KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24, 2015:
The country’s multiracial and religious diversity allows its people to experience and enjoy the excitement of different festivities, in this case Christmas, which was celebrated by families of different religions.
For Jeremy Jamaludin, 25, who hails from Kuching, Sarawak, being born to a family with a multi-religious background was a bonus for him as he had the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures and celebrations.
“Usually, on Christmas morning, all the Christians will go to church to pray and be gracious for the year that has passed. As for other Muslim brothers, they will be at home making the necessary arrangements.
“Once everyone is home, we will gather and eat together like in other festivals. We even separate the halal and non-halal food so that they would not be confused,” he told The Rakyat Post.
He said the element of respect ensured harmony in a mixed family. This is because it allowed them to better understand the religious and cultural beliefs of others.
“We do not only have relatives who believe in Islam. Many of our family members have been married to people of other religions.
“Our way of respecting each other’s religion is in cooking food and providing them separately for the Muslims and non-Muslims.
“Although there are many issues concerning the sensitivity of other religions, for me the important thing is that everyone can come together and have fun together. There is no excitement like that,” he explained.
For Danial Razak Mohammed, 28, celebrating Christmas festivities was no different from other festivals because the concept was still the same, which was to get together with their families to enjoy a hearty meal.
“My mother was a Christian but converted to Islam after marrying my father. Our Christmas celebrations are just like other families. Muslim brothers come to visit the non-Muslims.
“Many of my mother’s family members are not fond of pork dishes, so there is no problem for our Muslim brothers when it comes to food as we avoid pork. But if they have to add flavouring such as alcohol, they will inform us.
“There is no problem for us at all to live together despite differences in religion, which is why it is important to respect and understand each other’s religion.”