KakYang entered the world on 20 February 2003, making me a father for the third time. She opened her eyes wide and stared right at me as I called the Iqama in her ears. Now she and Ibu are recuperating at home. Here in Malaysia it is customary for the mother to remain confined in the home for forty days. During that time, the bidan kampung, or village midwife, visits the mother every day and administers a whole regimen of therapeutic baths, massage, and dozens of different herbal treatments to the mother, and washes and checks the baby. There’s also a strict diet, and a special cloth wrap around the trunk of the body. The exact treatment, and especially the diet, seems to vary a bit from region to region, but the essential elements are the same. Skeptical? I’m no doctor, but I’ll tell you what convinced me. When my first daughter was born, one of my aunties-in-law wanted to come to visit. She took the bus to the junction three miles down, walked up the road in the blistering heat, strolled into our living room and squatted down on her haunches to have a look at the baby. She’s in her sixties, rail-thin, fit, and radiant, and is the mother of 12 children. Whatever that woman has been doing is good enough for my wife.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. Assalamualaikum Brother Zayn,

    Congratulations on the arrival of your third children!


  2. br.Zayn, Assalamu’alaikum.

    little Zahidah turns 1 today and must be about ready to start walking.
    No more man-to-man defence when you/wife go places with them. ‘Gotta switch to zone-defence.



  3. Asalamualaikum.. Well, it was quite shock that ur daughter Zahidah, has the same name as mine! Well, congratulation on ur third child!! Hope ya’ life and the rest of the kids together with ur wife live happily ever after…

  4. glad to know there’s a pretty girl out there who shares my name. i pray she’ll grow up to be a fine lady.

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