Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Diwali tale

A few days ago I noticed a new car service centre had opened fer business in me Taman. Since there's no other workshop within such close proximity I decided to get the contact number & quiz the foreman on his abilities.

(Conversation in Cantonese)
Anfield Devotee: Morning boss, are you able to service a mazda mx5?
Ah Keong (boss): No problem one la.
AD: Sure ah, you can do? This car already very old, y'know.
Boss: No problem one la, just bring your car & we will do nice nice one la.
AD: What days are you closed?
Boss: Every day open one la! Even Sunday we work!
AD: (jokingly) So this Thursday you also working ah?
Boss: Why not? Why shouldn't we open?
AD: Er . . . its a public holiday.
Boss: (puzzled look) . . . What holiday? . . . Oh, you mean Indian people celebrating Thaipusam this Thurs right? Don't worry, we are open.
AD: (jaw gaping & shocked expression) No, its Deepavali.
Boss: Haiya, Thaipusam, Deepavali . . . isn't it the same thing.

I left wondering just how ignorant we are of each others traditions and cultures. We keep harping on 'Bangsa Malaysia' but yet blissfully unawares of the very basic traditions of each race. For example, me (former) Muslim staff at me old Bistro was puzzled as to why I did not consume beef when me other Indian friends did so. When I explained that they were Christians & not Hindus, they were still none the wiser. . .

This goes to show that our so-called "melting pot of cultures" is (like so many other things in this country) mere lip service. To be unaware of the significance of Deepavali is one thing but to mistake it fer another festival & assume they are all the same is another. Even most people of other races regard it as simply the "Indian New Year" which is a fallacy; that falls on another date & is not a public holiday.

Same goes fer all of us, I guess. How many of you can tell me the meaning of the Chinese Lantern festival or the meaning of certain Muslim holidays. We still haven't gotten to know each other well enough fer us to really be harping about a 'Bangsa Malaysia' & if the Chinese foreman above is any indication, we are a looooong way off (though I admire him fer his hardwork ethic).

On that note, I hope all Malaysians will make the effort to join their in the festivities of the various races - wholeheartedly & full of goodwill. Please let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Deepavali & a happy holidays.

PS: The correct term is Deepavali but the festival is also known as Diwali in various other parts of India as the word got shortened & corrupted in its travels.

13 comments:

kiaq said...

'Dark is not the opposite of light ... it's the absence of light'.

Happy Deepavali Bala.

JonC said...

Happy Deepavali mate. Any open house?

anfield devotee said...

TQ Bros Ciaq & JonC. No open house this year la - why have me friends come over, drink me booze while I merely sit & watch?!? Torture la dude . . .

Bernard said...

In the first place, this fella never had any Deepavali open house on a regular basis other than in his 1st year after moving into the deepest, darkest recesses of Puchong. Summore now that he's alcohol intolerant, you fellas want open house-ka? I bet muruku pun tadak. Speaking of which, I've got some excellent muruku at home. Deepavali open house at my place instead??

AD : Since you can't drink, that's your fookin problem. Be generous-la, just like Besiktas this morning!! Crappy host you are....We'll just head on down to your parents place then?

anfield devotee said...

Woi Bernard, first year me house then following year was at me parent's place la, bager complain complaim, apo apo well wishes pun tak de!

JonW said...

Happy Deepavali, mate.

weiyin69 said...

Oh, it's Deepavali now? Sorry, really don't know what festival is on in Malaysia these days!

Well, don't you know? Many Chinapek think that Hari Raya is New Year for the Malays, Deepavali or Thaipusam New Year for the Indians and heck, they just don't know the difference!

senorita.. said...

i am sort of celebrating too...! gonna go visit some houses and have tosais.. yummmyyyyy

Happy Deepavali Mr AD... =)

Bernard said...

Deepavali Nan Valtakel....now where's the mutton varevel???

Mark said...

Pundek lah I had to work... Was looking forward to some good food at Mr Muru's place.

Bernard said...

Buurrppp!!! Where were you flers-la? Was at Muru's till about 3ish....food was GOOOOOOOD!!

anfield devotee said...

shit, me BP was up again so was under house arrest. So had to miss Mr Muru's, Ezilan's & Previn's open houses.

This hypertension malarkey is a fooking crap deal . . .

Tq all fer yer warm Diwali wishes. Hopefully I will be in better shape fer next year's Diwali. Then perhaps we can have open house.

PS: Sorry Becky & JonC, high BP readings means I am unable to join you on yer away trip to Genting as well. Fooked up or what!

senorita.. said...

ya man..... heard abt the Genting trip... sadly i'm trapped in Melaka.... argh