Musicians of HumanistSG – Nora

The first piece by our friends from Council of Ex-Muslims Singapore (CEMSG) came from Nora. Nora is a founding member of the group, and a mentor to the community.

Nora chose the Malay song poem “Tekad” , music by brothers Nur & Adee in the 1990s, based on a poem for lyrics by Mohd Latiff Mohd from 1970s. Tekad, roughly translated as ‘determination’, is about the feelings of post Singapore-Malaysia separation, leaving ethnic Malays in Singapore with a feeling of isolation, and the subsequent need for reflection and determination. Nora likened that to the separation of oneself from a religious faith, and the very similar feeling losing faith among a community of faithfuls evoked. It was a very meaningful interpretation of the song and it exhibited emotions with brilliance.

The feelings of separation are mixed. One could feel probably grief, despair, heartache; Or one could feel freedom, happiness, satisfaction; Or sense of longing. Nora’s delivery was one of quiet desperation & stoicism, with feelings of imposed hopelessness, subsequently living with it, and eventually overcoming it. The song’s minor key was well exploited by Nora, who most likely felt deeper as a daughter and a mother. Ponybard provided guitar accompaniment.

HMD-27a

Is there any new sense of belonging after separation? Any other things worth looking forward, rather than backward to? We anticipate, and we hope, and we celebrate.