Friday, August 9, 2013

I Have a 'Sarung' Gene

The balance between nurture and nature is never clear. Are we the molded by our by upbringing or by our genes? I never thought much about it until recent comments made by mother.
There are many times in my life, especially in my teens and early 20s, where I rejoice my own glory for my own efforts and blame my parents of the bad things in my life, which include my behaviour. I’m sure many kids do that. ... Right? I was very proud of my educational path and always thought that it was my sole achievement since no body was there to help me study. I always blamed my ‘lack of money’ because my parents were just darn cheap. They could afford my clothes and the rarely pizza eat outs, why can’t they pay for my wants of cassettes and teen lifestyle I saw in the magazines? It’s them, not me.
I totally blame my mother for my curly hair. It could have stayed straight if only she hadn’t put pineapple juice on it. I could have been a shampoo model. Just to let you know.
Anyways, for the past 4 years or so, I’ve had these small realization of the more fundemental things that my parents had inherited me. As you’ve probably guessed, my teen conclusion wasn’t exactly true. I inherited both good and bad things from my parents, as I have also picked up good and bad things from the environment. I get mad like my dad. I snap. And when I do, I can feel my facial expression resemble my father’s face. I make desicions like my him too. It takes ages and some research before I really decide and take action especially when it comes to spending money. Unless, I really really like it (well that’s my mum, right there). I eat like my mum. I have the same apatite but can’t afford to follow it. I don’t have her body. I’m happy like my mum. She’s always the happy go lucky gal and gets away with it (it’s trully magic. No other words to describe it). I now know that my glory is because of my parent’s support and my behaviour is environmentally induced.
Of course, there’s tons more.
But then, I think on how much does nuture take? I can explain most of my actions through my genes, how much are the result of my environment? I can work with technology. I read more books than my parents. I can’t cook and have been permissive of myself since there’s a slot of working women not being able to cook. I easily get bored. I’m part of the new fast pace generation.
And then there was my mother’s comment.
On a chili rainy day in Cimahi, I was just looking for my ‘sarung’ which is a sarong with its width side sewn together abling us to slip in through. Once I found it, I tied it around my waist safely. My mother looks at me and says, “You’re more Bugis than I thought.”
She elaborates that I always use a ‘sarung’ or ‘daster’ (night gown) at home in Cimahi. Also, I can constantly eat fish and chili paste (my mother rarely feeds me anything else when she has a appropriate kitchen to cook it). I can go weeks without meat and chicken. Well, except fast food. That’s a whole different source of protein, pfftt! My stubborness is within a Bugis trait. She’s amazed how this has come to be. I’ve been living almost all my life in Bandung, surrounded by Sundanese, and here I am, still as Bugis I can be. How does the Bugis nature fit it? Eating fish might be explainable through my genes, but my habbit of wearing ‘sarungs’? Fell from the sky. The balance between nurture and nature is still a mystery, but I thought I’d put my mother’s comment to writing. Just a reminder.

Parents are wierd. They the ones that know you best. As much as you think they don’t know you, they really do. They are our observers from a far. You might overtake them once in a while, but they’re usually a step a head in life.