03 February 2011

Angin Tahun Baru Cina - The end of Monsoon

I came to settle down in this part of the world, a quiet locality, good seventeen years ago during which time I have learnt certain aspects and beliefs of the local. One facet of life that one has to accept, having a home directly facing the sea, is the ferocity of Monsoon weather and all that comes with it, the effect of salty atmosphere on plants and metal parts of equipment, the inconvenience of incessant rain and so on.

But I enjoy the three months’ spell. The cool weather is a welcome change. In the shelter of my home I watch the branches of trees being swept beautifully and in unison landwards by the north-east wind, the background music-like sound of waves droning above the sound of raindrops falling on the roof, and the frightening sight of the angry sea sending rows after rows of ferocious waves to beat the shore line.

We will surely follow your order, O mighty Monsoon wind

What am I compared to the the vast sea?

This is the period I use less of the airconditioning units, substantially cutting down the size of the monthly electricity bills.

And while I sit in comfort I cannot forget to think of the hard life endured by many families when their men cannot venture out to sea to earn a meager living from the vast expense of the South China Sea, their boats lying idle on the beach.

We can take a rest till the weather is good

I have to remind myself, “ How lucky I am to enjoy the weather when many of them have less food to share.”

Our Chinese friends are celebrating their new year. The villagers, almost 99% Malays, may not know or care when the so-called Christmas, Hair Gawai or Deposal falls but they surely know when the Chinese New Year (Tahun Baru China) is. Many even expect the day to come and be over with quickly – quietly celebrating in a different way.

The arrival of Chinese New Year signifies the end of Monsoon wind. Believe it or not I have found it so coincidentally correct that the Monsoon wind blows hard once last time about the Chinese New Year ; hence their term ‘angin tahun baru Cina’.

A couple of days ago the wind came and yesterday the sun shone bright. I can expect the sea to start calming down within these couple of days and soon the fishermen will be happy to be out in force.

Pakcik will have to wait another eight months or so to enjoy my next ‘winter’, insya Allah. Life goes on. The sea will soon be calm and I will again enjoy the beauty of sunrise during these twilight years, months or days, whatever He pleases for me.

And my grandchildren will visit us and be able to enjoy lying on their back half afloat in the calm water, watching the glorious sight of the morning sky.

Two heads and two pairs of feet keeping afloat

To our Chinese friends and relatives, indeed we have, Pakcik and Makcik wish them a happy and prosperous new year wherever they are. It is sad to receive an email late last night that an old office colleague, once a neighbour on the same street and indeed a very dear Chinese friend of my family, is in a serious condition in Sydney. Such is life.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Anonymous said...

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nordinmusa said...

Pakcik Hassan, i was driving thru jalan pantai telipot to batu rakit along the beach..trying to locate your place but couldn't find it. Can you give me the direction again. Will go again this afternoon.

Nordin Musa

changgeh said...

En Hassan
Thanks for the call.But there's a bit of a disappointment our your part I guessed, cause I happen to be the wrong guy you'd thought I would be; your long lost friend.

I don't know whether its coincidental or not but its kind of magic everytime ..the monsoon wind stop when the chinese new year pops.

Al-Manar said...


I am too pleased to welcome a new visitor. To ease my addressing you would you use a name of sort or just initials, like XYZ, so that I can address you so instead of just 'anonymous'. I hate being rude in addressing people. Thank you.

Al-Manar said...


Do not worry I will do that and look forward for a chit chat

Al-Manar said...


On the other hand it is a very pleasant surprise.

Sdr Alias, every detail has been meticulously worked out by the Greatest Creator of all... and we refuse to admit that we fail to put the pieces together !

Pakcik Hassan

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik

My do'a is for you/Makcik to have many many years of good health and happiness to be able to continue with your noble deed of serving the needy students. Also many many more years of enjoying the four seasons (or is it two?) in such lovely surroundings.

Salam to you both

Al-Manar said...


Dimakbulkan Tuhan doa kita semua untuk kebaikkan bersama.

Sir Pök Déng said...

At first, like most Melayu roaming in Bolehland, I thought Chinese New Year is strongly related to Buddhism. How wrong I was. It was just a tradition with strong cultural elements. It signals a new season where ancient Chinese people who were mostly farmers, ended their long rest and began planting their crops.

Unknown said...

dear pakchik, it does my heart good to see that you and makchik have such a place to call home. i saw the said video. this is in your backyard? wow...amazing. my husband and i have always harboured this dream to have a house by the river.
tn hj nordin told me about his visit with you. thanks to him, i had felt like i was there too.
may ALLAH has it designed that we shall meet someday.

Al-Manar said...

Sir PD

Indeed we were wrong in many things. We grow wiser, at least we hope so. Unfortunately we often get wiser after a not-so-pleasant incident. The unfortunate demise in the family must have taught you a number of things.

I wonder what you are really doing now. Care to email Pakcik some time?

Al-Manar said...


It was veri nice of Hj Nordin to call on us with his wise and a daughter - only one. Who knows We may, one day, honoured to see a couple leading a busload of 'children' in front of our gate.

We did not have long enough time to allow me to get him to tell us all about the great 'MOM'.

Gukita said...

Aaaahh pak Cik,
You have touched on the phenomena that have perplexed me all this while and still do. Why do monsoon end at CNY? WHY? WHY? And it is coincidentally true; coincidence being the word to describe our ignorance. What have the CNY to do with weather changes? and remember that Chinese calendar have leap year... After coming closer and closer to January then suddenly make a dragon leap back... And the weather with it???? Still a mystery to me..

norzah said...

It's always spiritually uplifting to read your entries and the comments that came from near and far. You always give a new meaning and a greatful interpretion to the processes of nature, bringing us back to the Greatness of the Creator. And you do it in a lovely way. May Allah bless you and Makcik.
By the way Akhi, my wife and i are planning to hold a wedding reception on 5.3.2011 for our daughter at no23 jalan I (satu), Tmn Melawati, Ulu Klang ( near the international school).if you have a plan to come down to KL please shift it to that date and drop by at our place. Ask for the nearest madrasah at the shops and you'll have to stop right at my place. Can't send you a card for i don' t have your address.

Al-Manar said...


I cannot for the life of me explain the answer to your 'why'. I have thought and resigned to the fact it is just a small part of HIS grand design, mind-boggling to us. You have gven some thought and have come up with a partial answer. It is good enough for me, my friend, until someone else helps to come up with more.

Al-Manar said...


Akhi, you are always very generous with your compliments. Thank you. You have written a lot based on your vast working experience. For that reason I visit your site wthout fail. Age and environments have shaped my way of thinking, nothing magical about that.

I have committed to two weddings in KL, one a week earlier and the the second a week later than your daughter's. It is not possible to make another - I am sorry indeed. Can I take a rain-check on this, that I can drop by your residence some time in future? To ease personal communications on personal matters do you mind emailing me your e-mail address ? -mine: almanar@pd.jaring.my