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My Malaysian Affair - Chapter 3
"If Rain is the Blessing of Allah, then Kelantan is Truly Blessed"
The people in the city of Kelantan are so wonderful, the best among those I have met in Malaysia. The Kelantanese are so friendly, and very accepting of a Chinese Muslim. They are so open, and will talk to you without hesitation, either to answer your question, or just to talk about Kelantan, Islam, and Malaysia. One big difference I found in Kelantan, from the rest of Malaysia was that the women (and men) in Kelantan, when I smiled at their babies, would smile back and let you play with the child. However I observed that this was more difficult in other states, where the mother is more likely to turn away. The people in Kelantan are just different from many others in Malaysia, many of whom looked upon me with hostility, and found it difficult to accept a Chinese Muslim.
Kelantan, literally "Land of Lightning", is the most Malay state, and also the most Islamic state in Malaysia. It is said that rain is the blessing of Allah. If that is so, then Kelantan, which suffers heavy rain in the monsoon season, is truly blessed. The people are generally religious, and many of the women here choose to dress in jalbab, and wear a long hijab, covering their awrah in a most respectable and practical way. These jalbabs, the uniforms of the schoolgirls in Malaysia and the uniforms of other women working in shops, truly impressed me. It was very nice to see such respectably dressed women in Malaysia, especially where that dress was part of a company uniform. It just shows that a woman can dress properly, covering her awrah, and still look good.
It was with extreme disappointment that I left Kelantan. My hosts invited me to come again at Eid Ul-Fitr time, and I later decided that I would return to see this wonderful city one last time. But my next major stop was Kuala Lumpur. It was rather strange that I had come to Malaysia for two weeks but had not visited Kuala Lumpur. I did not have high expectations of the city, and my experiences in the next nine days did nothing to change my mind. I really do hope that those nine days will be last nine days I ever spend in Kuala Lumpur.