It’s all about balance. On Thursday(the 4th day of Eidul Adha) since morning I had a busy day. First participating in the slaughter of a few cows. A few that some of us can afford. Like all Muslims all over, we celebrated Eidul Adha.
It’s the Muslim veneration for the sacrifice the Prophet Abraham was willing to undergo. God commanded him to sacrifice a possession that is most dear to him, his son. Muslims believed it was Ishmael.
Many know about the significance of Eidul Adha. It’s actually a bigger celebration than Eid al-Fitri.
From Wikipedia:- Eidul adha or (Festival of the Sacrifice"), also called the "Sacrifice Feast", is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God's command, before God then intervened sending his angel Jibra'il (Gabriel) to inform him that his sacrifice had already been accepted.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.
I am sure the same ritual is observed at a few other kampungs. The meats would be distributed among kampong folks. It is done in the hope that those less fortunate could also enjoy some meats to be eaten.
In my case, we did the ritual slaughter near a cattle pen in Kampung Sungai Pasu, Raub. A group of men were on hand to carve out the meats into manageable pieces to be brought to the mosque. At the mosque the meats were further apportioned into 1 kilo weights to be given out. Volunteers would transport the meat by cars and motorcycles to be distributed among villagers. The act of giving to share is a much valued gesture.
Some portion due to people who donated the cows was taken for communal feasts. The women folks helped to cook a certain portion for lunch. The bulk of the meats were prepared for a communal dinner after the Isyaq prayers.
In the afternoon, while waiting for the evening event, I and a group of volunteers went about town to distribute mooncakes. It was in celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.
The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts which are closely tied to one another:
- Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops for the festival. It's said the moon is the brightest and roundest on this day which means family reunion.
- Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
- Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future
Traditions and myths surrounding the festival are formed around these three concepts, although traditions have changed over time due to changes in technology, science, economy, culture, and religion. It's about wellbeing together.
In Malaysia, one way the Chinese celebrate is by eating mooncakes. At night the carry lanterns. When I was younger, we knew about the tanglung festival. When we were much younger, we sometimes bought the paper lanterns and went around the neighbourhood. Also popular nowadays is the distribution and sharing of limau bali in Malay or the Pomelo.
This is the Malaysia we want. Each religious community respecting the religious or quasi-religious celebration of one another. It calls for mutual tolerance. We don’t even have to understand the importance that each religious community attached to these celebrations; it is sufficient at least to tolerate each other as long as they don’t intrude and disturb each other.
Tolerance ought to teach us not to only to celebrate our differences but also to apply restraint on some of our personal feelings. Tolerance is all the more needed in the wake of the diatribes and harsh responses to Jeff Ooi’s unfortunate remark on the demise of Dr Harun Din. It is not representative of the attitude of the DAP as a whole.
We are all for a tolerant Malaysia.