To all Malaysians, whatever race you are, whatever religion you believe in, Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Holidays!
When I was a kid staying in Pahang, studying in a Malay school I had lots of friends who were NON-Chinese. And come Deepavali or Hari Raya, a whole bunch of us would just go around town visiting these friends (and collecting duit raya of course).
As kids, we never really thought about the religious or the cultural aspects of the festivals. We just took it for granted that it's all an excuse for a holiday, to celebrate, and generally to have fun.
After all, Deeparaya ke, Kongsi Raya ke, if you look at it in a purely happy-happy-joy-joy kinda of way, it's the same. It's everyone coming together and celebrating something they truly care about. That's why you see Hari Raya open houses with all races joining in. That's why you see ads with not just one race in them.
We're in MALAYSIA for goodness' sake.
All the numerous festivals are no longer about just ONE race, just ONE religion. It's become a celebration of BEING MALAYSIANS, whatever race, whatever religion, JUST MALAYSIANS coming together and celebrating each other's beliefs. THAT'S what the festivals have become in this country to most Malaysians.
Even if you have nothing to do with the festival on a religious or a cultural way, it doesn't matter. Because you'll inadvertently get caught up with all the buzz and joy anyway (unless you stay under that coconut shell of yours at the bottom of a well the whole time lar).
Besides, it's the holidays! Take time off during Deepavali, or Hari Raya, go visit some freinds, forget all wars, forget all differences, and JUST HAVE FUN, ok?
As for me... I'm on LEAVE for the next week, so I'm gonna use it to the max! WOOT!