Cleaning the Slate

Hari Raya marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It is such a treat to be on the streets on the morning and see all the Singaporean Muslims dressed in their traditional best.
One of the customs during Hari Raya is that the younger generation asks for forgiveness from the older. I think it should be a custom for every language and race. The Chinese way would be to sweep things under the rug, cross our fingers and hope it goes away. We let time heal our wounds. We forgive implicitly – never talking about it so as to save face for the offending party. As such, whether we are actually forgiven or whether the wrongdoing remains a dormant trap remains cloaked in vagueness. Because we never explicitly forgiven anyone, these things become points on a scoresheet; weapons we whip out to exert our superiority and place if the occasion calls for it.
God knows how many people I have sinned against. Like an obedient Chinese man I sweep it under the gigantic Chinese rug. They sometimes come back as questions without an answer. Even if I were to try to clean the slate now, some things happnened so long ago I don't know if it were wise to bring it up to memory. I'd rather rest in the assumption that they were forgotten, I guess. Maybe I need to change.

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