Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This is History.

It's the one week Deepavali and Hari Raya holidays, as everybody knows it. This is the time when students who have finished their finals in their respective schools come out to play - especially those little kampung Malay daredevils who break the law by setting countless of homemade firerackers in the dark of the night, causing little girls in queit, peaceful homes around the neighbourhood to run and cry in fright while the rest of the family jumps in their seats with the sound of every BANG and BOOM! This is also the time for students (namely, me) who are still not done with their final examinations to curse heavily under their breaths at those little buggers each time they set off an explosive that causes our handwritings to skid till the middle of the page while we try our best to concentrate on that seemingly boring Science textbook! But usually, when it comes to me, it only involves my fingers and the keyboard and me jumping unwillingly in my seat.

Seriously. I could barely concentrate on anything at all! I know I should be putting in more effort on this and stay away from the computer but I don't see where this is getting. It only takes me a couple of minutes before I start straying away from the History notes and start clicking mindlessly on the mouse instead. It's already hard enough to concentrate with the occasional distant KABOOSH! of firecarckers, what else, with mom and dad breathing down my neck most of the time. They like barging into my room without knocking to catch me red-handed, not studying, hoping that it'll be different each time they do it. Too bad, it's always the same thing that meets their eyes - me, unaware of the surrounding and absorbed into the digital world of reality. For one thing, I don't bother to even pretend to be sucked into the book when I hear their footsteps approaching because I'm not a liar and certainly am not, pretentious. There are only a few instances when they walk in on me with a girl studying. Still, chances are low.

Anyway, I was trying to get into some History notes today - despite the fact that I will never be able to make it in time for the examinations, seeing that I have, practically, the whole book to cover - after doing the laundry. I think it took me a good 10 minutes (must be a record!) on Reformation during the Renaissance period before I turn my head to the monitor with the excuse of changing songs in my head. Randomly, I clicked on Google and 'sejarah nota form 4' (Form 4 History Notes) in the searchbox. I don't know what has gotten into me but partly, it was because my Flickr page wasn't loading that made me clicked on Google and did a random search. A total waste of time, I know. But I was bored and the my inner self was hoping to get something online to read through the monitor, instead of that hideous History textbook. Who knows, it might even help me concentrate better. I couldn't find any decent notes or even sites that had anything to do with notes but I stumbled upon an article written by a student on the History textbook in The STAR Citizen's Blog. It appeared as the first result on my search, so I clicked on it.

It's not what it seems to be....
Posted by: starznchoco

As a form four student studying in a government school, I am not too happy with the history (sejarah) syllabus that we are currently learning for the past four years in school. I am not against history, in fact I enjoy learning it.

But pore through the History textbook and you get the feel that History is painted in a very different light compared to other history books, for example in the overseas. The thing is there are subtle, very subtle, underlinings leaning towards the Islam faith.Everything is Islam-ized. My Islam friends, I do not hold anything against you. We are all Malaysians although we have different beliefs and cultures.

But really, for example the chapter we learnt about the period when tanah melayu was under the British colony. The textbook puts them in a very bad situation. Take Francis Light for example, did he really plot and scheme maliciously behind the Sultan's back to take over Penang? Another history textbook not written by local Malaysians that gives an unbiased view about the same incident might be very different.

The textbooks especially Form Two textbook, has a very distorted view about the British people. I don't think they are that evil and cruel. The point is, our history textbooks are written by prejudiced people that are influencing the younger generation. If I didn't have the chance to explore other history`reference books from the overseas, I would have grown up thinking that all 'penjajah asing' are very bad people out to get us.

It isn't directly in plain sight on paper, but after studying Sejarah for four years now, the general impression it leaves me with is not a good one. There are really too much extravagant praises lavished on the various Muslim leaders and national heroes. Yes, I do salute them but don't overdo it right?

There are times when after studying for my upcoming Sejarah exam, I feel so confused and really hope things will change for the better in the future.

Honestly, I wasn't shocked at all. Didn't have that "profound amazement" look on my face and my jaw didn't dropped to the floor at all. I smiled after reading what starznchoco has written, finally knowing that I'm not the only who thinks this way! I've always thought that the there was something wrong with the textbook all these while but never bothered to give it a second thought, seeing that this was another compulsory subject to pass that brought little significance to the happenings of the world. I totally agree with what she has said. What about you? Do you find this even a little bit true? Well, this is just a thought to share. I don't plan on criticising any party (for now) held to be responsible for this... "imbalance". I still have to go back to memorising the effects of Renaissance and other boring craps the History textbook has to offer!

It's 1.15 a.m. and the KABOOMS have yet to stop for a peaceful night. It's really annoying that the explosions happen so frequently without any warnings but as a true Malaysian, I respect the other races and the way they celebrate their festivals. I mean, hey, when it comes to Chinese New Year, we Chinese don't get any better from this. I wonder if anyone files complaints or blogs about it when it's my turn to light the detonator! Though, it still mystifies me how they obtain their fireworks (apart from homemades) with the goverment putting a heavy bann on it and numerous reports of seized firecrackers, especially during the holidays. I guess that's being truly Malaysian also - one always knows where to get his goods (if you know what I mean). I'd like to wish all my Malay friends (and friends) and all Malaysians a very warm Selamat Hari Raya! Best wishes!

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