quiet with only few cars in the traffic. The sky is gloomy. I drove myself mindlessly (hehehe not really, but driving on Saturday morning is really nice and refreshing) to the swimming pool for my routine.

The pool was surprisingly full – with lots of middle-aged and adults, and ahjummas and ahjussis hieihihe. This city is a multiracial city with Korean settlers as the most dominant Asian race.

After changing to my swimming suit, I walked my self to the pool. As I entered, I looked around and found that some lanes were already occupied. The far right and left were full with ahjummas paddling around exercising their legs.

My level of sensitivity is being alert and so is my energy level; thereby I still walked confidently, regardless the “looks” from the ahjummas. I swam for a few laps and stopped for a while catching up my breath, and a middle-aged caucasian lady approached me ” Is your suit for Triathlon?” She asked nicely, and a short conversation occurred. I explained it to her about my suit- which is outstandingly different from others.

I appreciate this kind of gesture, while at the same time, I tend to hate people’s ignorance. As I was swimming, I was thinking that it is easy for people to be ignorant and stay in their comfort zone, but living in a multiracial city like this I feel like it is such a waste not to get to know others. But again, I think the problem lying with these bunch of ahjummas who are silently glaring at me (which I assume due to my attire) might have been due to their linguistic skill. The caucasian lady and the other lady were linguistically capable to have a conversation with me, so we could decrease our gaps. On the other hand, these ahjummas, who I assume to have lived in their Korean circles and Korean town, rarely have their opportunity Β to master their English especially in this city where Korean landscape makes its significant appearance. That said, they may have very limited access to English speaking people and to actively use their English. Up to this point, I feel that their curiosity to get to know other people is being limited by their linguistic inability. On the other side of the coin, I wish I could have spoken a better Korean so I could at least initiate a conversation with these ahjummas.

With all that said, being a multilngual is always a plus and benefitting, right?

** as I walked out from the pool to the locker, again I caught a pair of eyes from an ahjumma sitting in the jacuzzi. I smiled at her, but she just paid attention to my suit too seriously that she seemed to let go my smileπŸ˜€