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A New Year’s resolution to break the mould

COMMENT | My mom reminded me to get my baju kurung ready yesterday – a relative was getting married and mom wanted me to dress up for the wedding.

“I am not going to wear a baju kurung,” I said.

“What will you be wearing then?” Mom asked.

“I don’t know but I will figure it out.”

“Don’t be silly. Wear a baju kurung. Everyone will be in their baju kurung. You wouldn’t want to be the only girl who isn’t wearing one.”

“Why not?”

“You will feel awkward and left out.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Stop arguing and just get your baju kurung ready,” she said sternly.


“On second thought, you can wear one of my baju kurung,” she said.

I’ve had the same conversations with my mom plenty of times, especially during wedding season. Come to think of it, my choice of attire isn’t the only thing my mom has opinions about.

I remember when I was 10, my mom made me learn how to scrub the toilets and clean the ceiling fan; at 12, she taught me to clean the fish and chicken she had bought from the wet market; and at 16 she taught me to cook a proper meal – all because she believes Mamak girls who are well trained with household duties bring honour to the family.

“That’s how you find a good mapillai (husband),” she used to tell me....

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