During Hari Raya, the family was talking about a bunch of random things until we reached the topic of "now and then". Of course there's always going to be the reminder of how hard life was and how little money they used to have before, trying to make us feel guilty for taking more lemang and rendang than we ought to have consumed. But then I popped up a question that we have never asked before which would be in the same effect as "But surely you all feel lucky that we were born now right?" received with an unanimous answer from all them uncles and aunties, "NO!" (dgn expression disgusted plak tu!)
They all felt that we are sort of unlucky to live in this modern era where we have to be extra cautious of everything. 20 years ago, news about violence and racial problems were rarely heard. They all felt that life was more harmonious and easy going then. They all felt that it was a secure and safe place to be growing up in. The most violent thing was Starsky and Hutch or later, Miami Vice. People weren't crazy on adding more Benz and opening Swiss bank accounts. Leaders were closer and in touch with the rakyat. All of them hung out with friends from different ethnicity as evident in all the pictures that they all still keep.
When they were kids, they were only afraid of one thing when they play outside their house until maghrib which is Hantu Kopek but nowadays, we are afraid of thieves, pedophiles, rapist, flashers, kidnappers and what nots. It's a scary world, this 21st century. My uncles and aunts, despite the hardships, all wished they can raise their kids in the 70s and 80s Malaysia where people love thy neighbours regardless of colour. We give and take without expecting benefits in 8% interest. Where a kid can be sent to buy a loaf of bread 1/2 km away from home and they can count on everybody living along the street to look out for them.
I wanna tuck a flower behind my ears and wear frilly tops matched with bell bottoms and platforms if that's going to make this world a better place to live in.
photo credits: taken from Carry On Costumes UK