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Friday, January 30, 2009

Black sweet!

I once asked my students the categories in which they may use to classify the students in their class. Instantaneously some shouted, "gender," and some said, "age". A female student shyly put her hand up to answer, "size of shoes and date of birth". I praised and thanked them for their participation. While putting their answers on the board, a male students shouted, "madam, what about our skin color?". I told him that it could also be a way to classify people and asked him to specify the items under that category. Before he got to answer, another student stood up and confidently shouted, "i know madam...black sweet!"- a direct translation of the Malay "hitam manis" which refers to one who looks sweet though having a slightly dark skin tone! A few students then asked me what the English word for "langsat" is. I knew straightaway where they were heading to so I just stared at them and ask them to look it up in their dictionary. They meant to provide me the direct translation of "kuning langsat"- one of the local fruits of Malaysia!

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