The Hummingbird Days

Just before I turned 10, my family and I moved back to Kuala Lumpur after spending a few years abroad. The move meant I had to change schools, and I was immediately enrolled in a primary school in my neighbourhood.

My command of Bahasa Malaysia back then was rudimentary at best, but extra lessons quickly took care of that failing, and I settled in relatively easily, making new friends along the way. Settling in, however, didn’t mean I wasn’t aware of differences between my new school and my old. Apart from the obvious contrast in how lessons were structured and in the school system in general, I also observed variations in the social norms of my peers, and I made a mental note of those that struck me as peculiar – or interesting.

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