Of Pancawarna and Astronomy
Being in USM over the weekend has given me a lot of things for me to think of. National Astronomy Convention 2007 at USM at my first impression would be tremondously happening and would give lots and lots of information on astronomy world wide. And yet the convention and the visit to USM has given me more than that.
Upon our arrival to USM in the early morning of the second day of the convention on Satruday, there are many and many and many school busses coming by and drop lots of school children from standard one until form fivers. I bet the whole schools in Penang are sending their students to experience the 'Angkasawan and Space Exploration' as the theme of the convention. 'Agaknye kite aje ke budak U yang ade kat convention nih? Suuuuume dak skola je.. uiisshh.. ade yang terbaaaiik.. uuuiissshh..'
The main program of the convention: the exhibiton was held at Dewan Siswa near Padang Kawad USM. There were lots of booth, but then, there were all failed to attract my enthusiasm on astronomy. There were even booths that offer information that are not related to the convention. It really looked like IQ games and booths for school kids. I don't know, maybe there WERE actually things that can be really interesting for me and it was me who just did not realize them.
Just a couple of booths that attract me the most, that are USM's School of Aerospace and Astronautic Engineering that offered me to look at their recent-made 'Nyamuk', a high-tech UAV that was developed by their lecturers, and the Petronas' where they organized dozens of IQ games (that are actually having no relation to astronomy at all). Others, yeah, there are some astronomy clubs (2 or 3 clubs, all are Chinese) held their booth, but.. nothing interesting for me to look out. Just a number of telescopes, manufactured and hand-made, and lots of pictures of the stars and planets.. to be sold!
There were many other activities held other than exhibition; there was water-rocket competition (which very attractive, even Bro Syed Noh, our accompanying lecturer went to the launcher and asked the competitor how are they actually launch a bottle up and up high to the sky - is it the water, or the air that boost the bottle up? 'Kite orang dulu mase orientation first year kat Jepun kene buat macam ni jugak, tapi lain sikit, kite orang betul-betul gune air, tapi yang ni nengok macam ade gune angin..' semangat Bro Syed Noh. hehe), paper plane competition (which was a total failure for UIAM's representatives - we lose to a kid! Haha), there were also lots of talks and seminars on recent news on astronomy and space technologies.
But then I can just manage to join one single seminar since I was bounded to the tentative made by our organizer from UIA - MECSA; that is on Space Exploration by John B from NASA. Quite an interesting talk by him where he showed and explained the recent, in-design and future exploration that are planned and done by NASA. Then I know that there are lots of procedure and a single mission can take a period of 50 years to be accomplished and billion of dollars need to be invested. One very interesting and killer question was asked to John B - 'Did we actually land on the moon.. and what is your comment on Area 51?'. John B simply said that he doesn't have the authority to talk about that particular conspiracy issue, but then he said we have actually land on the moon and there will even be a new mission to again send man to the moon in the near 4 or 5 years. The reason to send human: to search a platform at the moon for us human to go to the next step: mission to Mars. About Area 51, he said that NASA has nothing to do with it. If ever Area 51 exists, it may be related to military and goverment mission, not NASA. NASA does only SEARCH for possibility of other life beyond earth, not capturing the life.
There lots other seminars and activities, but I took a little time to join our delegation to look aroung Penang... =)
On the night of Star Gazing session at Padang Kawad, the sky was not very promising. It was a blurry and hazy night we cant even see a white dot of star at the sky. There were a lot of people forming lines behind dozens of telescopes to take turn see the blurry black sky that night. I cannot stand it being alone in that crowd. If there was Bro Shahrin (the person who I can comfortly ask so many things about astronomy) maybe things would be a lot better. There was a bigger and happening event that await me that night. It was juuuusst beside Padang Kawad - at the Hockey Stadium.
Pancawarna, we called it (since we didn't know what is actually they are having). There's a reason why 'Pancawarna' - it was really a colourful environment at that stadium. It was an inter-desasiswa traditional dancing competition. Kuda Kepang, Zapin, Tarian Nobat, Tarian Ule', Tarian Perak and lots more - it was like being at the opening of Visit Malaysia Year 2007 festivals. The dancing perfromace were all very good, very smooth, very cathcy. 'Aku yakin ah, UIA tak akan mampu buat acara semeriah macam nih..' The stadium was fully seated. The grass outside the astroturf cannot be seen because there were thousands of USMers sitting and crouching on it. There was actually other intentions for us being at that stadium...
Seeing lots of people sitting on the grass in front of us, our vissions were divided into two - the performance, and the people sitting on the grass. 'Pandang kiri lawo, kanan lawo, atas lawo, bawah lawo, suuume nye lawo. Sampai ko da lupe ko da nengok ke belum orang tu sebab ramai sangat orang yang kite nak nengok..'. There are people that covered, there are also that uncovered. Mostly? Uncovered. Note that the 'people' mentioned here, are sisters (or for better understandings, chicks. No hard feelings, there is no other word to best refer them). Boney, sexy hijabbed Malay chicks were all scattered all around the stadium. Tight t-shirts, half cut blauses, low cut gowns, low cut jeans, butt-tight jeans were all wore by the so-called 'hijabbed' Malay chicks. All were lows and halves, when squatting? What will happen? All will be revealed. The skin, the 'attire' beyond the outer.. 'Astaghfirullah. Kompem rosak kalao aku masuk USM... Baru tadi puji - kompem aku dapat Dean's List tiap-tiap sem bile nengok bilik derang selese abes.. tapi bile nengok nih.. huhu! Cultural shock aku!'
'Kita aja yang pelik nengok derang macam nih.. Cuba kalau kita dulu masuk belajar tempat derang, bukan masuk UIA, kita tak terkejut pun? Kita environment kita lain.. So bile nengok derang.. Mesti kita rasa pelik..'
Environment is environment, no matter what kind of environment we are facing, the Quran and Sunnah should be the prior matters. They all know what is hijjab. Can't just they all understand these simple things by simply veiling themselves. Don't they feel safe by our (man) bad vission when there are covered? Don't they feel horror when they knew wearing revealing attire can attract those eyes of horny and syaitani men to enjoy looking thier parts of body? There a lot of people man out there. A lot of man means a lot of tastes. A lot of tastes means certain part of women's body are somehow attractive to certain man. Because women are naturally to be looked at. There are parts and gardens that we want to enjoy privately at our home, so we covered the garden with high fence then we can enjoy our beautiful garden safe and sound. There are beautiful parts that Allah has preserved woman from being looked at by certain people. So cover the beauty, for there are still a little beauty that can be looked at - the face =).