This is way overdue, but in my defense, I have to say that my hands are tied and I’ve been terribly busy with traveling and food reviewing.
I nearly forgotten that I’ve been to the Selangor Islamic Festival back in the end of May 2015 until I’ve seen plenty of unpleasant things in my Facebook newsfeed: issues being stirred to provoke racial and religious tension between Muslim and non Muslims and not to mention some Halal issues being thrown in.
Being greeted almost daily with pictures with captions like “Malaysia is no longer multiracial country “, “What dress code? They are just taking away our rights to dress up! We should put a stop to this nonsense!” doesn’t sit well with me as fingers are actually pointing to Islam and Muslims in general for being oppressive and restrictive.
A few years back, I would have nodded in agreement but after spending some time widening my horizon through some traveling, I’d say the issues that has been brought up is terribly ridiculous and to agree with such statement is terribly shallow, as I come to learn that the real Islamic teaching is not exactly oppressive but liberating instead. Islam is easy, but the extremists makes it complicated causing the religion to be constantly misunderstood. I would refrain ffom divulging about those ongoing issuds but suffice to say, I see things differently now.
Anyway, enough ramblings. Here’s sharing with you my experience at the Selangor Islamic Festival 2015.
There were plenty of things to see and do at the Selangor Islamic Fest. There’s cat show, archery competition, food village and of course, booths selling Muslim clothing and hijab, but one that caught my eyes is the ‘Teh Tarik’ session. Entry to the session is free, and so I head over to the registration counter and registered for the talk.
Having attended the ‘Teh Tarik Bersama Asatizah’ during the Selangor Islamic Fest with my husband and son was quite an eye opening experience. It was a two hour talk about Halal issue, traveling in Islam and establishing syariah compliance business. You think such talk is only for Muslims and the Non Muslims should avoid the ‘brainwashing’ talk like a plague? Don’t be so shallow. Think again. Knowledge is power and definitely empowering. Those who are involved in F&B and travel agency business would have benefited greatly from the ‘Teh Tarik’ session where talks on halal certification issues and increasing revenue via Halal food/ Muslim travel packages are given. Q&A session also focused on the mushrooming Islamic tourism and how travelers, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike could make the most out of the specified industry.
People tend to condemn and shy away from the things that they couldn’t understand, but I prefer to try to learn and study about it instead. I think both Muslims and non Muslims in Malaysia could benefit greatly from attending such talks. There is so much to learn and so much misunderstandings and misconception to be cleared.
Here’s Puan Saimah, Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia Selangor, handing over goodies and certificate of appreciation to speakers and participants of the Teh Tarik Session when the session ends. I think the session ended too soon as I have more questions to ask, especially regarding Islamic tourism and establishing syariah compliance business and making huge revenue out of it, but I guess there will always be next time.
We had some refreshing Teh Tarik to quench our thirst before heading over to the cat exhibition.
Being a cat lover, to say that I enjoyed the exhibition and the cat show is an understatement.
Was feeling rather famished after the catshow, so after grabbing some canned cat food for my fur kids at home we head out to the Food Village to hunt for something to munch on before dinner.
Bought this Coneydog with sliced potato crisps to have on the go before spotting the archery village. Needless to say, such things never fail to intrigue me.
Archers were spotted resting in the makeshift camp.
Professional archers dressed in traditional Malay clothing in action. The guys spotted me and my son snapping photos and invited us to give archery a try, and I have to say, it was quite an experience.
And apparently, I have a hidden talent for archery. Hit the bullseye and managed quite a score and brought this back home as a compliment and a token to remember the day by.
I would have to say that going to this festival is by far one of the most enlightening and empowering event that I’ve ever been to. And while people thinks that this is only for the Muslims, I definitely think differently and one could benefit greatly from such festival. I surely hope that there will be more events like this in the nearest future and hope this won’t be the last one for me.