Monday, November 6, 2006

Culture of Talents or Cultural Talents

Looking at the corporate motto of Yayasan Mendaki, which is 'Towards a Community of Excellence', brought to mind a question that I raised to one of my Malay colleagues that is teaching Malay. The question is of whether the lack of, or the dearth of, Malay talents in the sciences are due to the fact that our language is not, for lack of a better term, 'scientifically rich' . I mean, I am still looking for the day whereby scientists in this parts of the world, can actually discover some scientific nuggets from days of yesteryears, that was actually propounded or discovered by a Malay scientist, and I am talking about history here!

I mean, the Chinese have their gunpowder, paper, and many more inventions that are scientific or technologically-advanced in nature, to the point that even the Prophet (pbuh) actually mentioned about encouraging his ummah to even go to China to seek knowledge! The Indians have their own flourishing civilisation and architectural wonders to be proud of, plus their excellent logistics and world-reknowned traditional healing methods! Plus many more ancient technological wonders that other cultures can be proud of. Which brings me to the title of my posting, on the differences of a 'Culture of Talents and Cultural Talents'. During the recent Teachers' Day performances by the students, one thing that I realise was the overly proportionate representation by the Malay students in ALL performances...hmmm which makes me wonder, do we as a community, are we culturally rich and perhaps maybe, just maybe, will always be so, i.e. in having a significantly larger pool of our community, whether young or old, to be involved in the cultural aspects, as opposed to nurturing a culture of talented individuals that need not be scientific or technological in nature, but certainly, to be non-culture at the very least! But hei in all this cynicism, I do feel proud, at the very least, that we do have a culture to be proud of, though I can't say that in years to come, what with the natural tendency for the young to be yearning to be more western in nature, and the old to be more 'religiously critical' But hei, this cultural dilemma, and the clash of cultural talents and a culture of talents might just be one precursor to even something bigger, though I don't think I would want to go into that tonight! But maybe, just maybe, I might just like to think about this a little deeper, and perhaps, give my two cents worth.

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