A few days ago, Malaysiakini published a letter by a teacher, expressing disappointment over the scheduling of meetings one day prior to Deepavali. The teacher points out that the meetings could have easily been planned in a way that they do not clash with the festivities, given the fact that the exam dates are known well in advance. Apart from malaysiakini, popular blogger B. Mahendran also highlighted the letter.
The Malaysian Commission for Multimedia and Communication, or MCMC, is organizing a three day broadband expo called MyBroadband. This grand expo, starts the day after Deepavali.
Would the education ministry or MCMC, or any organization for that matter, contemplate holding an event one day before or after Hari Raya? Chinese New Year? Christmas? Then why the complete ignorance of Deepavali? Do the Malaysian Indians not matter to the Education Ministry or MCMC?
Government bodies aside, even the corporate sector seems to have little regard for Deepavali. Yesterday, my family and I went to Metrojaya in Midvalley to do a little last minute Deepavali shopping. My family has been regularly going to Metrojaya for our shopping needs for several years.
Let me show you a photo I took in Metrojaya yesterday evening.
Nice pretty Christmas trees decorating the retail space at Metrojaya. Nothing wrong with that, except this was done three days BEFORE Deepavali. The only indication, if anything, that they remembered Deepavali was the playing of Tamil songs, probably the one CD in their collection, and the display of miserable 'Happy Deepavali' signs at the entrance. That's it.
Needless to say, my family and I walked out of Metrojaya, and won't be shopping in Metrojaya anytime soon.
Indians need to collectively and boldly show the buying power that we have. We are obviously not a strong buying power, but we definitely ARE a buying power. If all Indians boycott a particular brand or outlet, we CAN teach them a lesson.
Let's boycott all brands and outlets that do not recognize us. If they can start preparing for Christmas even before Deepavali, like we do not exist, let's go elsewhere.
If some companies can spend millions on advertisements for Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas, but forget Deepavali exists, let's forget them.
If your bank does not take up newspaper space to wish you, does not print angpau packets, does not issue new notes, move your money to another bank that does.
If you fill your car tanks at a station that ignores our festival, lets move to another brand that delights us every year with thoughtful greetings.
Let's show them we matter. Let's show them we mean business. Do pass the word around. Happy Deepavali. May the light of Deepavali shine upon each and every one of us, taking us out of the darkness of ignorance and complacency.