Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sabahan flies to Penang, for a Bon Odori discovery

Sabahan flies to Penang, for a Bon Odori discovery

Zaziah Husin dancing at the Bon Odori festival in Penang yesterday. She said people in Borneo laughed over the uproar in the peninsula over the Japanese festival.

GEORGE TOWN: All her life Zaziah Husin never knew what Bon Odori was. It only caught her attention after a recent debate online.

It was the first time she had even heard of it. She was then given more information by her sister who had attended the traditional Japanese festival in the peninsula before.

In the spur of the moment, she and her three friends decided to book a flight to Penang to see what the fuss was all about.

“We wanted to go to the one in Kuala Lumpur, but we couldn’t get leave on that day,” she said as she danced in graceful movements mimicking the Japanese women doing the same at the Penang Bon Odori festival yesterday evening.

Zaziah had even bought a navy blue floral yukata (summer dress), replete with a red obi (waistband), from the Esplanade, saying she was quite smitten with her outfit.

The 44-year-old who works as an executive at a telecommunications company in Kota Kinabalu said she took the advice from religious authorities for Muslims to not attend such events with a pinch of salt.

Zaziah said she was a better judge of what was against Islam and what was not. “Bon Odori is not,” she said.

“I went to a convent school, attended mass at churches and even celebrated Christmas for years with friends.

“If this is going to make me a deviant, then I would have been a deviant a long time ago. I remain a devout Muslim and I know what I’m doing.

“When this issue came up, we in Borneo laughed at the silly things that the people in the peninsula say or do, especially those in power,” Zaziah of Bajau-Chinese heritage said.

Hafiz Othman, 45, with his teacher Yukaga Takahashi (right) playing the Japanese traditional instrument, koto, at the opening of the Bon Odori festival in Penang.

For Hafiz Othman, 45, participating in Bon Odori is a personal choice and has no bearing on the faith of Muslims.

“It was quite clear when the Selangor sultan, who is the state religious leader, said Bon Odori is a cultural event.

“I’m really not comfortable with people telling me what is wrong and right, especially when they are not in a position to say so,” he said.

Earlier, Hafiz, a Kangar native, played the koto, a Japanese string instrument at the opening of the festival in his baju Melayu.

He picked up the instrument, which according to folklore was named and designed based on parts of a mythical dragon that had fallen in love with its sound.

“When I first heard it, the song reverberated in my heart. That made me study and learn it for the past 25 years,” the executive at a Japanese government agency in Kuala Lumpur said.

Software engineer Nor Aida Ismail, 40, and her daughter Puteri Aisyah Humaira Mohamad Nor Izam, 11.

Software engineer Nor Aida Ismail, 40, said she bought a yukata to give moral support to her 11-year-old daughter Puteri Aisyah Humaira Mohamad Nor Izam, who has a yellow belt in aikido.

Puteri and 30-odd aikido exponents later performed on the stage. Aida said she was not too concerned over the advisory to not attend the Bon Odori festival, as she knew her limits.

She said there was nothing wrong in attending such an event as it did not involve any element that was forbidden in Islam, such as idolatry.

1 comment:

  1. "Bon Odori is a cultural event"

    Rightwise, Oktoberfest is also a cultural event!

    If the zombies want to go further into substance, then beer drinking is forbidden. So too is PARTICIPATING in alternative religious event!

    NOTE: go get yr lawyer buruk to explain the differences of participating & attending.

    "what was against Islam and what was not"

    Bon Odori is DEFINITELY against the core teachings of islam or zombieicism.


    One must give the Japan govt of dressing up their insidious motive a new & inconspicuous public image with long teach & patience, a big clap!

    That's to the face.