This conversation transpired between three colleagues one of whom is yours truly. Here goes.
X : Was A angry at B yesterday because B drank in front of A?
Z : Why would A be angry?
Y : Yeah, why? Why can’t B drink in front of A?
X : Because A is fasting … Wouldn’t you be angry if we drink in front of you? (Addressing Z)
Z : Why would I be angry? I have no right to be angry nor have I right to demand for you to not drink or eat in front of me. Question then is whether you want to be respectful to those who are fasting.
Y : Yeah, why would they be offended if you drink and eat in front of them? You are not fasting.
Z : Exactly. I cannot speak for everyone but I don’t think we have any right to be angry or insist people not to do that. I personally think so. It’s just a matter of respect.
So, the above actually took place in this world I live in with people who live long enough to know without the need for me to explain. Nevertheless, some do not really bother to understand and regardless of the number of years they have been around. It is however, sad. The misunderstanding, misconceptions that are happening simply because of ignorance. Lack of interest to actually understand but jumping to conclusions and making assumptions without even being bothered to understand.
Malaysia is one of the most multiracial countries in the world. People should, without the need to be asked nor coerced into learning about each others do and don’t, be sensitive to each others needs and level of sensitivity. On the other hand, one should not be over sensitive of what others do. To me, one will not get offended if the other shows courtesy and respect and one must not demand too much out of it.
In front of me, you can eat and drink all you want even when I am fasting. I will just take it that you are hungry beyond famish and lack respect and courtesy. Really, go ahead.
Ramadan Mubarak to those fasting and to those who don’t, choose to be respectful. Choose to be courteous. Everyone should choose to live in harmony.