Chinese drums. Intolerable noise.
This is a true but sad story.
Two school-children, aged 12 and 9, came home and told their father a rather tragic story. About intolerance. In their school environment. The school they attend is situated less than 10 meters away from a large Surau.
The kids were attending extra-curricular activities during the mid year school holidays. In this case they were practicing their Chinese drum routines in their school hall. Together with more than 20 other children. At around 2PM a Muslim lady came and chided the children's drum teacher about being insensitive about "other people's" culture and religion. And didn't they know that there were Muslims in the surau who were performing their prayers? She also said that the drum practices disturbed her afternoon naps. Minutes later a Muslim gentleman came and accosted the drum group for "tak ada otak ke?" for not being sensitive to the Muslims gathered in the surau for Friday prayers. This gent, according to the children, were much less polite than the lady. The 9 year old boy insisted that the man had used a 4-letter word although his sister said she didn't hear it. The man was very angry about having his Friday prayers disturbed by the sound of the Chinese drum class. And his tirade against the drum teacher took place in front of an audience of children aged between 8 and 12 years old. And according to the girl this man kept poking the chest of her drum teacher in his anger to make his point.
Okay, it's may be just a small case of bickering neighbours. But here is the tragically sad part.
Unprompted by any comment from her father the girl asked innocently and without malice, "Papa why are they so angry that we are practising our drums when we don't complain when their surau loudspeakers are turned on really loud and disturb our lessons?"
Where did this happen? In a rural school? In Afghanistan?
No. It happened in Bandar Utama. In the heartland of the Selangor urban middle-class.