Monday, 19 May 2008

Happy Wesak Day

To all my Buddhists friends, I wish a Happy Wesak Day. May we continue to live in a country that tolerate religious and racial differences.

Fellow blogger, Fie The Elf (see link on the right), posted her thoughts about our Bangsa Malaysia. It is a good read. She wrote about growing up in Sabah where having friends of a different race/religion was never an issue. But the race/religion thing is treated differently here in Peninsula Malaysia.

I couldn't agree with her more. I grew up in Singapore where I had Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian friends. When I transferred to boarding school in Malaysia, my circle of non-Malay friends dropped to almost nil.

My mother, who grew up in Pontian town, can speak the Hokkien and Teochew dialects fluently. This is because she had Chinese neighbours and friends.

The point that I want to make here is that, to understand about racial and religious tolerance, we have to start out young. That's why I encourage my sons to have more non-Malay friends at school.


bummer said...

It's fine for us to learn the lingos of others, friends. But there are others who have been here for decades and still can't speak our language properly, not even after we've changed it to Bahasa Melayu to Bahasa Malaysia.

Bangsa Malaysia's fine, but belajarlah bahasa Malaysia (Melayu) dan tahukan dulu adat resam bangsa Malaysia (Melayu) dulu.

Let's follow Indonesia and Bangsa Indonesia ..

Oldstock said...

Yes bummer, it would be good for non-Malays to learn about Malay language and customs. It would be ideal if each of us learn something about our fellow citizen of another race. Thanks for visiting.

fie the elf said...

Yeah EXACTLY i think we all should learn from each other, and about each other. I don't see the point of only learning about the Malay culture. Because that is only one race, and Malaysia (our country!) is made up of many races. Bangsa Malaysia is about accepting and tolerating and living with other races as equals.

@the anonymous bummer:
And by the way people who go to public schools can speak BM. I went to a public school when I was growing up in Malaysia but when I migrated 10 yrs ago I stopped using it and now I can only speak rojak with a funny accent lah. But I still understand everything.

We (my friends & I) just converse in English because we grow up with that language. No harm what.