When I was in Year 6 in the south of Malaysia aged 12, it was a tradition that school leavers would write their mottos to one another in a little notebook. Everyone would buy at least a notebook for the teachers and friends to write messages in. Shops were full of pretty leavers’ notebooks for boys and girls to buy, and most of the notebooks had cute adorable Japanese cartoons on the cover with beautiful embellishments.
Teachers would write words of encouragement such as “Remember to continue learning, ” or a famous slogan from Chairman Mao, “Work hard and make progress everyday.”
However, we precocious 12-year-olds would write something more profound and abstract. We dished out mottos and quotes that we considered smart. The popular rhyming quotes in Chinese that I received from my 12-year-old friends included:
- “There are foxy women in the sky; there are jinxs in the earth. Please be aware who your friends are!”
- “A dragon gives birth to a dragon; a phoenix gives birth to a phoenix; the son of a mouse will dig a hole!”
- “A mountain will fall; water will flow away; you had better rely on yourself!”
At home, my father’s most powerful saying is: “Do you know? The amount of salt I have eaten is more than the rice you have eaten.” Let me explain. In the Chinese culture, a salt-eating man always regards himself to be more experienced and superior, and he is the authority. When a child hears the comparison of Salt and Rice from an adult, if he is smart, he would instinctively keep his mouth shut.
Quotes that echo a familiar voice
I reviewed my posts written in the last two months, and was astonished to hear my voice in some quotes that summarised the essence of my posts. Some were sparks of the moment. I would explore these quotes in the future.
- I don’t expect the world to change for my left-handed ‘needs’.
- It is important not to fall into the narcissistic trap of self-indulgence.
- Being a left-hander is not a gift.
In Making mistakes:
- I had to re-learn my driving. I had to un-do all the bad habits.
- Do not drop the plate.
- I see the world as an outsider. This is my filtered lens.
- Freedom always comes with a price. Freedom is relative.
- one-month pig-like existence.
- I’m trying to better myself.
- I’m a toddler.
- What if freedom of speech only exists in an utopian world?
- Everyone has the potential of making the same careless mistake — not out of malice, ignorance, stupidity or laziness, but out of mental exhaustion and heavy workload.
- “Fulfilling dreams’, ‘grace’, and ‘lush’.
- Racism and prejudice never die.
- We’ll challenge them, and always rise above them.
- My whole world collapsed as I found out the truth about spinach.
- Would half-true constitute a mistake?
- “Mr Brave, please help me!”
- Unconsciously, I had thought a woman in distress should be rescued by a man.
In Share your fear:
- A gifted child.
This post was inspired by Blog Exercises: Collect Your Quotes by Lorelle VanFossen. You can find more Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress. This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.
My Related Posts:
- I swim and I blog: where are my nutrients from?
- Must all boys love Lego?
- Not a narcissistic outsider
- Making mistakes
- Born as an outsider
- An age with relative freedom
- Oriental and western views on postnatal confinement
- The process of creating Site Table of Contents
- My Site Table of Contents – I did it!
- Magnificent display at Buckingham Palace
- Blogging in English: Who am I?
- Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan
- Copyright violation: are you a victim?
- Honouring Nelson Mandela: Make Everyday a Mandela Day
- Do you remember the victims’ names in Asiana plane crash?
- Can spinach make you strong like Popeye? Blogging about mistakes
- “Their name liveth for evermore” – Brookwood Military Cemetery
- Visiting Brookwood Military Cemetery
- Do sex, age and race matter?
- Sharing my favourite things