It was a Sunday, so the streets were relatively free from cars and it was a pleasure pootling around feeling the breeze on our faces. We stopped briefly at temples and monuments to allow our friendly guide, Nik, to give us historical information.
Their culture use fingers to eat and as Westerners, we are used to a knife and fork so at first it felt a little awkward sitting across from strangers trying to delicately feed myself rice. I was always worrying that I would drop it all over my chin... or in my hair ... or down my top ... but I soon overcame this paranoia – I embraced the “novelty” and felt like a child again given permission by their Grandma not to use a knife and fork when you went to visit her!
We sincerely thanked our new friends for their hospitality, shook hands and said how grateful we were to have been a part of this special day.
The thoughts which remain with us following our departure are clear. With some of the negativity directed at Muslim culture in today’s society, the kindness we were shown at the wedding in Borneo is what Muslim’s and their culture is really about. It is about warmth, kindness, sharing what they have with others and an openness towards strangers; these attributes are sometimes lost in the Western civilisation. We shouldn’t tar the Muslim religion with the same brush as extremists, we should all learn a valuable lesson from these caring, honest people and be less judgmental in our daily lives and interactions.
Who would have thought that a simple "City Tour" could have turned in to so much more?
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