By: Ben Matchap
I posted a note a few weeks ago saying those that celebrate the 7-month festival should not throw their hell notes all over the place. Some people got pretty upset about the post. Some people have even mentioned that throwing all this stuff around is part of the tradition. Well if that’s the case I really want you guys to think about this.
1. Who is going to pick up after you? Thats right these things don’t disappear just because the “ghost” takes them. People have to do extra work to clean it up. Is it fair to the cleaners? especially when touching offerings are considered to be “bad luck”. Is it fair to make someone else pick up after you just because it is your tradition when according to your tradition it is bad luck to touch it?
2. I have to just accept it because it is religion. Look all things are open to questions. Yes this is “religion” apparently does it mean I cannot comment on it? Learn to read before getting offended. In my opinion I think people should be allowed to burn offerings and we should tolerate it. But if you are going to throw stuff all around that is a little too much. Maybe we could work out a compromise? maybe pick up and tidy the area after you are done?
3. Religion have had to compromise with the public. Like when they banned the drums during Thaipusam because of noise complaints. When they need the drums and songs to help them get into trance to pierce their skin and carry those heavy kavadi.
Overall I just want to say that Singaporeans need to educate themselves and not just accept things they way they are. It is extremely shallow thinking to just be mindlessly repeating stuff like “religion very sensitive, cannot talk about it”.
We as a country need to learn how to talk about these sensitive issues without losing our cools and getting offended so easily. If we cannot objectively look at religious issues and learn how to give and take how can we keep the peace in our country?
Religious harmony does not mean we shut up and not talk about religion because it is sensitive and being sensitive does not mean we get offended at the drop of a hat. Religious harmony means we learn to talk, debate, discuss and compromise and understand each other better.