Call me silly…but I am very obsessed with looking at people’s ears…especially the left one. Whenever I was introduced to a guy, I would look straight at his left ear right after I took in his face.
The presence of an earing would alert me to the very likely possibility that this guy could be gay (and I don’t mean he is happy; got that?)
This week is the “Gay Awareness Week” at the uni.
Hahah. Quit rubbing your eyes in disbelief; you read it right the first time. I put the words in red and I bold them real nice…so stop doubting your visual senses. They are working just fine, trust me.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking about how vastly different would my whole worldview be if I study in Malaysia instead of in OZ. In Australia, they look out for everybody’s rights, at least in principles and theory, if not in the actual practicality of it. So, I am exposed to many different cultures and different outlook in life and I thank God that so far, not once have I ever been tempted to deviate from the true way of life.
Our uni have Cultural Week where all the International STudents from various countries could promote their food and traditional dances and so on. We also have Christian Awareness Week and we used to have Islamic Awareness Week (when Brother Danu was still around and me and my batch were in 1st and 2nd year of med school and therefore relatively less busy than now) and we also have Queer Awareness Week.
I could not recall Judaism Awareness Week (oh yeah, there was a period of time I was obsessed with looking at people’s noses, too) but I think that is mainly because Judaism is a religion specific to the Jewish race. They don’t tend to promote their religion and they don’t welcome converts with all that much earnest enthusiasm, anyway.
During those days when I was still at the uni and was involved in UNIS (now I am mainly in John Hunter Hospital every day; and some nights too, ugh!), organizing the Islamic awareness week was one of the best experience a Muslim student could ever have when she/he studies in overseas. Setting up booth, handing out pamphlets and brochures, promoting lectures and talks, booking lecture theaters, and organize the lunch barbecue…it was great fun.
It gave me lots of experience promoting my religion to curious questioners who visit our booth. I learned many English Islamic vocabs. I mean, my command in English is very, very basic….I read a lot of novels and that’s why I don’t have any problems writing ENglish essays back in my school days, and I watch a lot of movies and that took care of my conversational English skills. And if you want me to explain medical stuff in ENglish….that is relatively easy peasy! But try translating words like ‘akidah’ into ENglish at the spur of the moment…or ‘Syariah’, or ‘Fikah’ and whatnots. Maybe, if you ponder real long and hard, you could come up with just the right ENglish words for them…but it was a struggle while you actually have to explain at that very minute to an Australian who knew NOTHING (zip, zero, nada, zilch) about Islam and at the same time try to sound as convincing as possible. (How convincing can you be if all the words that you use in constructing a simple sentence are alternated with many ermms and err and ehem ehem…so pathetic!)
By the way, akidah is ‘creed’ in English. Syariah is ‘Islamic Law’ and Fikah is ‘Islamic Jurisprudence’ (what’s the difference between the two of them also need to be explained), Jihad is ‘to strive/to struggle in the cause of Allah’. Mahzab is ‘sect’. I found that all out at last. Hahahha. I mean those are all really simple words but if you don’t think of them beforehand, it would be hard for you to come up with them at the spur of the moment, especially when the question asked is the provocative one and you are in a panic.
Such a shame that now we don’t have Islamic Awareness Week anymore…because now our batch is already in 4th year and we are very busy. And the 5th year seniors have to go outside Newcastle for their respective rural placements. The Saudi brothers are not that keen…the Saudi sisters are quite passive, in my opinion, but that’s just their culture.
I had been to all those activities. I had been to Christian Awareness Week when I was in first year of Med School with a couple of my friends and I remember feeling so damn awkward being the only Muslim in that large lecture theater. I was even given a Bible and I still have one in my room. Imagine if I did that in Malaysia…a lot of people would think I am showing a ‘dangerous’ interest into becoming a Christian, LOL.
And in Malaysia universities, there would never be any Gay movements rights or advocation going around the campus and I will never be exposed to their point of views. Don’t get me wrong; I wish Malaysia would never have enough queers and gays to be able to set up a booth in any remote backstreet, let alone at a campus. However, I do believe that we should learn about them so that we know what we are up against. What are their arguments? What are they up to? How can we counter their so-called scientific medical facts about the ‘natural-ness’ of being gay?
As a medical student, we do have an ‘influential’ status, a convincing voice, when it comes to medical facts! So use your God-given status to learn and do what’s right.
I’ll be keeping a close observation of the Queer Awareness Week and will be reporting my findings in the next post, insya Allah. I will share with you my own ‘pertembungan’ with the Queer culture as well. Don’t be surprised…my first encounter with the Queer culture started in Malaysia, not here in Aussie.
I end my post with a word of caution:
BEWARE OF ALL-GIRLS SCHOOLS!!!
(I need not say anything about ALL-BOYS school; To do that would only be redundant)