Friday, July 17, 2009
To my many Japanese culture fan-boys/girls friends, today's bon odori celebrations at the Matsushita Stadium in Shah Alam is a must attend bash. While I am not a huge fan of Japanese culture, I can certainly understand their enthusiasm for an ancient and colourful culture as well as the modern flashy J-POP culture of music, animes and manga.
Many of my Ah Beng mates are also crazy over anything Japanese. The Japanese and Chinese culture are very similar, heck even the katana and kimono had their roots in Spring & Autumn period of Chinese history (8th BC to 5thBC); and much of the "modern" Japanese culture is essentially a different branch of same ancient one. Many even in mainland China admire Japan of what China could have been, notwithstanding the bloody history between the two nations during WW2.
Now back home in Malaysia, I am delighted that many of my Muslim friends are flocking to bon odori. It shows maturity and sophistication to accept and join in the celebration of another people's culture.
Sadly while there is such a ready acceptance of a foreign culture, I often wonder if they would be so accommodating if I were to invite them for a Chinese do, say the Mid Autumn Festival (also erroneous referred to as the Moooncake Festival).
Always the first question, will the food be Halal? WTF? Do I look so bloody ignorant as to serve non-Halal food and drinks to my Muslim friends? Mooncakes sold nowadays are already Halal. In practically all of the previous places I have worked at, some of my Muslim brothers get so upset if I ever were to eat non-Halal (even if it's just chicken rice with zero pork) in the office, citing a lack of respect; but the same people will NEVER think twice gulping down a Big Mac in front of Hindus and beef-abstaining Buddhists.
As a mark of respect, I will usually excuse myself from the presence of my Muslim brothers if I was to eat or drink during Ramadhan.
The 1-Malaysia concept looks good on paper. If some of my Muslim brothers cannot even stand their non-Muslim brethren eating non-Halal food in thier presence, then all will be just a pipe dream.
To those who considers what goes in a man is more imprtant that what comes out, I ask this, when was the last time any of your Hindu co-workers complained you ate beef in their presence?
End of rant.