Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another Ramadhan-related post

So, we're almost right smack in the middle of Ramadhan, and I just went to my first Ramadhan bazaar this year.

I was a little apprehensive, because I'd heard that some of the stall operators can be rather cold to non-Malay customers. Being bombarded by 1Malaysia propaganda all the time, this was certainly not something I wanted to experience. Perhaps I am not as jaded as I think.

Out of the many -- and I mean many -- stalls my dad and I bought from, we were only treated like that at one. We were practically invisible to the lady until there were no other (Malay) customers, and she 'forgot' to give us our change.

As I started to stew while waiting for the RM 3, something caught my eye.

A Chinese couple passed me, munching on newly-bought keropok. Casually, they strolled around, looking and pointing at stalls, oblivious to the fact that they were the only ones in the vicinity eating.

A little later, I walked past a man, Chinese again, happily slurping a cold drink from a nearby stall. It wasn't a particularly hot day, and it wasn't like the drink was too heavy to be carried around.

Gosh, I thought, embarrassed and angry. No wonder they don't like us.

It's common knowledge to everybody here that the Muslims are fasting -- heck, it's the reason why these bazaars even exist! Would it kill people to have (and show) a little respect for them?

I've tried fasting, and I can honestly say it doesn't matter whether or not there are people eating and drinking in front of me. However, refraining from eating in front of a whole bazaar of people is just the polite thing to do. It's the smart thing to do as well, honestly -- Bumiputeras outnumber the nons, like, thirty to one at a Ramadhan bazaar.

Courtesy. We lack courtesy. We also lack empathy, understanding, and manners. I suppose you could pin the blame on the older generation for not bringing this generation up right, but can you really learn niceness?

The state of our society saddens me.


  1. I think this is really interesting. And I'd love to visit Malaysia during Ramadhan and just...understand, I guess. (:

    I do think people are starting to lack basic courtesy and understanding.

  2. On a more serious note, I agree. I've always sort of refused to eat or drink in front of the puasa-ers, and only now when the Malay friends in my class repeatedly scoff at me and assure me that they heck don't care, do I only feel sorta alright doing it - around THEM. My friends. The ones who insist they don't mind.

  3. Sharona:
    Honestly, there's still a lot of things that I don't understand about Ramadhan. So many words and phrases and practises that people don't quite bother explaining because I'm Chinese and I don't need to know. It's complicated stuff, I guess. Oh, the idea of fasting is to empathise with the less-fortunate who don't get to eat and stuff. That's all I know.
    We are indeed. It's quite sad. :/

    I counted the number of 'e's, jsyk. See, that's just the nice, polite thing to do. Why don't people see that?

  4. nice touch on the ramadhan post . Totally agree with what you said ..