It seems like a happy Raya this time around


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It seems like a happy Raya this time around
By Zan Azlee

There has been a little bit of progress this Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia. There was no call from the ignorant Muslims to not wish non-Muslims Selamat Hari Raya.

There has been no uproar over a certain brainless and insensitive couple who would normally eat Bak Kut Teh and wish people happy Ramadan.

We somehow have managed to silence one very vocal Chinese Muslim lecturer who doesn’t know anything but to spew out hate and negativity.

(See… it works when you stop giving attention to people like them!)

Of course, we had one small recurring incident where a stupid teacher in a school had made a remark that non-Muslim students need to drink in the toilet. But everyone showed their disgust.

As for me, I celebrate Hari Raya like I’ve always done since I was little. It would be together with my family that consists of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and a couple of Mat Sallehs.

They practice a variety of religions. Some are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Taoist, Hindus and definitely a few agnostics and atheists too.

And all this sure adds up to a lot of problems!

First there is the noise. Everyone talks and for the uninitiated, it can get quite confusing. There would be people speaking in English, Cantonese, Malay, Mandarin and whatever else.

Then there is the food. There’s just too much variety of it! There’s the halal kind, there’s the non-beef kind and there’s the vegetarian kind. Everybody gets equal opportunity to eat.

Thirdly, we don’t really know what celebrations we are actually celebrating. It gets confusing when we all celebrate everything from Chinese New Year to Deepavali and Ching Ming.

And, the younger generation who are still under ten years old get all their greetings confused. They don’t know when to say Maaf, Zahir dan Batin or when to say Kong Hei Fatt Choy!

But one thing is for sure, we all really have a freaking good time celebrating together. Not a single thread of animosity exists between us. Well, we are blood family anyway.

Sure, there are bigger problems that we are facing. Malaysia has so far never seen such scandals and controversies as big as the 1MDB scandal.

And it seems that one by one, more corruption accusations are coming out such as the MARA real estate purchases in Australia and the old polymer notes scandal.

The economy as at a low point. The value of the Ringgit has been at an all time low. Cost of living is high  and petrol price flunctuates so much it isn’t helping the country’s revenue much.

But at least these are problems that does not involve race or religion (I’m going to excuse the MARA one) and just affects the entire Malaysian community.

And these problems, while they may be big and intimidating, should not be unsolvable when we are united as a people and as a country.

So to every single Malaysian, have a blessed and happy Hari Raya.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

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