since j1 asked if he could try fasting to better understand what his friends go through, we have tried each Ramadan to do at least a day’s fast, we have often organized a “Muhibbah style buka puasa makan bersama-sama” where everyone (regardless of religion) can meet, chat, break fast together, whatever. I think it is good to do these things, partly as we’d like our boys to understand culture/history/religious practices, learn to respect each other’s differences/cultural practices, whether we follow the same or not. The ways that I remember learning as a kid, as a student etc. Respect, politeness, consideration, courtesy: this should be applied NO MATTER WHAT religion/background/ethnic background.
Respect is a two way street, and I find it sad, very very sad, what happens these days. Yes, there will always be prejudices/perceptions, I suspect that’s pretty much a part of the human condition, but how you act on it, how you behave towards others, will be a measure of who you are. Yes, there will always be xenophobes, religious bigots, MCPS, and other such narrow minded, restrictive peeps, but that does not mean that you should teach those same things in mainstream education. Kids learn from their adult examples, whether it’s in schools or at home etc. This is why I do worry for our country’s future, for my kids future here. Asking me to leave to go back to my country of origin, would mean me going back to Penang 😛
This is why I’d like to try my best in teaching my kids our history, cultures, ethnic backgrounds, that so many contributed to the country’s prosperity, growth and talent, beauty and creativity, that immigrants (from everywhere) are indeed a part of our country’s fabric from waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy back when, who are our leaders of yore were, not what the so called history textbooks are supposedly teaching now. We have been fortunate in our friends and those we mingle with, different ethnic histories, different religions, but we have many shared interests and pet peeves, the other stuff is just part of the puzzle as it were. That’s my kind of Malaysia. That is what I hope my kids will still be able to inherit.
So this year, we decided to combine our annual Muhibbah Makan, with the #Fast4Malaysia event, first held in 2009.We first joined in 2009, and here’s the next one. We’re getting together with friends from all backgrounds, and having iftar together (Sahur is I know very hard to come together for buka :D) If you want to organise your own with family, friends, no matter where you are in the world. Fast in your own way too, whether it’s with just water (like some religions do) or no food/drink from sun up to down. Pledge this and post pictures etc 🙂 More details below!