Friday, February 29, 2008

International Nite at MCA, San Jose

The San Jose M.C.A (Muslim Community Association) organised an International Nite at the Banquet Hall last Saturday 23rd February, featuring China and South East Asia. Frankly, I did not expect the turn out to be so great since I heard they have done it before a few years back. However, the large number of guests surprised me! First of all I must congratulate the organisers especially sister Michelle Lee and her committee for their tremendous efforts in running the event smoothly - filled with activities fun for kids and adults! Even the 'sampled' food were plenty to go around for the 300+ guests. Looking at the buffet table, one would think otherwise! Bringing food to guests instead of them 'attacking' the buffet table did the trick. Alhamdulillah, the committee was never short of volunteers that night to assist in putting 'samples' of food on paper plates and serving guests at their tables. As the request was only to prepare some 'kuih', the four of us ( Jina, Nani, Faridah & me ) came up with bengkang ubi (cassava) and agar-agar for Malaysia's contribution. Jina & Nani are the experts in making kuih-kuih Melayu so they made bengkang ubi and left the easier agar-agar for Faridah & me to tackle with. People say one can never go wrong with agar-agar .. Jina's words of " alah kalau tak jadi, masak balik jer Kak Ainal " kept ringing in my ears when I did just that! Though a bit on the sweet side, ( which I am told prefered by the Middle-easternes ) my 'agar-agar gula jawa berkepala santan' turned out quite okay in the end. Faridah came with the 'pandan' version. Rupa-rupa nya we are never far from our neighbours when it comes to food. The International Nite saw macam-macam warna of agar-agar... kuning, merah, jernih, berkepala, tak berkepala...! I am never good at making 'kuih' so I brought along a pail-full of 'air bandung' to make up for it. My two girls have become experts in making the delicious concoction which became the 'much sought after' drink of the night!. Anis says that the 'drink committee' had to hide the container for awhile upon seeing children coming for seconds, thirds & fourth rounds before the adults even got a taste of it. Mak - Mak Arab pulak asyik tanya jer resipi! We decided to name it Malaysian Rose Drink because we ourselves are 'confused' on its original name. Air Bandung...Bandung Drink.. no that cannot be! Maybe due to the short notice only China, Indonesia & Malaysia had items for the cultural & heritage display corner. Alhamdulillah, within a few hours we managed to grab - from walls & cabinets of our homes... :-) - quite a number of items to show: Sarong Batik & Pelikat (ensuring first that they're not from our neighbour across the straits!), Papan Rehal, Congkak, Recipe Book of Malaysian Cuisines, Miniature Twin Towers, Pewter Mugs, Wooden foot Massager, Pasu Sarawak, Fan of a painted kampung scenery, The Wau, and Paintings of our traditional houses. The paintings were from one of Telekom Malaysia's yearly calendars. I am glad I got them framed! Did I miss out anything!? Oh yes, and The Wau we borrowed from MPBA's ( Malaysian Professional & Business Association ) store. Thank you, Haniza! Display items from Indonesia & China pun tidak kurang hebat nya. I haven't seen that kind of angklung for quite some time now. It still makes good music though! All countries taking part that night had to do a presentation on Islam in their homeland. Thank you Amir for preparing the slides on " Islam in Malaysia " and by virtue of being the most 'veteran', my hubby did the presentation. I must say it went quite allright! :-)
The night continued with a cute " dragon dance " by 6 & 7 year olds from Granada Elementary School. Seronok tengok the teachers so involved in getting them ready for the act. I suppose an International Nite is not complete without a fashion show, to show-case traditional clothes and national costumes. Honestly, we weren't prepared for it but somehow things worked out our way when Sarah & Yunus, who are not siblings and from different parents, happened to be wearing 'sedondon' and after much persuasion the cute couple were willing to represent their mother-land. It only takes a step forward and a bit of courage. A pat on the back for both of them! The committee also arranged for a presentation on Tai-chi & Tae-kwon-do by a local martial arts operator. It would have been perfect if we got someone to do the 'silat' for us! I don't know what exactly is the role of Tourism Malaysia's office in L.A but I am told they did turn down request for assistance a few years back indicating this sort of event is too 'small' for them. Well, at least a tourism video or some brochures would be nice... Although not 'big', the International Nite at MCA last Saturday was very successful indeed. Guests had fun exploring the ancient traditions, the rich history, and the modern life of Muslims in the land of China and Southeast Asia!

Sarah Amani Amir and Yunus Chang courageously introducing themselves to audience.

Two fashion show participants from Indonesia...

A 'brother' from Russia who graduated UIA a few years back. Currently earning his living in San Jose. Appreciating his love for our 'Baju Melayu'.

Not surprising if the Martial Arts Center registered many customers that night...


Faça a Diferença !!! said...

Congratulations beautiful blog, even with optimal updated information.

Ricardo Sérgio
Make a Difference!

zidnee 'ilman said...

Thank you Ricardo. I visited yours and find it beautiful too! I love the translation feature - Portugese to English. Cool!