Muslim nanny goes beyond race

Muslim nanny goes beyond race
Devoted carer: Hajijah has been taking care of the two boys whom she fondly calls Hassan (left) and Abu (right) since they were toddlers.
PHOTO: The Star

PETALING JAYA - A heartwarming story of a relationship between a Muslim nanny and her two boys has been making its rounds on social media.

"Mum, you have clearly proven that you are a true Malaysian. You need not wear a red T-shirt and attend rallies to prove that," said Facebook user Mary Anni of her mother Hajijah Saini who used to babysit two Chinese boys.

In the Facebook post by Mary, which has gone viral since it was posted a few days ago, she paid tribute to her mother for taking on the role of nanny to the boys when they were toddlers.

"When I was still in secondary school, my mother started babysitting services, and the two of her charges that remain vivid in my memory are Hassan and Abu, whom I first met when I was 16.

"Hassan and Abu are two Chinese boys who were under my mother's care since they were two years old. They were called Hassan and Abu by my mum as it was easier for her to remember," she wrote.

She said the names stuck to a point where even their own families called them by those names.

"Mum loved those boys like her own. She hand-fed them, rocked them to sleep, bathed them and played with them and my siblings.

"My eight siblings and I never once felt awkward with the presence of Abu and Hassan at home. We were taught to love them despite the differences in our race and religion," wrote Mary.

"We were taught to accept them as family."

The image consultant from Sarawak said there were times when the boys had so much fun at her house that they refused to go home.

"They would ask to stay the night and make their parents wait for hours outside our house.

"Mum eventually had to apologise to their parents and tell them that Hassan and Abu did not want to go home," said Mary.

She added that the boys' parents also did not mind leaving their children at her house overnight, but they were concerned that it might be troublesome for Hajijah.

"Once mum convinced them that the boys were no trouble at all, the parents would leave and come back again the next day to convince the boys to go home," she said.

She said some of the best memories the family had with Hassan and Abu were during Hari Raya.

"There were times when Hassan and Abu would break fast with us, stayed overnight in our house on Hari Raya eve, playing fireworks while excitedly waiting for the dawn of Hari Raya together with us. Such great times," she added.

She said during that time, the boys called her mother emak and even referred to her father and grandmother as ayah and nenek.

She added that the boys were never once treated differently.

"Through my experience with Hassan and Abu, I have learnt from mum to be kind to everyone without discriminating anyone.

"Thanks to people like my mum, I have learnt to understand the true value of Malaysia Day and what it means to be a Malaysian."

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