Religious tolerance, please.
It is a very ordinary practice amongst many Chinese Singaporeans, to burn joss paper for their ancestors. It is believed that it will send money and material goods to ancestors in the afterlife.
To facilitate this, town councils have placed bins at residential blocks where the ceremonial joss paper can be burnt.
Facebook user ANis Rizky was disgruntled by the smoke and ashes blowing into his home late at night, and proceeded to confront the uncle burning joss paper below his block.
In the video, ANis Rizky approaches him, questioning, “Is this a legal place [to burn the joss paper]?”. He says that he respects the man’s practice, but he was woken up by the smell of smoke wafting into his room.
He then says, “You can burn it somewhere else, not right in front of a person’s house.”
However, the uncle says that he had no choice and when he tried to shift the bins last time, he had been told not to.
To which, ANis Rizky replies that he and his children were coughing because of the smoke, and asks if the uncle will pay for any potential medical bills. He also implores him to use more “common sense”. Afterwards, he suggested that the uncle put out the fire as a solution.
“You know what is called praying? You put out the fire, you might as well don’t pray,” the uncle replies. Which is a fair argument.
After the exchange wears on, ANis Rizky is exasperated and says:
“Thank you very much, I think there’s no point talking to you ok, this thing is going on social media. You’re going to be very popular.”
However, this may have backfired on him as many netizens have wound up taking the Chinese man’s side. Many pointed out the easy practice of closing his windows.
Others called for mutual respect and religious tolerance.
Of course, being woken up in the middle of the night with your children coughing is very unpleasant. But instead of making a big fuss and shaming someone online, perhaps he should have just closed his windows.