Saturday, February 20

(Un)spoken: A Celebration of Mother Tongue Day

My wife & I shared Bahasa Malaysia with a multinational audience at Teachers College, Columbia University.
I found comic books from Lat in Columbia's library & distributed them for the audience to read!

Feb 21 is International Mother Languages Day. The International Comparative Education society at Teachers College, Columbia University organised an event where members of the Teachers College community & beyond could share their mother languages. When I saw the call for proposals, I jumped at the opportunity to present at the event & share my love for Malaysia & our language, Bahasa Malaysia.

Look at these treasures I found!
As I considered the endless possibilities for presenting, I wondered if the superginormous Bulter library of Columbia University had any Malaysian comic books. That would be fun; people would be able to flip through pictures & illustrations of Malaysia instead of hearing boring ol' me yap yap yap away. An easy online search revealed that there were 10 titles from Lat. Needless to say, I took all of them with me.


I wanted to speak Malay but they wouldn't be able to understand me. So, I roped in my wife as an interpreter; We were a tag team; I would lead in Malay & she would follow in English. We both dressed in cultural attire in order to be walking displays on that day. We were one of the few to do so. But, I believe we cemented Malaysia into the minds & hearts of everyone present on that day.

Thanks so much to the organisers! We hope that we represented our country well & gave the audience a memorable presentation. We've benefited greatly from the event & learned so much from the other presenters!


This is a draft of what I presented that night:
1. Salam
Selamat malam! Nama saya, Jarod. Nama dia, Michelle. Saya akan menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia; dan, dia akan menggunakan Bahasa Inggeris. Kami berasal daripada Malaysia! Ada siapa di sini yang datang dari Malaysia juga?!

2. Ajar
Pertama sekali, saya ingin mengajar para hadirin satu ayat dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Saya seorang guru dan semua guru akan selalu tanya soalan ini, "boleh tak?" Dan, murid-muridnya akan selalu menjawab, "boleh lah!", walaupun semamangnya tak boleh. Mari kita cuba bersama, "Boleh lah!" Semua yang saya kongikan pada malam ini boleh dilupakan, tapi jangan sekali-kali lupa, "Boleh lah!"

3. Malaysia
Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang berbilang kaum dan pelbagai bahasa. Saya ingin mengambil peluang ini untuk berterima kasih kepada pihak penganjur kerana memberikan peluang kepada kami untuk berkongsi. Boleh tak?

4. Baju
Yang dipakai oleh si jelita ini adalah baju kebaya. Cantik tak? Di Malaysia, kami suka ulang benda yang sama 2 kali. Kalau orang tanya, "cantik tak?" Jawab, "cantik cantik!" Cantik tak?
Yang saya pakai ini adalah baju melayu. Baju ini dipakai untuk upacara rasmi dan penting di negara kami. Boleh tak? Cantik tak?

5. Komik
Saya tak ingin untuk bercakap panjang lebar; oleh itu, saya telah sediakan benda yang para hadirin paling suka. Apa dia? Buku komik! Saya akan edarkan buku ini; Buka & bacalah kandungannya untuk lebih kenali Malaysia. Tetapi, ingat, buku-buku ini mesti dipulangkan ke depan. Boleh tak? Cantik tak?

Sekian, terima kasih!

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