Kampung life vs city life

Going back to my hometown, or “balik kampung”, has a totally different meaning to me now that I have a three-year-old son and an American husband. It used to be about visiting my parents and enjoying being home in the surroundings where I grew up.

But, today, on top of being home, it’s a wonderful getaway from the bustling city lifestyle – fresh air, less traffic, quiet time and more importantly, letting my family experience the “kampung life”.

Kampung Life vs. City Life:

· Waking up to the sound of birds chirping and roosters crowing vs. alarm clock or traffic.
· Walking to the coffeeshop for a meal, buying things from the market or sundry shop vs. driving to restaurants and mega malls.
· Traffic jam is five minutes vs. 45 minutes; where 5-10 minutes is already a big deal for people in my hometown.
· Seeing the real animals, i.e. chickens, ducks, birds, fish, etc vs. those either in the grocery stores / market, on TV or books.
· Running barefooted, getting connected to nature and lots of physical activities vs. playing indoors with toys and games (PS2, Xbox, iPad, computer, etc)
· … and many more.

While my husband and I would enjoy our quiet time, my son would be busy helping his grandfather with the gardening, cleaning up the fish pond, riding in his old jeep, and walking to the market / coffeeshop for breakfast. It’s truly a refreshing experience for my little boy!

I’m definitely going back to my hometown more often than before. Not only does my family enjoy getting away, I take this opportunity to build good childhood memories for my son. When he grows up, he can relate to what “kampung life” is all about.

For those who have a “kampung” to go back to, don’t take it for granted but make the best of it. On top of that, grandparents and relatives at home would definitely be happy to see us more often.

Karen Kok

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