Thursday, December 25, 2008

Season to be lonely? Not in Malaysia

For other people celebrating Christmas, there maybe a lot of cases where they spent the time alone, having a glass of whatever with the television on and not having anyone to spend it with. In Asia, its hard to imagine this as the festive seasons are always welcome and when it comes, there will be gathering either at private level or in a public level. This is not just when it comes to Christmas, it happens the whole year round.

A church in Cologne, Germany

We have the new year to start with. Then we have the Chinese new year. Then we have there will be a lull in festivities for 3 to 4 months for the real work to be done. Then we celebrate Thaipusam. Then we celebrate Eidul Fitri. We will also have Deepavali currently hovering within the same time with Eidul Fitri. Then Muslims will celebrate Eidul Adha. Then we have Christmas. Then we have the Muslims new year. Then the new year. We also celebrate those other festivals in East Malaysia like gawai. In short, Malaysia is full of celebration.

All these celebration have people going out to visits friends, although some may be localised to the neighbourhood and may also be at places of worship. If you don't really subscribe to any religion, its a good way for you to see the celebration. In Malaysia, we just celebrate along either by visiting friends or just wishing them whatever celebration they are then celebrating. Rarely we see people who are lonely as even those who are put up at old folks houses are visited and taken for dinner or holidays.

In certain cases, people actually do not celebrate in their hometown or by going back to their parents house anymore. They went for holidays and only came back when the holidays are over. Nearly all hotels in KL are fully book during this holidays. In Penang, I read in the Star that they are experiencing a boom in hotel occupancy as European shifted their destination from Bangkok to Penang. Hope there will be more repeat customers.

The Putrajaya mosque...

As a Muslim, I am more incline to celebrate the 29th of December, which is the Awal Muharram or Muslim New Year. For us to read our prayer and hope for a better year next year, which is said to be going one of the toughest year economically. Whatever it is, people are celebrating and hope there is no lonely soul out there alone...

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