What we eat, drink or believe in shouldn’t separates us or use as tools for hate.
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Have you ever felt awkward or unsure of sharing your experiences of tasting delicious foods and beverages or your favourite recipes with your friends and family just because it’s non-halal?
Well, one local interracial couple took some time this Chinese New Year to remind Malaysians that what we eat or drink shouldn’t be a thing that separates us, and how being considerate of others is the way to go to live a harmonious life in a multicultural society.
Twitter user and the former secretary to Selangor Exco, Daniel Teoh, shared a moment of self-reflection that his wife, Nur Hafizah, had while celebrating the festive season for the first time since their marriage.
In her Facebook post, Nur Hafizah wrote of how her husband’s siblings had asked if it was okay to share images of non-halal foods on their family WhatsApp group – afraid that it might be sensitive for her.
This inspired Nur Hafizah to consider why it was definitely okay for them to do so, as well as, how it was important for us to understand and respect peoples values and beliefs without imposing our own ideals on them.
“My in-laws had asked my husband if it was I was okay with them sharing pictures of non-halal food on the family WhatsApp group. Of course, I’m fine with it,” wrote Nur Hafizah, appreciating how her non-Malay/Muslim family was being thoughtful of her feelings and beliefs despite her being a new member of the family.
She went on to share her observation of how non-Malays/Muslims in Malaysia would be considerate of the halals and harams associated with Islam and tried not to touch too much on things that might be sensitive.
I felt the calling to write about this, about how we as Malays often impose our beliefs or personal values on others without considering the cultures and beliefs of people from different religions, which often doesn’t interfere with our lives.Nur Hafizah via Facebook
Using alcohol as an example, Nur Hafizah believes that our differences shouldn’t be used as a tool for us to hate each other.
Take alcohol or liquor, for example, which has always been made into capital for racial politics in Malaysia. It’s definitely haram for Muslims, but alcohol has existed in the history of multiple races including the Arabs before it was forbidden by Islam. Even the Chinese have their own history and traditions involving alcohol. It’s served for guests as a show of respect, used in cooking and drank to warm the body up, used for medicine and others. No Chinese person likes or agrees with the practice of drunk driving. But we, without wanting to understand other people’s cultures, want to get rid of everything that is haram to us.Nur Hafizah via Facebook
She encourages everyone to be a little more tolerant of each other and always be respectful of others.
On festive days, when all of us are on holiday together, listen to Chinese New Year songs in shopping malls and on the radio, and wish each Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year) to our Chinese friends, it’ll be great for us to understand and respect each other in the truest sense.Nur Hafizah via Facebook
Nur Hafizah writing resonated with a lot of people on the internet who believes that embracing other cultures and beliefs is a recipe that defines what our country is all about.
Others also took time to share their own experiences of living in an accepting and respectful community here in Malaysia.
True. My Chinese friends are so considerate. Since we’re lunch buddies, they always chose to eat at halal restaurants. Im okay if they want to tapao pork or non halal things and eat tgt at the pantry but they said its okay. They said they like chicken more than pork anyway 😂😂 https://t.co/zM67huCNQN— Introvert Alien (@IntrovertAlien1) February 2, 2022
Good sharing! Myself a Cina who don’t take beef okay jer sit together with my Muslim frens yang makan beef .. ada juga some of my Muslim frens kasitau which lauk is beef etc. . they know I don’t take beef https://t.co/gMRQsfb93X— AuntyWIN (@KA_2604) February 2, 2022
Typing out trending topics and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.