March 4, 2016
The Call to Prayer
It is interesting to me how little actual research I did before moving to Kuala Lumpur. I had visited once before (for a week 8 years before), so that seemed like enough. My lack of research means I am often surprised- sometimes happily, sometimes less so, but usually I just feel uninformed.
Today as I sat and commented on some of my students’ slices, all was quiet. I live in an apartment on the 15th floor, so without the air conditioning on I can usually hear a bit of “street noise”- traffic, some construction, and not much else. Five times a day the call to prayer is heard all over KL. It seems that wherever you are a mosque is near enough so that you can hear the call. It lasts for only a short time, but it is an aural reminder that I am living in a very different place. Although I am not religious I enjoy the call and the moments just after- for me it is a reminder of a different kind- a sort of pause in my busy days to just stop for a moment and be. I know that in the US right now there is a lot of controversy about Syrian refugees moving to the US and there is ongoing talk about concerns about Islamic based terrorism. Malaysia is a Muslim country and I never gave that a thought before moving here- to me people are people- nobody can be defined by one part of who they are.
Tonight as I heard the call to prayer I reflected on how lucky I am to be able to see so much of the world. Then the rain poured down to refresh the city. I wish everyone had the chance to experience different cultures as an opportunity to be refreshed.