The dog is part of the Chinese animal zodiac and the Year of the Dog has officially begun awhile back. This year, the Malaysian Chinese community are more wary about using the canine in their festive decorations as they don’t want to offend any Muslim friends due to religious taboos.
However, a Malaysian Muslim has recently come forward and spoken out about this so-called taboos in defence of his Chinese friend. According to The Star, Masyerin Mohamad Nor has said that having dogs on the ang pow packets should not even be an issue at all.
In a Facebook post, he was reported to have said this when his friend handed him an ang pow packet with the word ‘dog’ printed on it.
“To Malaysian friends, I received a beautiful ang pow from my good friend yesterday, telling me the ang pow is for my daughter. But when he handed me the ang pow, he kept apologising over the print on the ang pow. I was not sure what he was trying to say. The year printed on the ang pow, 2018, is correct. All words are spelt correctly. The ang pow looked perfect to me. But he said it was because the ang pow carried the word ‘dog’.”
He was surprised as he did not find this a problem at all as he understood that the Chinese have their own culture. Every Malaysian should be more like this guy! Although he was touched by his friend’s honesty, sensitivity and thoughtfulness, he was shocked that even in a multi-racial and multi-cultural country like Malaysia, bias and irrationality are still prevalent.
Masyerin added that after 60 years of independence, Malaysians should not have encountered such an embarrassing situation. “Was this ever an issue? I don’t remember. So, please… stop this nonsense!!!”
Other netizens agreed with him and said that this was the first time that such a fuss had been made about the animal used in Chinese New Year decorations and the likes. A few other fellow Muslims agreed that it wasn’t offensive and have no problem with these decorations.
That should be the way! Spread love, not hate!