THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Buddies oh Buddies…

Ever since I became a volunteer with the Buddies Society of Ipoh, it became apparent to me that quite a number of people don’t seem to know the difference between Buddies and Buddhist.

The first time, after I was newly confirmed as a Buddy, and my number was written on our brochure at the HIV clinic (at that time we didn’t have any hotline number yet – so we put down the personal hand phone numbers of a few of our volunteers), a call came in from a Chinese lady, “Allo… ini Buddhist ka?” It took me a while to comprehend that she was trying to get in touch with Buddies.

There were quite a few occasions when people would pronounce the word as Buddhist and I’d have to correct them and say Buddies. After a while I didn’t bother to correct them anymore.

Initially when we were just a wing under the Perak Family Health Association (used to be known as Family Planning Association), the name was just Buddies of Ipoh. I wasn’t a member then. In 2004 when we decided to stand on our own as an association, we registered with ROS using the same name. But the ROS insisted that the name SOCIETY must be included and so we finally became the Buddies Society of Ipoh.

With the word Society included, more people thought we were the Buddhist Society. The chairperson then was a Chinese lady, so I guess it was even more believable.

But imagine the looks on people’s faces when they saw this mak aji beginning to represent the “Buddhist” society.

Once I attended a meeting organised by the Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah. The chairman was noting down the attendance and read out the names of agencies/organisations to check if there were representatives. When he came to the name of my NGO, he mentioned, “Persatuan Buddhist Ipoh”, and this mak aji selamba-ly raised her hand without saying anything. He looked at me, then back at the list, then he said, “Oh maaf, Persatuan Buddies ya, bukan Buddhist.” Tau pulak sebut betul-betul without having anyone to correct him!

The next meeting organised by the Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah, the Chairman didn’t bother to call out the names, so I was spared from having to get funny looks for representing “Buddhist”. However, a doctor who was sitting beside me, to whom I gave my card to, suddenly became quiet and only after a few minutes, gathered some courage to ask me…

Ni sebut macam mana ya?”

Me: “Buddies.”

(I heard a sigh of relief from her.)

Doc: “Saya ingatkan Buddhist!”

Me: “Kan ke lain ejaannya?”

Doc: “Ha’ah ek, ya tak ya juga.”

Aduh, and to think that she’s a doctor!!

And how can I forget the time when I went to represent Buddies to receive a cheque from HRH Raja Nazrin. The emcee had (as expected) used the wrong pronunciation during the rehearsal. Fine, so I told another officer the correct pronunciation and this officer went to tell the emcee. But the emcee insisted, “Tulis sini BUDIS, bukan BADIS.”

Adoi, cakap orang putihlah yeop!

It’s BUDDIES, the plural for BUDDY, okay? Go to and the translation is RAKAN – which is what we do – we become buddies to HIV infected/affected families.

And yes, I am a Muslim. DUH!


Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hahaha Pi, I must admit to be surprised the first time I stumbled here, how a makcik can be a Buddhist too, surely she can’t be what; she doesn’t know kung-fu mah…kakaka. <<<This is what u call under the influence of BUDweiser.


P/S – Pi, better to be confused as a Buddhist rather than a Baddie, kan?

sherry said...

Che Pi.

thanks for sharing..nasib baik i baca dalam hati aje the perkataan Buddies tu takpun sure my pronunciation pun tak betul..hihi

Salt N Turmeric said...

camnelah jadi doctor kalau buddies pun tak reti nak sebut? seriously. how is tht even possible? sigh.

Pi Bani said...

Hey, I may not know kung fu,but I do know yong tau fu meh!! ;)

Pi Bani said...

Very clever eh, baca dalam hati orang tak tau you sebut betul tak betul kan? Tapi kalau tiba-tiba kena read the name out loud amacam?

Pi Bani said...

Tu lah pasal, I pun terpegun jugak bila dia tanya tu. How is it possible? Mission impossible lah kot!

Alia said...

Kak Pi sayang,
I think everytime u attend a meeting or occasion that involve buddies society, u've to write in the bracket the pronunciation (ala2, dlm dictionary gitu).... but to my surprise, a doctor also did asked u how to pronounce it.... huhu.... xpe kakpi, i know no one can beat your english.... u've to be proud of that :D

Pi Bani said...

What? No one can beat my English??! Oh tidak, tidak, tidak! My England not that powderful la... tapi Manglish memang I terra!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Baddies of Ipoh doesn't sound too bad...then if anyone mispronounce that, just shoot them! hahahaha...

Pi Bani said...

Baddies of Ipoh? Hmmm... nanti I nak kena cari topi koboi and pistol air dulu...

Xena said...

oh no Kak Pi,i read this post while sitting alone in a kopi tiam and started laughing out loud! People are giving me strange look now, you baddie of Ipoh!!

Pi Bani said...

Hey, don't blame me! Who ask you to go and read this post at a kopitiam?? ;)