I was thinking about special days today when I looked at the calendar to double check when “spring” starts. Seasons have a different meaning here in the tropics, and we are not waiting for snow to melt, flowers to bloom, trees to bud, or any of the signs of spring I am used to seeing. They say we have a rainy season and a dry season here, but it is HOT year round. While I was consulting the calendar I checked for Easter. I am living in a Muslim country after spending 11 of the last 12 years in Germany, and while Germany is not “Christian” Easter was evident in a big way there. The last 8 months have actually been a bit confusing calendar wise. As the weather does not really change, time seems quite nebulous. Special days are different here and I do not really know them yet. Malaysia is a mix of cultures, with the dominant ones being Malay, Chinese, and Indian. There are 14 national
Special days are different here and I do not really know them yet. Malaysia is a mix of cultures, with the dominant ones being Malay, Chinese, and Indian. There are 14 national public holidays and sometimes additional ones depending on the state. When I arrived in July and was surprised to see what I think of as Christmas lights still up on a main road I was told that they were for the festive season, but that Malaysia has a lot of festive seasons. At school, we have had dress up days for Hari Raya, Deepavali, and Chinese New Year. Many shops are open 365 days a year here, so even when it is a local holiday it is sometimes hard to know, except that the malls will have elaborate decorations and there are often fireworks at night. Last week there were fireworks one evening and I have no idea why- consulting the calendar did not help me at all. I look forward to continuing to learn more about the special days here, but know that many traditions and celebrations will always be a surprise to me. Much as I love my memories of special days in the past I am happy to anticipate new ones as well!