Friday, October 16, 2009

Accent

Last Monday we went to see Fareed Zakaria (CNN host and Newsweek editor) gave a talk at the Carnegie Music Hall. It was on the "solution" to the Middle East problem. The organizer was the Pittsburgh Middle East Institute. I didn't even know it exist. Anyway, we went because Fareed Zakaria is the writer to one of our textbooks, "The Future of Freedom." I like his ideas in the book, that's why I'm interested to hear him speak. We got the tickets for free as Pitt students. There were many delegates from Middle Eastern countries such as Oman and Egypt. Fareed Zakaria is a naturalized US citizen. He grew up in India. I don't know why but all through the one hour talk all I can think about is the fact that he's Indian. I know it is so unacademic. Oh wells. On another note, we had to watch "Gandhi", a movie, for our Politics class. So yeah.



When I first arrived here I have to admit I was intimidated the first few minutes I eavesdropped on a bunch of girls talking. Their accent is so different from what I was used to back home. We always think of those with accents are Australians, British, and Irish. Certainly not Americans. Plus I'm used to one before - Sofiya. But I didn't realize I'm going to be surrounded by Pia multiply by...I don't know, millions!

I wanted to fit in so much the first weeks here. I guess like Zaim, I envy those who could master the American accent in a few months. I started to wonder if I can too. Not to mention our savior the first few days, Aishah, also has a beautiful accent. I want to have it desperately!

But I don't know why, especially after my trip back from NYC, I realized that the American accent is not the only accent. While walking up to Times Square I heard the English language spoken in countless accents especially Indian and Arabic. And they sounded marvelous. I mean, they sounded exotic therefore kind of cool. It was then that I decided that I'm keeping my Malaysian English accent. What I should strive for is to speak grammatically perfect English :)

I also remember Shakira, the "Whenever, Wherever" singer, once said in an interview that she too at first tried to get rid of her Colombian accent for an American one. But then she decided that she wanted to be kind of an 'ambassador' to the United States thus be proud of her accent. And people like it. People find her exotic.

I have no idea what these Americans think of this Asian - Malaysian - with her different accent. But like Shakira, I'm proud of it. I'm proud of being Malaysian. I don't want to change the way I sound for nothing :)

-C-

4 comments:

ARISTIONO NUGROHO said...

Assallamu'alaikum Wr. Wb.
Hi friend, peace...
Your article very interesting.
If you willing visit my blog, and read my article at http://sosiologidakwah.blogspot.com
Thanks...

sulin said...

you go girl!!!! yes maintain our accent yet speak grammatical english =)

mum said...

Me too had that AUSSie slang in the 80's but now its all gone....

ChEsZa said...

Yeay! Now I know I got at least one support from you, Sulin! :D

Hehe ibu mmg dah melayu habis english...