Bahasa Malaysia and Flowers by zerotech

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 1

									First, the inedible flowers. In Bahasa Malaysia, flowers on tyres does
not mean the pretty part of a plant enveloped by delicate petals. When a
traffic policeman warns you that there are "no flowers" on your tyres, he
is actually saying the tyres are so badly worn that he himself cannot see
the tread patterns anymore. Oh, oh! You are in trouble with the Malaysian
traffic law.

At the end of a financial year, employees look forward to "flowers" from
Malaysian bosses. Most probably, an extra month's bonus of salary is as
beautiful as flowers in their eyes. The same thought applies to "flowers"
given by the banks, in this case, it is the interest. The lucky worker
who receives "flowers" from his boss and bank can afford to buy "fiery
flowers". He ignites the fuse of a "fiery flower" to send it shooting
high up into the sky where it blossoms into a grand display of fireworks.

As with other cultures, the female gender is considered a figurative
flower in Bahasa Malaysia. A teenage girl is a "bud" who soon matures
into "a flower in the garden" meaning she is single and available to be
picked as a wife. If a man chooses her to be "the flower adorning" his
hair, he marries her. By using beauty products flooding the Malaysian
market, a married woman doesn't have to go out of shape after having
children. She can still be "the flower" of a social gathering, that is,
the fairest of them all.

A grand social event such as a Malay wedding calls for "assorted
flowers". Various flowers are mixed with shredded leaves of pandanus,
rough skinned lime and perfume in a small basket. This basket is placed
in the nuptial chamber and smoked with incense. Imagine the fragrance
that fills up the room. The newlyweds are flanked by replicas of coconut
blossoms as they sit together on a dais fit for a king. A gift of "egg
flower" is given to the guests to a Malay wedding. Traditionally, it is
made by inserting the stalk of artificial flower to an egg. A modern way
of making "egg flower" these days is to hang the egg in an attractive way
on the stalk of a flower.

The flower with the strangest identity is the national flower of
Malaysia, namely, the hibiscus. From here, we are talking about edible
flowers. The Malays boiled roots of the white hibiscus to cure a range of
diseases such as flu, eye and skin ailments. Chinese used hibiscus juice
to colour their hairs while the Portuguese used it to colour their shoes.
In view of its usefulness and elevated national status, it is strange
there fore that "hibiscus" also refers to an immoral woman in Bahasa
Malaysia!

Folks who love blue cheese should be able to understand Malaysians'
attachment to their blue-colour rice salad and desserts. The food
colouring is produced naturally from the "pea flower". It is of little
wonder then, the mention of "pea flower" in Bahasa Malaysia makes one's
mouth waters. To spice up the conclusion, cloves are not "just cloves"
but the indispensable " clove flowers" in many Malay cuisines.

								
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