The National, Monday October 28th, 2013
PEOPLE often say that we should not ban buai chewing in the city because it is a cultural and traditional practice.
I am a great supporter of our traditional and cultural values, however, I am often nervous when people refer to culture and traditions to support any practice.
All of us are guilty of breaking cultural and traditional practices.
Take a look at the clothes we are wearing now.
Is it traditional?
Did our forefathers wear the kind of clothes we are wearing now?
Look at our mode of transportation.
Did our forefathers travel in cars, buses, Yamaha-powered canoes or aeroplanes?
Did they use electricity or lanterns and candles to light up their homes?
Did they use gas, kerosene and electricity to cook their food in aluminium pots?
No one appeals to traditional culture when we drive a car or when we use gas to cook food in aluminium pots.
So why are we appealing to culture and tradition to overturn the ban on the chewing and spitting of betel nuts in the city?
Why not modify our chewing habits just as we modified our other traditional practices and embraced superior western clothes, modes of transportation, tools and cooking methods?
Betel nuts chewing is your right.
However, you need to chew responsibly.
Let us make a lasting positive impression in the minds of our neighbouring countries that we are a health-conscious people.
Matupit Darius, Via email