Friday, July 17, 2009

Bon Odori

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.


KageSenshi said...

If theres such festival being held publicly - and interesting- and enough promotion. I don't see much problem of going to it. Of course, its also the matter of one is interested with it or not. :P

"O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most godfearing of you. God is All-knowing, All-aware." [49:13]

Regarding the halal or non-halal issue, its mainly the matter of people doubting the halal status.

From Anas ra : A man said to Rasulullah s.a.w : "Give me some advice", and he said : "Judge each matter by its disposition. If you see good in its outcome, carry on with it; but if you fear transgressing the limits set by Allah swt, then abstain from it".

when in doubt, abstain. Go to obon or autumn festival or whatever, but just dont eat if ure in doubt :).

Rajaseelan said...

Totally agree w/ you on the post man. +1 Rant

Anonymous said...

@Kage, Agreed, a faithful man can be inspiring and you will get no arguments from me, however, the fact that many of my Muslim friends seem to feel everything that is Chinese is non-Halal only shows the level of ignorance and it's bordering on racist. You will never find any Ah Beng nowadays serve any non-Halal foodstuff and drinks to Muslims. If they know they will be serving non-alal stuff they and me will never invite Muslim friends for that bash. I am unsure the same people who makes debates the finer points of Halal-ness will have any qualms handling that RM50 note from a pork eater/seller right? My point is, if we can't even sit down and have a decent meal together, how the hell can there be true harmony and integration? Who the hell cares what the guy next to you eats, keep your observations, you will find that inspiring, just don't be "biadap". Note, I sat next to Jewish guy (with skullcap and all) in Macao eating shrimp cocktail, didn't notice him sneer or looked like he wanted to punch my lights out!

@Rajaseelan, sounds like a familiar thing right?

Min Yang said...

i've gone to bon odori yesterday, and it was GREAAAAT!!! the dances were not that hard and interesting... it's too short thou... =)

msian_tux_lover said...

@Min Yang, I am glad you enjoyed yourself.