Boorishness – a word that comes to mind when a person disregards the speech of his host and continues with his mindless chatter. Walk into any dinner in Ipoh, or in any other part of Malaysia for that matter, and a cacophony that only increases in intensity greets you.
Of course, noisy dinners are an Asian tradition, albeit a not too adorable one. But cawing unconcernedly while a speech is being made is just plain rude, to the host as well as fellow diners.
Malaysia aspires to a developed status but are we really heading towards that direction if plain, old-fashioned, good manners are wanting? It would be safe to say that a society is truly developed if its progress is commensurate with civility. Picture a well-heeled but callous and loud Ah Beng and you get the picture. This Ah Beng might want to argue that we need not ape the West, but doesn’t politeness transcend all cultures and inclinations?
Showing consideration to others is a step up towards social progress and is the universal language of class. If the need to talk is irrepressible while someone, especially one’s host, is making a speech, then at least tone it down or, better still, just zip up and pretend to listen.
Let us show the world that we do have a little bit of class buried underneath all that noise!