Milestone: One Year and the Launch of my New Website

VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE HERE: https://www.thegirlinthewineredscarf.com

This week officially marks one year since I started my blog ‘The Girl in the Wine Red Scarf’. When I started this blog, I had the intention of empowering people- especially young girls. I wanted to talk about issues that matter in society, reflect on what I had experienced and give tips or advice.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and motivated me to keep on blogging. In the beginning, I felt scared at first to have my own opinions up because I thought that nobody would care or read what I had to say on my blog. However, so many people have messaged me or came up to and said that I was inspirational or they looked up to me or that they even admire me.

Personally, those kind words were a lot to take in because I never knew that anyone would say anything like that about me and it made me realise how much of a big deal it is for people to look up to you. So in response, I made it my goal to keep it real all time and be genuine with you guys by only telling the truth in my blogs and in everything I say. Because we do live in a world where it gets superficial, where we don’t really know people’s true intentions and some things or people in life just don’t serve us any good.

With that being said, I am always careful with the words that I use or how I put things across (I think it also has something to do with me being a poet as well). So I know what I’m doing and saying. And I try to stick with my true intentions. With the grace of God, I started this blog because I wanted to give people a different perspective, especially since I am a Muslim and a girl wearing the hijab.

Now I know that I’m not the most religious Muslimah and I also admit that there was a period of time when I wasn’t wearing the hijab but by having this blog and re-reading my old blog posts, it reminded me my love for God and that I am The Girl in the Wine Red Scarf. And alhamdulillah, right now, without His tests or trials of my faith, I would have never loved Him as much as I do now. Therefore I would like to give my thanks to God as He has given me so many blessings and gave me the courage to start this blog and the perseverance to continue doing so.

In saying that, there was also a period when I didn’t blog as much and it was really interesting to see that even though I haven’t posted anything up in a while, I still get views on my blog every day. It just shows that people are interested or care about what I have to say and for that I feel grateful. Hopefully, in the future I will remain persistent with blogging, insyaAllah.

I also know that I make my mistakes but I hope that I don’t disappoint you guys. If I ever do, I will always try to fix it or be better, because that it what I expect of myself as it is very important for me to stay grounded with my morals and my values.

Nonetheless, I am really sorry if I had offended anyone or had said anything wrong. May God forgive me with any wrong doings. My hope that I have for my blog and for my readers is to give you guys another positive perspective and to help you live an empowering and meaningful as well as an abundant life. And to be perfectly honest, I am still working towards an empowering and meaningful and an abundant life, so this is my invitation for you to join me.

Lastly, again, thank you to the people who have messaged me or commented some kind words, saying that I’m inspirational, or something I only wished I could be. And thank you to everyone for all the support and love. 

(P.S: I will no longer be blogging on WordPress. Visit my new website https://www.thegirlinthewineredscarf.com for new blog posts.)

 

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Travel: Cute Date in Melaka

We spent most of our time in Melaka. However, we didn’t do that much aside from shopping. Thankfully, a couple of days before we left to go back home to New Zealand, I had a cute date with my cute auntie around Melaka.

We took the bus from Alor Gajah to Melaka. When we were dropped off in the middle of the UNESCO heritage centre, we hired someone to drive us around in his ‘Frozen’ bicycle. He showed us around all of the historical places and told us about the history of Melaka. And it was super interesting and fun riding all around my home city.

We then wandered around near the river as well as Jonker Walk and visited the Orangutan house and had a high tea at Straits Affair. I must say that Straits Affair has the best ‘High tea’ that I’ve been to so far as the food was absolutely divine and the service was super friendly and informative where the ambience was nice. For that, I give them 5/5.

Then we went up in the Melaka tower which rode up and rotated around for us to see 360 views of Melaka. Afterwards, we went to an upside down house where we took a lot of trippy photos.

Nonetheless, out of all the days I had spent in Malaysia, going on a date with my auntie in Melaka was by far the best day that I had.

My auntie and I used to be inseparable when we were little where we used to always wear the same, matching clothes and did the same thing. Before coming back to Malaysia, I haven’t seen her in years. A part of me always misses her because she is like my twin/other half and I was just so grateful that I was able to spend time with just her and talk about anything and everything.

I love my auntie so much, she is just the best and I can always count on her to cheer me up and give me motivation as well as advice. Although she is my Auntie, she is also my best friend and a bigger sister that I’ve always wanted. So I am super blessed to have her in my life.

Spending time with her reminded me to never take family for granted and to cherish those moments with them because you just never know when you will see them again.

Nonetheless, my holiday in Malaysia was super crazy and intense. We travelled to so many places,  saw so many things, experienced so many things and thus we made so many memories. There is so much more that I could share about, however, there is just too much to cover so I decided to only do three/four different places. I hope in the future, when I travel to more places around the world or even in New Zealand, I will blog more about it and go into depth as well as sharing more photos within the blog.

Travel: Street Art Hunting in Ipoh and Penang

I have previously said that going back to Malaysia was the worst of times and the best of times. And that is the reason why I haven’t really written anything about my trip. Because I just don’t really know what to think of it. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that I was able to have gone back to my home country and visited many places as well see the rest of my family. We traveled, most of Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta (Indonesia). However, for my blog, from the five week holiday, I will share with you guys my experiences from

We traveled, most of Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta (Indonesia). However, for my blog, from the five week holiday, I will share with you guys my experiences from Jakarta (which I already have talked about), Ipoh and Penang as well as Melaka.

One of the first places we visited was Ipoh and Penang. Ipoh was where my dad was from and where my grandfather resided. It was really nice catching up with my aunties and cousins as well as my grandparents. I was lucky enough to have heard a couple of stories about my family including the one about my grandfather being known as ‘mat lawa’ which means ‘the good looking one’ and after seeing a photo of him younger, I can see why he was called that.

Later that night we went to the ‘Lost World of Tambun’ which was a hot springs and spa at night. Although Malaysia is a really hot and humid place, going to the hot springs at night was quite nice and relaxing. I didn’t manage to dip in all of the hotsprings that they had offered but the ones that I did manage to go into were the infinity pool, foot spa, top of the world pool, the steam cave, the geyser of Tambun, crystal pool and Saphira’s lair.

The next day we roamed around Ipoh. Out all the places I traveled in Malaysia, Ipoh had the best place to take ‘insta worthy’ pictures. The old town vibe, street art and just the aesthetic, really made Ipoh an interesting place to wander for a couple of hours. On the same day, we made our way to Penang.

I lOVED PENANG. The food, the vibe, the activities we did, the street art and old heritage made it a really exciting visit. Penang is famous for their food and if you don’t know already, I am such a foodie. I try everything and anything halal that I can because life is just too short, so whenever you can, always try something new, you just never know if you will like it. Something new that I tried was nasi kandar (which Penang is famous for) where we asked locals which place was the best to eat. Apparently, DEEN MAJU restaurant was the best one and we ended up waiting for an hour to place our order as there were just so many people waiting in the queue.

The second day we were at Penang, my brothers and I took a ferry to Pulau Payar for snorkeling. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF SNORKELING. Seeing all of the colourful fish and baby sharks was such an awesome experience. During the day, our driver, Boss, who took us to the ferry, also took us to the best places to snorkel where he also made these grasshoppers out of this flax-like plant. He never told us his real name, but I really appreciated having Boss show us around the island as he really made the day for us.

On the third and last day at Penang we went street art hunting. During this visit, it was also the first time that I really gotten to know Mia. If any of you guys have seen my Snapchat or Instagram stories, you will have seen Mia popping up. I absolutely ADORE that girl and now she is like the little sister I never had and I’m so happy to have her. Anyways, we went street art hunting on one of those bicycles that could fit four people. It was so much fun. We were just cycling around Penang, using a map to find all of the street arts and just chilling and laughing with my brothers and Mia. Looking back, it makes me appreciate spending time with my brothers and getting along with them. Sometimes we fight or have problems with our siblings but we need to remember, that they are family and we should be there for one another, no matter what.

Nonetheless, Ipoh and Penang are definitely places that I will visit again as there is so much more that I wanted to experience but unfortunately didn’t have the time to do. Aside from that, I am super grateful as I did had a really great time seeing family and snorkeling especially.

Travel: Finding Grattitude in Indonesia

A tribute for my late great-grandfather.

MashaAllah God has willed you a long and healthy life. But because He loves you so much, he asked for you back yesterday. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayihi raji’un. Alhamdulillah I am so grateful to have seen you again in Indonesia last year and I am blessed that you gave me another perspective about life.  Al-fatihah for my great grandfather, who had always smiled and was still young at heart at the age of 96. May Allah grant you the highest level of jannah. Ameen. ❤️

My great grandfather changed my perspective because he lived a very simple and yet an abundant life. He lived at a village in Java, Indonesia with no running water, where they would obtain water from the mountains and had used a generator for electricity. Everything he ate was either grown or farmed. However, he was still so healthy and always happy. In fact he was so healthy that at age 90, I watched him climb a coconut tree where I was blown away because I could have never been able to do that. You can tell that he lived a happy life because of his old age as generally, happy people live much longer.

If you saw where he lived you might think that he was living in poverty, however, I beg to differ, he had lived a life of abundance because everything was enough and a blessing for him. This made me think about my needs and wants in life because it doesn’t mean that the more you have, the happier and longer you will live or the more abundant your life is. And his life must have been abundant for him to have lived for that long. Thus, he had inspired me to live an abundant, simple, happy life with less material possessions and he had also inspired me to smile more often.

The last time I saw him was in Jakarta, Indonesia in December 2016, where I met the rest of my extended family. I met my uncle and cousin who were still younger than ten but they were the cutest and funniest kids ever. Looking after them and seeing the rest of my Indonesian family made me really grateful for my life. I remember having breakfast with them at the hotel we were staying and because it was a buffet, they were so happy and excited because they have never seen so much food in their lives. It’s not that I felt sorry for them or anything like that, I was as happy and excited. However, I also felt really grateful that I was able to share meals with them in the first place and from then on, I never took family meals for granted because you just never know if you are able to do so again.

Nonetheless, Jakarta was an interesting place to visit. Despite what I heard from other people, it was a really clean city and I appreciate cleanliness because it makes any city much better to visit. However the traffic was horrible with all the motorbikes/ojeks that were like flies and cars/taxis and so you needed a driver for wherever you wanted to go because it is just impossible to drive by yourself. Like seriously impossible.

We didn’t do much sight-seeing because we didn’t want to go through the traffic but we did manage to go shopping. I was shocked. I had thought that the prices would be much cheaper than at Malaysia but it turns out that the prices to buy clothes in Indonesia are pretty much the same price for clothing in New Zealand. This was also true for the food as well, which was even more so shocking.

I was shocked to find out the prices for food and necessities were really high, especially because I know that people don’t get paid very well in Indonesia like how we do in New Zealand. I also managed to talk to a girl who gave me a massage at one of the malls I visited and it was really interesting to hear about how living in Indonesia was like because it really isn’t that easy. Another thing I was shocked about was that there was one area in Jakarta which had a river where one side of the river had these massive, flash mansions, and the other side had slums. The contrast of social class was surreal, so surreal that they just had to look across to the other side of the river to know which class they belong to and the inequality that exists. To me, it was just plain sad to see. It is never easy to move higher up in society and to get reminded of that every day would be horrible.

I hear all the time from family and friends how hard it is to live in New Zealand these days but really, we do have it so much better than most people around the world. Although New Zealand does have people living in poverty, at least we don’t have slums anywhere in our beautiful country. Even in a ‘romantic’ place like Paris, the city is surrounded by slums. Once you see slums firsthand, then you really get to see what extreme poverty is like. So we, as New Zealanders should really be grateful.

I always talk about looking after our neighbours, and I will say it again. It’s so important to help one another and make sure that our neighbours or family and friends have enough to eat. If we can’t start by helping our own country or community, then how can we help people overseas? I’m not saying to stop giving charity to people starving overseas but it is just as important to help those closest to you.

Looking back, (like seven months back) Indonesia made me even more grateful about my life. It made me aware of how hard life really is and the staggering contrast of social classes. Seeing family again was truly a blessing and I hope to see them again if I ever go back to Indonesia in the future, InsyaAllah.

 

 

Paua Series: Changing Colours

I have lost nothing but had gained everything.

I’ve always talked about how everyone has a story and how we could change it to have a better perspective. And now I’m changing the story of my previous post ‘True Colours‘ because I realised that I had put him on a pedestal when I shouldn’t have in the first place.

Again, it was too short but I am truly thankful to God that He had put him in my life for that period because I went through so many tests that challenged my faith and because of them, right now, I have never loved God so much so in my life. And I realised that the only thing that I should put on a pedestal is God- not a human being with potential disappointments.

And there were so many disappointments where he made me feel unworthy.

Nonetheless, I just couldn’t let go of the person I had fallen in love with in the first place. The one I thought I could trust, the one that I thought who would always protect me and the one who treated me like a queen and would do anything to make me happy. I couldn’t let go of the memories and promises we had shared together. And I had never loved someone so much so in my life.

I held on to that person and the memories as tight as I could, for longer than I should have. I was so stupid to have done so. But I was even more stupid to have put him on a pedestal.

I realised that it was because I didn’t know my worth. I had thought that he took all of my worth with him as he left. But the thing is, I am worthy. Always have been and always will be. I was just blinded to see what everyone else had seen. Everyone knows that I deserve better and that he is not worth it. But I just couldn’t believe it.

But one day he told me that the person I had once loved is not there anymore.

And I believed him for the first time in a long time.

He told me, one day I will realise that I deserve so much better.

And I believed him for the second time.

Nonetheless, I had previously said that he was the best thing that had happened to me. It’s still true. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have had loved God as much as I do now. I wouldn’t have had the motivation to be my greatest version or work on my goals or focus on things that I am passionate about. I know what I want and definitely don’t want where I also learnt a lot about myself.

Although I was heartbroken, it was truly a blessing. Alhamdulillah, God has healed me and has blessed me. I then realised that true love is when you love someone for the sake of God. So I have full tawakkul that God will give me someone deserving that I will love for the sake of loving Him.

And in all honesty, in the end, I have lost nothing, but I had gained everything.

(P.S: You are phenomenal and you deserve to be treated phenomenally. If they treat you any less, then they are not deserving of you. Most importantly, remember to love yourself and to know your worth as well and your standards.)

Eid Mubarak ♡ Selamat Hari Raya!

Eid or in Malay, Raya, is a religious celebration for Muslims to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. To be quite honest, I still can’t believe that it is Eid already, it felt like yesterday I was in Christchurch where I had my first day of Ramadhan. Nonetheless, I am grateful that Allah has blessed me with another year to fast during Ramadhan so that I can work on my deen (faith).  In saying that, I am grateful for all the blessings that God has bestowed on me during the month of Ramadhan as well as the first couple of days of Shawwal (the month where we celebrate Eid).

The first day of Shawwal is Eid al-Fitr which means ‘feast of the breaking of the fast’. It’s no exaggeration that it is a day of feasting. After our morning Eid prayer (which is done on the 1st day of Shawwal), we would host for people to come over and eat as well as celebrate. Normally we celebrate the first three days or sometimes throughout the month of Shawwal. This year my family and I had our morning prayers at Hamilton Gardens where we ended up going to five different houses to eat and then my family hosted one later on during the day as well. Alhamdulillah, my heart, as well as my stomach, was full with a lot of love by the end of the day.

During this religious celebration, mercy, compassion, love and goodwill are some of the virtues that Muslims share not just with Muslims but with everyone from all walks of life. In Malaysia, we normally say “Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Dan Batin.” which means “Eid Mubarak and please forgive me for any wrong doings.” After the morning prayer, it is a tradition for the children especially to Salaam their parents and ask them forgiveness.

Other traditions include the sighting of the moon the night before to confirm that we can celebrate Eid the next day, preparing for Eid the night before by making traditional meals and sweets (according to one’s own culture), balik kampung (go back to the village of our grandparents), wear traditional or modest clothing and instead of giving presents, we normally give money to children (unfortunately, apparently I am too old for that now).

This year, my mum and I prepared rendang (a dry curry which I must say, was voted the best food in the world), ketupat (cubed rice) with peanut sauce or lontong/sayur lodeh (veggies in a turmeric coconut sauce), lemang (glutinous rice which is traditionally cooked in bamboo) and ayam masak lemak (chicken cooked in coconut cream). Unfortunately, the only raya cookie we managed to make was honey cornflake cookies (if I wasn’t busy with exams and other things we would normally make at least five different types of raya cookies). Nonetheless, I am glad that my family was able to host a feast as I love seeing everyone happy where we also got lit playing uno and singing karaoke of raya and Malay classic songs (not very Islamic but we had a joyous time).

Eid/Raya is a time of joy and happiness and I am grateful to have celebrated with family and friends. Alhamdulillah, although the Malay community in Hamilton is small, the celebration to me was still meriah (exciting), in fact, this year has been one of the best rayas that I have had in a while.

Lastly, please forgive me for anything I have said or done intentionally or unintentionally and I pray for everyone a peaceful Eid where we celebrate with love and compassion. And may God bless us with His love and compassion. Ameen.

Forgiveness For a Peace of Mind

I am pretty sure that all of us have been hurt by someone in our lives. They could have done something unacceptable to you or had said some unpleasant things. But again, how they treat you is a reflection of who they are or even how they treat themselves. So that is why I don’t take things personally with people. Although they might hurt you, it may be because they are going through their own problems that they don’t know how to deal with otherwise.  It doesn’t give them the right to treat you the way that they treated you but it is true when they say that hurt people, hurt people.

The Buddha says that “if you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another”. I have to admit that when I didn’t love myself, I hurt others with the truth to make myself feel better. However, I’ve genuinely asked for forgiveness from God first and then from the person. If the person doesn’t accept my sincere apology then it becomes their own problem and no longer mine because I did what I could to make terms better with them.

You forgive people not because you want to forgive them. You forgive them for yourself so that you can be happy, have a peace of mind and to also let yourself move forward. Also, you can forgive but you don’t have to forget. Take how people treat you as a lesson and then you can be wiser for it to not happen again. Confront them and tell them that what they said or did was unacceptable. You don’t need to wait for them to apologise to you, just forgive them already. Again, the quicker you forgive them, the quicker it is for you to move on, be happy and have a peace of mind. Plus, you will then be the bigger person and remember, people reap what they sow, so what goes around will always come back around. God knows what people have done, they can run as fast or as far as they want, but it will always catch up to them in the end.

In Islam, forgiveness is a virtue where we are reminded to be forgiving and ask for forgiveness. God is the Most Merciful and the more mercy you have towards other human beings, the more merciful He is to you. The Prophet Muhammad have said, “Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), God will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins.” Therefore, this is just another reason why we should forgive the person who has hurt us.

I know that sometimes it is not easy to forgive people who have done you wrong but you need to do it for yourself. There is no point in holding onto something that makes you feel upset or bad. But you have every reason to have happiness, a peace of mind and for you to move forward in life.

N.B: You might not take his video thumbnail seriously but I highly recommend you to watch this video by Infinite Waters:

Or watch a shorter video from Oprah’s Life Class: