29 August 2010
Plans are not to be discussed
When I was in primary school, I'd follow my youngest aunt who was only 5 years older than me to attend Sunday school sometimes. It must have been during the school holidays because I was at grandmother's home. The aunt and I would always discuss excitedly the things we would do after the Sunday school, or what to spend our meagre Sunday allowance on.
Grandmother did not speak Malay but she gradually understood a few words after having listened to us a long time. I realized she has understood it when one Saturday (must have been a Saturday because we were talking about Sunday School), she suddenly bellowed to us to stop discussing our 'plans'. My aunty quickly said kadti kosoguluono'd koduo-duo! (may the soul doesn't precede me) which softened her anger.
Confused, I asked my aunt why she was so angry. It was then that I got the explaination that we are never to talk about something we think of doing for fear that the bad spirits would lead our souls to do it before our physical bodies actually manage to do it. That would mean HARM in various forms such as illness. Of course I didn't understand the explanation until years later. But I've acquired the expression kadti kosoguluono'd koduo-duo, and practised it as if I meant it.
If grandmother were to be in the present workforce, she would have had resented it very much- the neverending plans A, B, C etc wouldn't have gone well with her belief...