Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Another One

"Is today a public holiday?" I thought as we stared into the darkness of the library. Sure enough, it's Deepavali today (known also as Diwali). That explained the huge number of people braving the rain to get into the carpark at the Bishan Mall.

This happens so often - I go out to a public place, only to find it closed because someone in Singapore is celebrating a holiday of which I am unaware. There are just too many of them! I read recently that there is a debate about letting Muslims have some of their holy days considered public holidays in America (or at least for them to be off on those days to celebrate). This is apparently quite threatening to many people, but my opinion on that is not part of this post. Let me just say that here we do celebrate everyone's religious holidays and it gets a little tiring after awhile. Especially when it means we can't check out any more library books.


Anonymous said...

It may get tiring to have so many various holidays, some of which have no meaning to you personally, but I'm very afraid that the way we have gone about it in the US is very wrong. Freedom "of" religion has slowly morphed into freedom *from* religion and it seems that before long we won't have ANY holidays unless it involves proven fictional characters.

The irony in this is that atheists are the biggest supporters of these types of policies and one could guess that to an atheist, God is no different than Santa Claus... so why do they care?

I think that Singapore handles it beautifully. Going to Orchard Rd in December and seeing scriptures on buildings in 1 meter high letters is encouraging.

Gina Marie said...

Eric - I quite agree with you. It's interesting to me that the things Americans have been fighting so much lately in regard to multiculturalism (i.e. recognizing other religions' holidays, or Spanish as an official language) are things which exist here. It gives me a different perspective as I can see that they aren't threatening to my own culture. I guess we fear what we don't know.