Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I've been meaning to write this since Chinese New Year, but never got down to it. Ibrahim Ali's recent musings and rantings (some would call it ramblings of a lunatic) have actually spurred me on to write this.
Over the new year, I met up with loads of people from school and college. These are people I grew up with in a predominately Chinese environment. If you have been following me long enough, you might have read this before. So there I was, meeting some people for the first time in 10 years since I left school, 8 years since I left college.
We were talking, and inevitably the subject on race, politics and Malaysia in general tend to resurface. This is normal coffeeshop talk that I suppose goes on everyday. It dissapointed me that for many of them the 8 or 10 years of growing up did not seem to change their perspective on race and religion. Here they were sprouting the same insensitive things, bitching about the same issues they were bitching about all those years ago.
Don't get me wrong, I think these people are good people. They are fiercely loyal friends, and I dare say that many of them would gladly take a bullet for me if asked. It's just a pity that they did not have the same opportunity to go out there and mix around and learn another culture. 10 years on and they still have not been able to gain some level of acceptance of other people's seemingly weird and alien culture.
It is as if they are stuck in time warp. While many people have been able to ride off Ibrahim Ali as a madman or a politician saying things for brownie points, the scary thing is that he might actually mean the things he say - the same way my friends actually mean the insensitive things they sprout about the other races.
Is there a point here?
I don't quite know. I guess, all I am saying is repeating my lately often repeated mantra - GO OUT THERE...LEARN A NEW CULTURE. You can't like someone unless you get to know them!
"We fight our neighbours because we don't understand them, not because we disagree with them."
Just let them be. If a student wants to learn, I suppose he will no matter how hard it is.
If he doesn't want to, even with a gun on his head he still won't do it! Same goes for understanding different cultures.. ;)
The point of my comment? None. It's just that I have met many people like that as well over the past years and at times I know how frustrating it is to hear all this kind of rhetorics at times.