Mah Meri Ancestors Day Celebration

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Approaching the celebrations, we were intrigued by all the leaf weavings adorning the people and huts.

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This is a representation of The Mountain of Love. Circling it purportedly brings true love. Bern was careful to steer clear, having recently realising girls are different.

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The sacred hut and food were painstakingly adorned with woven ornaments. The Mah Meri used to have lots to work with but the encroaching palm plantations have eliminated much of the local fauna they have used for hundreds of years.

The singing and dancing began at 10am. I was sceptical about what they would achieve with a couple of violins and bamboo instruments. And my jaded self was pleasantly mesmerised by the quiet soulful songs the women began to sing. The violins were somewhat off key but it added to the authenticity of the event; these people were honouring their ancestors with what meagre resources they had.

I loved how visitors were invited to dance along after the first couple of displays. The kids and some tourists jumped right in. I watched from beneath a tree, nursing a mild headache from the heavy incense that was permeating the air.

We left soon after people began to eat. We had brought food to be shared (it was criticised for not being shareable) but I was uncomfortable at what appeared to be local politicians and a photo OP. Some women also started giving out cheap board games and (maybe) sweets, stationary and clothes to the kids. It seemed a little condescending so I opted to remove my cynical self from the vincinity.

The experience has left me with lots of questions. Do they still use their language? How can their local craft and culture survive? What do they need to face a future that almost inevitably spreads uniformity and annihilates the small, unique and unknown?

FRIM fun

Love how kids cooperate and play nicely without toys when you put them in their natural setting.

It was really good to hang out with other HS families too. Not sure why being with like minded people is so soothing.

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And tired kids are happy kids…

The arts

I was Science stream kid all through school and did a science based degree. I secretly harboured dreams of performing musically but neglected that part of me because science is King. Right?

Some of the happiest times of my life have been accompanied by music and poetry. Shell Silverstein, Ken Nesbitt, Dante, Bach, Don Maclean, Billy Joel…. They’ve all been part of my life in meaningful ways.

Now that I am a mother, I want for the kids to remain ignorant of the dichotomy of science and art. I want for them to equally value a well coloured picture and a perfect math

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worksheet. So it is with pleasure that I share this news: Kiki has been accepted to audition for OZ.

I know being allowed to audition isn’t the same as getting a part and even if she is accepted, she’ll probably be a Munchkin. But I am still immensely pleased.

Surprises

Yesterday we went to the creek to splash and play. But life it’s really full of magic when you homeschool; we found a horse!

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It was really skinny so I asked a friend to swing by Pet Epicure for some hay. We fed her and put some antibiotic ointment on her wound.

Today we bought some supplies and bathed her in addition to giving her more hay and antibiotic cream.

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We braided her hair too. She’s still skinny but is a lot cleaner. The flies are less interested and she already recognises us.

Am not sure where this will take us. Is she abandoned or just neglected? Will she be there tomorrow? How long can we afford to feed a HORSE? No answers have I, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best for her today.

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