Despite many of us considering ourselves the most informed generation ever, things weren’t always like that. Many of us remember something our parents told us that we accepted to be true… but years later found out to be outright LIES!
If there’s one thing CILISOS loves, it’s shattering myths… so we thought we’d team up with our friends at HP to ask our readers WHAT kinda lies their parents told them, and how they finally learnt the truth.
Why is HP on a mission to uncover all our childhood myths?
HP’s on a quest to open up children’s minds, encouraging them to think critically and out-of-the-box! To start things off, they had a series of mind-bending puzzles on the HP Malaysia Facebook page for parents to encourage their kids to solve.
And they ain’t just staying on social media either. On 17th July 2016, they hosted the fourth instalment of #HPKidsDayOut at Gurney Paragon in Penang, for families to test their critical thinking skills so that their kids can all grow up to be super-smart n super-knowledgeable! (P/S: Want to improve your child’s critical thinking? Click here to find out more.)
But in the meantime, let’s move away from lucky parents, and focus on 10 *unlucky* kids, who’s parents might’ve been a bit naughtier than the kids themselves.
1. “Advertisement means show finish edi!” – Rudy Irwan Bin Raini
One of the main reasons many Malaysian parents lied to their kids was to get them to sleep. Many kids knew that the ultimate goal was to listen to Negaraku on the TV because that meant we outlasted the TV station. But Rudy’s parents really accelerated the whole process.
“When I was small during show aired at night whenever the show stopped and advertisements are aired my mom would go.. “Cerita habis dah… Pi masuk tidoq” and she would switch off the TV. Me like an idiot would simply “OK” and went to sleep wondering why does it seems like the show isn’t over yet.
So I HATED ADVERTISEMENTS! May the one who first suggested “Oh we should stop show halfway and make people watch elephant endorsing talcum powder advertisement and we can make money of it” grow pimples inside his nostrils!” – Rudy Irwan
Then one night, he woke up needing to go to the toilet. Passing the TV room, he caught his PARENTS ENJOYING THE SHOW! He adds: “My mom calm as a coma, said ‘GO BACK TO SLEEP! TOMORROW SCHOOL DAY!”
Aiyo. Don’t worry Rudy, HP give you free stuff to compensate for all those years k?
2. “Don’t cut the tree or Penang will float away” – Andrea Tee
This one quite epic la. When Andrea was younger, her dad took her to see a big old tree in the middle of Penang Island.
“”This is the oldest tree in Penang,” he said, “and it is very important. It’s roots go all the way down to the core of the earth to stop Penang island from floating away. That is why, if the tree is ever cut down or if it dies, Penang will float out into the open ocean and become its own country.” – Andrea Tee
She believed this so fully that she went to school and told her teachers and friends about it. They countered with logic like “There is no way a tree’s roots can reach the core of the earth! It will burn!” But Andrea didn’t believe them. And then, when they learnt about Singapore actually LEAVING Malaysia, her dad’s lie got even deeper. Literally.
“I asked my dad how Singapore left Malaysia, and he said “Well they dug a huge trench between Singapore and Malaysia, let the island drift out to sea a bit, and then planted a tree so it stayed put!”
I believed this until I was 10. At school, people knew me as Tree Girl. Until now, my dad insists it is true but he can’t say it without laughing.” – Andrea Tee
3. “Don’t forget to wave at Pakcik Osman!” – Cassandre Nicole
This one’s just plain mean. Tsk, Cassandre’s mom… tsk!
“My mom thinks she’s funny. She told me the post man’s name was P. Osman. Growing up, I would yell like “Hi Pakcik Osman!” and the guy would just give me the most confused look. I thought Pakcik Osman hated me!
Aiyo. And things only got worse. One day, a different postman came to Cassandre’s house… so obviously, she was very confused that he was wearing her favourite Pakcik’s shirt. “I got mad and asked him why does he have a shirt with Posman on it? “This shirt belongs to Pakcik Osman!” I said! The guy burst out laughing.. From that day on I couldn’t trust my mom at all.”
4. “Ramadhan markets are only for Muslims” – Darshini Mahendan
When she was growing up, Darshini had always looked longingly at Ramadhan markets. “I remember tons of times being in the car with my family and looking outside at the bazaar Ramadhan sadly, sighing to myself wishing very much that I could go.” But why couldn’t she go?
“Because they were always lazy or tired from work, my parents told me that the Bazaar Ramadhan is for Muslims ONLY, and it is the law of the country that non-Muslims can’t go anywhere near the Bazaar Ramadhan. This is because if the non-Muslims eat all their food, the Muslims won’t have any more food when it’s time for them to Buka Puasa.
As a child, I would never go anywhere near a Bazaar Ramadhan. A couple of times, I even ran really fast the opposite direction because I saw a police officer. In high school, my non-Muslim friends would all make plans to go to the bazaar, and I always opted out. I remember thinking “OMG… such rebels!”” – Darshini
In fact, she’s 24 now and just recently found out the truth as she and her friends were driving past a delicious looking Ramadhan market. “I said “Damn. I wish they’d change the law already. The food looks so good!”. They all laughed and told me that there was no such law. Ugh, thanks mom and dad.”
5. The *painful* lie (almost) all Malaysian kids have heard before – James Hoh
For this entry, we need to explain how our readers submitted their entries. For this HP-sponsored contest, we asked them for 3 things – The Lie, The Effect of it, and How They found out. Here’s James Hoh’s epicly short entry about his dad, which should win a Kancil Award for Efficiency of Language.
The Lie: “You know how to climb up the gate ah….? Very good, show me” *Rotan follows*
The Effect: Totally confused.
How I found out!: Backside painful.
6. “We had you cos your brother was lonely” – Tai Li Ying
Growing up in a happy family, Li Ying had always been told that she was born into this world because her older brother was lonely as a single child, and asked for a baby sister. However, as she got older, and her math got better… she noticed something strange.
“It recently dawned on me that our age gap is only 13 months so my brother was hardly 4 months old when I was conceived. Was he a language prodigy or does mom have super powers in baby talk?” – Tai Li Ying
She did the math because working in healthcare, she dealt with a lot of children, and it made her reminisce (and calculate). Tai described it as “a shattering of rose tinted childhood”. “None the less, I still think mom is a genius for cooking that up and using it to brainwash both of us. It gave us a strong sense of belonging in the family.”
7. “Be quiet or the Hantu Misai will getchu!” – Nur Suraya
What do you do when you want your kids to keep quiet so you can have some peace at home?
When she was 4, Nur used to be terrified to balik raya or going for trips up north with her parents, especially when they passed the dreaded palm oil plantations.
“So my mum always say the old/dead looking ones beside the road are called ‘hantu misai’. So every time drive during night, have to go to sleep or pretend go to sleep so hantu misai don’t hear and get me.
I told my brothers the same thing so we didn’t talk much..at least around palm trees lah. This went on until I was like 11.”
Eventually, she learnt Biology and how all things wither and dies (without hantus), but the fear remains to this day.
“I still insist on travelling daylight so there’s no accidental sighting of hantu misai. I also realize there’s no such thing as hantu misai since I bincang with my friends and not single one of them ever heard of that hantu. I even checked the myth/folkore/cerita-cerita orang lama but nothing. Basically my mum made it up to shut me up during car trips.”
8. “Your mom is BATMAN!” – Nurhartini A.Rahim
Every kid can relate to always wanting to stay out later. After all, if you’re at your friend’s house, your mom wouldn’t know right? OR WILL SHE!? Nurhartini’s mom had a powerful friend in a higher place.
“She told me that the moon is always watching me, so if I wander elsewhere after mengaji, the moon will report to her. I believed her completely because it really looked like the moon was “following” me wherever I go!” – Nurhartini
So the poor girl ended up like those Batman villains, especially paranoid about being naughty when the moon was full. “I ended up saying stupid stuff to my friends like “OK! It is moonless tonight so I can stay a bit and my mom wont know”. I spent half of my childhood years hating the moon for being such a snitch.”
It was only years later she found out… when her friend told her that her mom had said the exact same thing.
9. “Chew your veggies, or they will become a tree!” – Reynu
Reynu has been a vegetarian for most of her life, but she didn’t always enjoy vegetables. In fact, she swallowed them quickly so she WOULDN’T have to taste them.
“Knowing this, my mom told me that if I swallowed my vegetables without chewing it properly, the plant would continue growing in my tummy and it would eventually branch out and become this huge tree.
I was a pretty imaginative kid and by that I mean the wildest, most ridiculous imaginations. So, every time I got a tummy ache or felt some sort of a discomfort, I’d think it was actually happening. I’d be so restless the entire day, worrying. Avoid drinking water so as not to let it grow any further and squeeze my tummy hoping it would die.” – Reynu
Eventually, she went to school, and talked with her friends about it. “They assured me that it’s not possible. I was never entirely convinced though.”
10. “You can only go to 7-Eleven if you are 7 or 11” – Celine Wong
Most Malaysian youngsters would have fond memories of getting sweets and slurpees from 7-11. However, poor Celine had really limited opportunities.
“When I was a child, I wanted to get those colourful looking Slurpees from 7-Eleven. My mother told me that I can’t buy anything or step into 7-Eleven until I am 7 or 11 years old.
When I reached my 11th birthday. I realised that many kids younger than me were at the store. I was totally mindblown!” – Celine Wong
Till today, she has yet to try a Slurpee. “The closest I could get to 7 Eleven slurpees were the plastic cups which I somehow managed to ‘curi’ one to use for project.” On the brightside tho, even though she loves the sight of the colourful slurpees, her parents’ lie resulted in Celine developing a dislike for food colourings in general.
Don’t let your kids grow up like blur sotongs!
To make up for all those years believing in myths, HP will reward the above 10 entries with movie passes and cool HP tumblers and thumb drives!
Anyway… painful right, going through these hilarious memories? We’re sure many more of you poor grown-up kids also kena, since we received more than 120 entries to this contest (mebe we do round 2, HP?). But more importantly, the kids of the next generation will have all sorts of cool tools to help them make more critical decisions.
Don’t forget, if you want your kids to grow up to think critically, get a head start with HP Mind Benders!
And remember… if you see a tree outside… don’t cut it k? Otherwise baibai Penang char kueh teow 🙁