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I had an assignment at a girl’s school behind the …

I had an assignment at a girl’s school behind the blood centre. The school had organised a farewell party for their principal. So, as with all school functions, special performances by the students is a must.

I have forgotten how fun school performances can be. It doesn’t matter if it sucks. What matters is that you and/or your friends get to be involved in it. The performances weren’t perfect. At times they were corny. But they were done earnestly and I could see that the students gave their all. Kudos to them.

The first performance was a sketch of a scene from eliza doolittle (was this ever made into a movie?) – where , thanks to her dedicated “teacher”, she lost her cockney accent and learnt to speak proper (pronounced propa) English. The actresses tried to do their best impersonation of a cockney accent. The chinese girl got it half right but the malay girl sounded more australian than cockney. But it was, as Kak Gee of Msian Idol would put it, a “good try”.

The second performance was “traditional” dances from the three major ethnic groups. Pretty good choreography and nice costumes too. I remember when I was in school, we didn’t have such costumes or rather the school didn’t have the budget for such things. We had to wear our own clothes so we’d end up looking “eclectic”.

I thought it was nice that a tudung-clad malay girl was included in the Indian dance. Based on experience, tudung girls can get left out from such activities because of her tudung. I wanted to join the choir group when I was in school but didn’t feel like I would fit in because of my tudung (I wore them throughout secondary school). I was also interested in being in the school band but was “discouraged” by the uniform that I would have had to wear.

I honestly felt that I was restricted from doing certain things with my tudung. I wish I did not feel that way but at the time, that was how I felt.

On hindsight, I wish I was the type of teenager who would push boundaries. I wish I had the guts (more importantly, the bright idea) to become the first tudung-clad girl to join the school band and wear tudung while playing for the band. Some girls actually take off their tudung to participate in such activities.

It’s ironic that I no longer cover my hair these days. I made that decision when I got the offer to go to uni.

In school, I was one of those who would wear tudung to school and take them off when I go shopping. I made a promise to myself that I will not do that in uni. So I have been tudung-free since. I will eventually put on the tudung, insya-allah.

No one forced me to wear the tudung in school. I willingly made the decision to wear tudung to school at age 10. When I do wear tudung full-time, I want the decision to come from the heart, the same way it did 17 years ago. We’ll see….

P/S: I can’t explain why but I was so ravenous last night. So I ate more than I normally do for dinner. I even pinched from my boyfriend’s plate. Not good. Must try harder.



Suziemclean is a Piscean who can't swim. She is 40 and married to a wonderful (younger) man who makes her laugh, and finds her corny sense of humour "endearing". She lives with her husband, family and cat in Shah Alam.

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