Friday, 2 November 2007

The Clothes of Love, Hope and Faith...


Sigh...


Just yesterday, my friend Jiun Wei, and I paid a visit to Asia Community Service First Step Intervention Centre. We had just finished out exams and we wanted to go there to say 'Thank You' to the staff and parents there who shared with us their experiences and indeed their lives with us about raising children with Down Syndrome, which was of great help in our project...

It would not be an exaggeration to say that had it not been for them, our project would have been a complete failure...


We also wanted to return some books and resource materials to Khai Yue's parents, Uncle Woon Hun and Aunty Chi Ying




It was great going back there...The parents and children, having seen us before, were not kekok this time around, and we had much more fun than when we had to take notes or carry a camera!



We played around with little Shahril, little Ru-Yeu, little Shamalan, little Shi Yong, and of course, little Khai Yue...


I hope to one day tell you all the story of little Shamalan, with his pictures, but I gotta wait for the greenlight from his dear mummy first!



Anyway, in conversation with Aunty Chi Ying, she told me of how there were quite some people who refused to wear her maternity clothes (even though they were lovely, quite new ones) upon hearing that she had given birth to a child with Down Syndrome, and how they refused to wear Khai Yue's clothes too...

I have seen these clothes, and they are indeed lovely, beautiful little things...



These people believed the clothes were 'sui', and would bring bad luck to the mother and/or child...One lady even said out loud enough about the child being 'not right'!


When she told me that, I could feel my heart pound very fast, mostly out of indignation...


It was at this point that I realised that we were seriously behind in terms of awareness...I don't know about other races, but this 'sui' business among the Chinese can sometimes go too far...



I am not disgusted at the behaviour, but I felt quite a stab in the chest upon hearing such a statement...I would readily admit that my gut instinct was disgust, but I do realise it is because there is still seriously lack of awareness among the members of the public about many things...


Like how Down Syndrome comes about (not contagious, not hereditary), like how AIDS is transmitted (likewise, not contagious!) and a whole host of other problems...



I have only one thing to say: If someone in future gives my child the clothes of a child who has Downs (or any other condition), I would proudly let my child wear the clothes...Likewise, I would proudly wear the clothes of a mother who carried a Downs child...

These mothers and their children are special people, and I would wear take their lovely clothes with honour...After all, how many people in this world can rightfully call themselves 'Special Children' or 'Special Mothers'?



I would like to believe these clothes come not with bad luck, but with plenty of good ones...Clothes that come with a lot of love, hope, faith and resilience...



Now, isn't that really special?




18 comments:

Nightwing said...

U go girl!!!

A simple no 'thank you' will be suffice...why have to add...bring 'bad/Sui' luck.

As if buy new ones will change things. What is meant to be ...to be.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is very frustrating to see such nonsense! I know! I have people who tells me that I shouldnt let my daughter play with special children/mix around with malays or indians/watch p ramlee movies and enjoy malay songs..... Sigh... I am too tired to explain or correct such people la.

I dont think it is ignorance... it is a choice these dumb ass make and that is to live in oblivion!

Pearls

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

D,

Knowing our people, as in some if not most, we are lacking far behind when it comes to awareness. In fact I just had a conversation with doc TA about this very subject. Its not just one particular race, all races are guilty of not expanding their minds and to be more sensitive. Even a simple understanding ought to do it. but no. every now and then I’ll bump into this bunch of narrow-minded people, which is unfortunate.

Being superstitious is one thing but being ignorant is completely another thing. I guess pearl’s right after all. They’re just plain dumb-ass.

david santos said...

My friend, Please!

Send an email to the Brazil embassj your country and repor the injustice that the brazilian courts are making with this girl

Thank you

The resignation is to stop the evolution. (David Santos in times without end)

David Santos

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Daphne,

'Awareness' of a lot of things are lacking on our shores. I ahve watched a program on tv on down syndrome once and found out what you said before that kids with DS can be so intelligent. The ones treated as normal children with proper nurturing grew up to be independent people.

Over here, due to lack of awareness these kids are deemed 'abnormal' and therefore they grow up missing out on all the benefits of being independent. So sad.

Similarly dyslexia. There is this lack of knowledge that parents and teachers too view them as slow learners that they grow up thinking that, whence they are as intelligent as any normal kid.

Let me tell you many years ago when I did my course in the UK, my colleague is dyslexic and he was given extra 30 mins to do the exam. He is now an architect, a dyslexic architect! You see there is high awareness there and my colleague is sure is lucky to be born there!

Well, lack of awareness leads to superstition! Whoa! This is thick amongst our people even the educated ones. Being superstitious pulls us back many steps in any direction we wish to go. Good post Daphne.

winniethepooh said...

i guess if the new mother decided not to take the clothes, its just so that she can have a piece of mind knowing she has done everything possible to 'protect' her child. I agree with nightwing that 'what is meant to be' will be.

It is indeed hurtful and not right of that lady to comment aloud her thoughts the clothing is 'sui' or bad luck. sometimes its better if they just keep their tots to themselves

Puteri said...

Lack of awareness, superstitions, all those contribute to ignorance.

My kids wear a lot of used clothes that I got from the thrift store, and I too got quite a few of my maternity clothes from the thrift store. They are/were good clothes, and to associate clothings with "bad luck" are simply idiotic.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi NightWing,

You know, I didn't think of it that way...

As in that "a simple no 'thank you' would suffice"...

Now that you mention it, sounds like it's more about being rude than about lack of awareness...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Pearls,

Thanks for coming over...

Hmmm...I don't know whether to agree with you or not! =) I guess in a way, living in oblivion is a choice, but what about if you just didn't get the exposure? Is that possible? I actually don't know...

But what I do know is that ignorance is not bliss if you hurt people's feelings...

As for people who say can't do this, can't watch this, can't talk to so and so, Pah!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

Wah...Guess everyone thinks ignorance is it...

In a way, yeah lor...But I wonder how to remedy it? You can't just force people to be aware if they don't want lor...

But being narrow minded or ignorant or whatever does not give you the right to hurt people!

You don't need education or whatever to know that people can get hurt!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Mr Santos,

Sorry, but I don't follow...Could you please explain or something? Sorry...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Ruby,

Yes! They can grow up wonderfully...And they do! The success stories can really bring a tear to your eyes...=)

As for dyslexia and all, we're still very far behind...I know when you apply for foreign universities (or even when you take foreign examinations), they ask if there are any special considerations to be taken into account!

I think that is really great because it recognises that everyone is different! Which is really wonderful...

As for lack of awareness, they really must be something we can do...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

I understand about doing the best for your child, but if you knew how Downs happens, you would know you are not jeopardising your child right? I guess this leads back to awareness again...

Haih...

Sad...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Puteri,

Yeah, you got a point...If you buy from a thrift store, you won't know who wore it before! In this case, you know the child's mother...It is your own friend and still can think such things...

I can't wait to go overseas, in this sense...I love thrift stores! Hehe....=)

malaysianminx said...

hiya daphne, love your blog my dear. its great to hear that we have people like you around, people who want to create more awareness about the special citizens of malaysia.

its going to be a long hard battle to create more awareness and we need all the help we can get!

kudos for starting this blog and holler should you need any help.

p/s u have been linked to my blog

malaysianminx said...

hiya daphne, love your blog my dear. its great to hear that we have people like you around, people who want to create more awareness about the special citizens of malaysia.

its going to be a long hard battle to create more awareness and we need all the help we can get!

kudos for starting this blog and holler should you need any help.

p/s u have been linked to my blog

mott said...

DOH! I just managed to get onto ur site. So..sorry that my email is abit ketinggalan zaman. Didn't know ur exams dah habis!

Anyway, I always thought, no matter what..every child is special. Being kiam siap..I'd rather buy 2nd hand. But many ppl I know do pantang this..esp if it's their very first child.

A lot of ppl aren't exposed to such experiences..and I think if they were, they'd have a change of mindset. Problem is getting ppl to volunteer..voluntarily. Heh!

tokasid said...

Dear Daphne:

"Sui", 'Sial', 'kenan'..whatever they want to call it.Its this kind of mentality that hurts others intentionaly or unintentionaly.Basically, why do ppl believe in Sui,Sial,and kenan? Ignorance?Thats part of it.The other thing is that they just swallow whatever their ancestors beliefs into their own. In the olden days,decades or centuries ago, there is little knowledge about embryo. But now, embriology is so advanced and the knowledge about it is at your finger tips(at your PC keyboard). There are lots of light reading articles in newpapers and magazines. There are lots of handouts at govt maternity clinics in various languages to make one understand.

Maybe , whatever Kementerian should come out with an advertisement like that of the Petronas' did during Raya/CNY and Divali. This advert should show that Down's and others are not infectious. maybe the giant companies like Petronas or Maxis or Celcom or Digi can together make this a reality. Then you show this special advert during the prime viewing time. During News slots. During soap operas slots. During the Korean or japas or Thai or Chinese or Indonesian serial slots.

You put it regularly and ppl will remember like the "burung apa? Murai...Burung apa? Murai...".

I believe this will bring lots of awareness across our ppl.