Today is yet another holiday in Malaysia … I think they have more public holidays than any other country in the world.
Today’s holiday is in honour of the Installation of the Rotating King. I’m just hoping he can stand still long enough for them to put the crown on his head.
The installation of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong takes place at the National Palace today.
I’m not sure if Malaysia’s the only country with a consititutional monarchy which elects its head of state, but I’ve never come across one before.
Nine of the Malay states have a hereditary Royal Family, and the Royalty all vote for a new head of state from amongst the nine every five years.
I started thinking about what it would be like if we had the same system in England, imagining Prince Charles on the hustings promising free organic produce and a return to Palladian architecture, and William and Kate appealing to the yummy mummies with Montessori nurseries for everyone and compulsory smocking on all children’s clothing.
Anyway, I didn’t want to spend my whole day musing about revolving monarchs, so I went to a daytime Pilates class, with a very friendly group of Pilates experts. They made up for being so much better than me at all the exercises by inviting me to their post-Pilates brunch at the local Mamuk (Indian Muslim Malay restaurant) and explaining all the dishes to me.
Nasi goreng, Mee goreng, Rojan (hot salad with peanut dressing) and coconuts … delicous.
I know now that nasi is rice, mee is noodles, and rojan means a mixture of things. My Bahasa is obviously improving, but it’s restricted to nouns – so I must sound like the average toddler when I’m trying to communicate.