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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hungry Ghosts vs the "Devils" during Ramadan

I was recently invited to be one of the speakers at a conference party called "The gathering of Great Minds'" which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Securities Commission. (I enjoyed it actually, because the environment was creative and the audience was engaging).  My topic was "Creativity from Diversity".

To demonstrate how diversity is able to create new perspectives and open up new "windows of looking",  I shared with them an experience I had with an 8 year old dear friend of mine.

This 8 year old boy is a product of mixed parentage - Malay, Chinese and Burmese. (And adults who claim they believe in God will force him to choose an ethnic class or make him conscious of one! Makes you wonder "what god" they worship)

He told me that he was scared this month. I asked him, "why?"  He was told by his Chinese cousin that this is the hungry ghost month and that these ghosts will possess boys. 

I sat him him down and told him what the hungry ghost belief was and then reminded him that there is also another belief that Malays have. This is also the month of Ramadan.

I told him that while Chinese believe that the gates of hell are open and all the ghosts have rushed out to roam the earth, the Malays believe otherwise. The Malays believe that in the month of Ramadan, the gates of hell are closed and no ghosts or spirits can roam the earth! They are all chained!

He looked at me amused and said, "Yes. That's what I was taught in the agama class too".

"So, are the gates of hell open or closed you think? Got ghosts roaming around or not?", I asked.

"I dont know. It sounds so funny now. Two different story about the same thing. Both from adults".

I reminded him that while adults may have good motives, they need not necessarily have clever ways of handling situations. Sometimes they cause great harm with good intentions. Most of them grow up never thinking about what they hear.  "That is why you must always use your brain and think about what they are saying".

 "Remember how you were frightened to sleep with stories that the monster is looking for boys with eyes not closed at night? I told you there are no monsters in the house?. That if you do not sleep, you will make me the monster if I hear you falling asleep in school?"

He laughed and laughed.

"The next time your cousin scares you with stories of hungry ghosts, tell him that you had lunch with one and the ghost wants to meet up with him".

He laughed again heartily and said "Coool. That should shut him up!"

Peace !

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this posting. This is like a refreshing cool breeze blowing through a hot and stuffy room.

It seems like the present environment of rabid racist rantings indulged in by some quarters has the potential to destroy whatever goodwill that still exists between the various races.

That's why calm, reassuringly reasonable voices like yours and a few others are so welcome. The only problem is that your numbers are so small whilst the shrill, strident, hysterical outpouring of the excitable mob all but drowns out your voices!

jon pour do care said...

Salam Bro. Jay,

Kita pun nak cakap pasal hantu gak ! Tapi kita hanya nak cakap pasal perkataan HANTU ! Perkataan ni kalau di pecahkan kepada dua suku kata, akan menjadi HAN TU ! Cuba kita sebut dua suku kata ni slow n steady...HAN....TU....HAN....TU...HAN....TU...HAN....TU....HAN
Lama lama di sebutkan akan menjadi TUHAN ! Abis nak percaya yang mana..HANTU...TAU....TUHAN...!

P.S. This always work with the kids !

Jahamy said...

Anonymous,

Thanks .... come out in the open and we can show that there is more than enough love for everyone.

Jon,

that's a good one!

Anonymous said...

mr rapera are you a Malay by constitutional definition, or by heritage or were you even born in this malaysia?

quote:(Free Malaysia Today) - PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has diagnosed Dr Mahathir Mohamad with a psychological disorder, which has rendered his mind "convoluted and confused".

And a tell-tale symptom of this condition, according to him, is the former premier's "obnoxious and extraordinarily stupid" statement.

Commenting on Mahathir's latest blog posting on meritocracy, Zaid also took a swipe at the latter's Indian roots, by describing himself as "not just a Malay by constitutional definition, but by heritage (as well)."

In his posting, the former premier had labelled those who pushed for meritocracy as being just as racist as those who defended Malay rights.

malaysian by heritage

Mac said...

maybe the chinese ghosts are different from the malay ghosts...or maybe ghosts have race and religion too...perhaps the ghosts are also segregrated by their race...maybe they go to different schools and are taught to be a menace to the other races...or maybe the ghosts are a menace to their own race...if we, humans, can unite and believe in one ghost, then maybe we will be less racist...maybe if we start believing in one ghost, then we can be stronger...could it be that these ghosts are the ones dividing us...or are we the ghosts...
...1Ghost, 1Malaysia!
i have no idea what i just wrote...

BID said...

from what I remember Iblis, Syaitans and bad Djinns (with the exception of Nafsu) are chained and locked up during the holy month of Ramadhan...

however, souls and spirits are said to roam the world freely during the month of Ramadhan... personally I think souls and spirits can't physically harm us...

just my 2cents worth :P

The Phoenix Foundation said...

JB!
Finally I see you in blogsphere
Keep truckin!

Godspeed & Cheers!

jeyapalan.t.s.mahesan