11 February 2015

Am I Home?

I work with a whole lot of people who were born and bred in Singapore like myself. And if there is one thing that makes us so unique, it is the fact that we all have friends of different races and different religions. Since the day I came into this world, my life has been surrounded by, as SMRT Feedback Ltd would call them, Lup Cheongs, Ahmads, Muthus and Pereiras. That being said, we all grew up to be tolerant of one another – listening to endless void-deck chanting when Lup Cheong died, finding halal restaurant to eat with Ahmad, walking pass Muthu’s curry house, carrying Pereira home after he clubs. I’m fully aware that these are so stereotypical, but it’s just to help illustrate a picture in your head.

With all that being said, if there is one person in my local life that I expect to be sensitive to my halal needs, it has to be my fellow Singaporean. I am not saying that you have to go out of your way to cater to my diet, but to be honest, a country like Singapore is NEVER short of halal eating places. Seriously, ask me and I can easily name a couple of cheap to posh restaurants in Singapore that are halal. In fact, don’t ask me. Ask my non-Muslim best friend and she can also provide you a list of halal restaurants easily.

And do you know what it takes for her to know? Sensitivity and effort.

Bring that back to my work life and none of what I said above matter anymore. Because my experience thus far with quite a number of people here is that, they just don’t give a damn about your diet. And we are talking about that one place where there are so many Lup Cheongs, Ahmads, Muthus and Pereiras. A local organization.

What is so hard about hosting a lunch or retreat at a place with halal food? It’s not like we are short of such places. In fact, it is a booming industry. I can easily forgive you if you weren’t brought up in Singapore. Perhaps, you might come from a place that is less racially mixed.

But to my fellow Singaporeans, what is your excuse?

1 comment:

  1. wow such powerful and so true. i guess it's just disappointing that the privilege usually don't get it. but we could help spell it out for them to remind them... even though you'd think at this age, they would be used to it. sigh pie.