Skip to main content

The impersonal open house


The Malaysian Open House is a tradition that is likely to continue for a very long time.
It has been non-stop feasting for many Malaysian Muslims as they continue to manage or visit open houses during the month of Shawwal which began on September 10.

Many have expressed admiration for this "unique and peculiar Malaysia tradition".

The Malaysian open house or rumah terbuka (in the Malay language) is mostly held during major festivals such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Diwali, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Hari Gawai, among others.

It is the season to welcome relatives, friends, colleagues and sometimes strangers from the different ethnic groups into their homes.

The activity creates goodwill and may lead to friendship for some people.

While I like the idea of an open house, and by extension an open heart (because that is what the gesture implies), I find the sort organised by corporations a little impersonal.

I prefer small gatherings of family and close friends. I am actually terrified of mingling with thousands of people I do not know.

That was how I felt when I attended the Maybank Eid-ul-Fitr open house yesterday.

I was told by Prakash, the corporate communications executive at Maybank, that the open house hosted by Malaysia's largest banking group catered for 3,000 guests.

If it had not been for Yani, an old school chum who is now working for Bernama, the national news agency, I would have skipped the festivity.

I wanted to meet Yani, whom I have not seen in a while.

I found out at an Eid-ul-Fitr dinner party prepared for close friends at the home of another pal later that day that some people accept invitations to open house dos of the kind I had alluded to earlier for the same reason I appeared at the Maybank function: to meet up with buddies.

Many more do it to network with vendors, customers, business contacts and even competitors besides using the opportunity to be seen with the powerful and famous.

What happened to the idea of enhancing ethnic relations?

Nowadays, the desire to promote ethnic harmony and understanding during such occasions seems less important.

It is all about making lots of money now.

Comments

pannekoek said…
Yaniiiiieeee...........so nice :)

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal.
Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post.
Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”.
Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”.
When I left theNew Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect.
Nelson Fernandez, also known was Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year.



He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes.
Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made that transition will tell you.
Editorial content is disseminated by way of the internet as opposed to pub…

Rumi's gift

You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So- I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

Jalaluddin Rumi said it all.  
That's her in the mirror. The face is the mirror of the soul. 
She sees joy, despair, hope, doubt.
This is the end of another year in her life. A time to reflect and express her emotions. Love, forgiveness, healing and trust dominate all kinds of thoughts.
She did many things right but she wavered too.

Listen to your inner voice. Pressure? Deal with it! Quiet successes inspire her with confidence. Failures provide just the spur she needs. As she looks back on the past year, she is grateful that she got through it. Rumi, thank you for your gift!

Koh Soo Ling: Letter perfect love

I will not be able to attend my friend's wedding because I will be in Kuching, Sarawak on the day of the reception. When duty calls, ...
That is so sad. I will make it up to you Koh Soo Ling, who is pictured here with husband Michael Howard.
Soo Ling has found happiness with a wonderful Irish man who loves her with an intensity that makes her heart flutter.
She will begin a new life in Ireland and the prospect of living in the countryside fills her with excitement.
She will love her man, take care of him, cook and bake for him, take part in community life and write, write and write. 
Yes, Soo Ling will continue to write for New Sunday Times and she promises to share her activities with readers in Malaysia.
Theirs is not a whirlwind romance. They started as pen pals, two teenagers who were eager to learn about foreign cultures.
Pen pal relationships are so mysterious. Some write to their friends abroad for only a short time; others continue to swap letters and gifts in their old age.
Yet o…