Despite living far away in France, Malaysia is still close to their hearts

Nur Aqidah Azizi

SEREMBAN: At first glance, Jade Nur Moulin, from France looks like a typical playful seven-year-old girl.

But ask her a question in Bahasa Malaysia and you will be surprised not only by her fluent response in the language, but also in a thick Negri Sembilan dialect.

Jade, the third child of Nurazimah Karim, 43, from Malaysia and Nicolas Moulin, 48, from France made headlines recently after her video talking in a Negri dialect went viral, shooting her name to instant fame.

When met at the Imperial Suite Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson Resort Hotel here recently, Nurazimah said, living thousands of miles away from Malaysia didn’t deter her from teaching her kids her mother tongue.

“My children can talk in French, Bahasa Malaysia and English. But I normally will talk with them in Bahasa Malaysia so that’s how they learn and pick up the language,” said the former banker. “At times, when I talk on the phone with family members, I love to use Negri’s dialect as my father is originally from Negri Sembilan. Jade used to mimic what I said and I guess that’s how she developed the skills,” she said.

Nurazimah added, she was shocked when she first heard her daughter talking in Negri’s dialect, which then had prompted her to record the video, before uploading it on her Instagram account. “I didn’t expect at all that the video would become the talk of the town and went viral. When family members and friends back home alerted me about it, only then I realised that my daughter had become an instant superstar,” she said laughing.

Nurazimah said, despite French being the first language used by her husband and her three other children - Adam Daniel Moulin, 16, Ida Aili Moulin, 12, and Anna Syifa Moulin seven-months, Bahasa Malaysia has never been sidelined.

“Teaching my children Bahasa Malaysia is also one of the ways to educate them about Malaysia. I have been talking to them in Bahasa Malaysia since they were born and that has helped them to master the language well, besides French and English. “I have been living in Paris for 17 years. But Malaysia has always been in my heart and until today, I still feel homesick at times,” she said.

“I love sharing stories about Malaysia to my children – it’s like a therapy for me whenever I miss home. My children too love Malaysia so much and look forward to our annual trip here every year, and definitely spending time with their cousins and other family members here is something they love to do,” said Nurazimah, who runs a travel company business with her husband in Paris.

Her food service delivery, Nasi Ayam Paris is also a hit among tourists in Paris, of which her customers include Malaysian celebrities and VIPs.

“When you are far away from your country, you tend to look at it at different perspective and appreciate it more. The variety of colours that Malaysia has, is what makes it beautiful. “The country has come a long way since we first celebrated our first Merdeka in 1957. And now that we are going to celebrate the country’s 61st Merdeka Day this year, I hope all of us Malaysians, near and far can stay united, through thick and thin,” she said adding that although she won’t be around to celebrate Merdeka Day, she planned to cook Malaysian dishes for her family on Aug 31. “Life is equally good in Paris, but one day, God willing, my family and I will return to Malaysia for good,” she said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd