Sunday, February 3, 2008

Prevalence of Norms

Hi there!

First of all, thanks for flipping through this humble blog of mine. It is quite
some time since I posted on my blog, huhu. Sorry ek... agak malas & kurang berupaya nak post blogs sejak kebelakangan ini... Regardless, I'm going to write something today,
perhaps to share my thoughts and yours about things that intrigue (sometimes bother) me
me quite a lot, which is the question of norms and beyond.

To begin with, I'd like to ask dear reader... as you wake up from your bed,
go to restroom, make up yourself, have breakfast, go to school (or work), go back home again,
then play soccer (or other recreational activities), and then prepare to get to sleep
again, did you notice something familiar? You know, you get up at 7am for five days
a week to go to school and back at 2pm... and then, take a nap for an hour. At four,
you start to play badminton for and so and so on... I think that is what we know as

So, what about routine, then? Huhu, it is so easy... It is almost automated.
We don't have to think much about it because things happen 'as same as' the day before;
the thursday's schedule is same as the tuesday's schedule while monday have some sort of
wednesday-ish sense of timing with the high time and the low. Sure, there are varieties
but if we expand the timeline, we start to see a constant pattern... this week is
buzy, the other week is not, and the other week is buzy, and so and so (the same goes
to activities... this week, let's play badminton, next week: soccer and the next week: volleyball
and badminton again.... until we see the pattern of familiarity in the activities)

The same goes to how we dress; we'd usually prefer to wear like others do - to
keep track with the current fashion or at least not get strayed away from it. If the trend
that time is ubiquitous with baggy shorts and shirts with slightly bent cap is 'famous'
at the time, people will just try to imitate as such. Or if not, at least we wear that
casual blue jeans with round collar shirts: the fashion, although not current, but still
complies with the society in terms of it's likeness - not queer, clownish, or starkly
different of the society. This is also routine.

Then our language, our dialect. "hang tengah wat pa?" and "apa polah kitak?",
"Greetings, how do you do?" and "Waddap man?" offer much we reflect about the
routinness we confer to the idea of language preference and norms. How queer
would it be if we say "hang tengah wat pa?" to a person who only blinks back at you of
which it would be much different if you say "apa polah kitak?". That is to find
a meeting point for the communications to be effective that we say: "ko tengah buat ape?"
-to comply with the common tongue. And so goes to "how do you do?" and "waddap man?".
It is odd when we heard one to utter the former when one knows that when one usually
says 'peeing' instead of'urinating' or 'poo-pooing' instead of 'defacating'l the
degree of formality is in hand here. So how come this come in contact? None but a
simple "how are you?" with a bit of variations of hi's and hellos; again... a common
utterance: of dialect and way of saying.

Well, you can name lots of other things commonplace in our life. Hey, we measure
in Kilograms, not Pounds, so tell me your weight in kilograms, okay! And so many
other things that chime; forming a symphony of monotony that we don't even realize
because it is so well ingrained in our subconscious thought, that even the curious
parts of minds can hardly notice anything wrong in it until something triggers as in... "
this candy costs a dime" instead of " this sweet is for ten cents" situation reaches you.

Again... norms. You are 'wrong' if you wear shoes inside the house. Why? Because
we don't wear shoes inside our house back in our kampung; my ma would be mad at me if i
do so. Therefore, no no to wearing shoes inside the house! But wait, is there any law
stating that is wrong? any prohibition from the holy scripture saying so? Or is it
because "i'm not used to it?".

So much with the preponderance, the usualness, of norms. Now ask and ponder yourself:
why do i feel proud to wear Levi's jeans instead of jeans cap ayam; both of them are
jeans - assuming the same material with the same quality - hmm...? Why we feel
'malu' to wear navy blue shirts with pink trousers? Look around and be aware about the usualness
and you'll notice an unusual thing: the unusualness of usualness is that it is so rampant
that people no longer think it is unusual: sometimes disregarding basic logic.

Huhu, so much for norms, eh? So why is it important to bud ourselves with this concept of norms? Simple... Picture a flock of sheep, the rat-race, and the
pyramids. Perhaps you'll want to get away from them or at least,
realize... then act!

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