Around a week ago, I was strolling around below my house and there was a malay wedding taking place at the large open space near my house (a procession that my dad used to irk at since it gets very noisy sometimes). But funny, that day, all was silent, the bride and groom were as usual, shaking hands with their guests seated at the tables, giving greetings (as I could observe from their body language and gestures).

At first I thought that it was an effort made by them to not disturb the residents, but it was only 7pm and it was often boisterous and noisy, even on till the night at 9pm, as with several which took place here over the years.

And then I followed a distant sound of chantings and prayings, around 3 blocks away was a chinese (buddhist) funeral. But if I had not really listened for it, I would not have caught it.

Now it appears that the malay couple and their friends and families are paying respects to them that day, by toning down the wedding atmosphere. I was kinda amazed that these things actually happen. Of course, there’s not a hint of racial riots over here (duh) but to be so considerate on such a happy and once-in-a-lifetime occassion is really admirable.

And the next morning when I went down to the library, I saw two chinese elderly women talking to the malay couple. And when I went closer, both of them were apparently giving thanks to the couple and wishing them all the best for their marriage and the customaries.

But what touched me was the conversation that followed (pardon me for eavesdropping)

2 elderly women: You could carry on with your wedding, its alright for us, we’re finishing already and provided that we can’t really hear anything from there

Couple (all the while interrupting by saying): Nevermind, its alright, its really alright. We have 2 more days, and we can wait till tomorrow.

2 elderly women: its alright, really, we’re going later in the afternoon and now we’re just packing up.

Couple: Alright, then we’ll wait till you guys pack up first.

And they tassled and nagged on and on, and I guess the couples got their way.

And then I went away.

I never knew such kindness of spirits could exist here, right here in our community.

And today, on the space  in front of my house, there was a Christian wake.

I wonder..

And I smiled, those that you can’t stop yourself from.

In the midst of happiness and grief.