Words hurt feelings and we should always be mindful of what we speak, especially when we do not truly understand the meaning of the word.
Recently, a video showing a young mini market worker apologising to his customer went viral on social media.
The incident is said to have taken place in Menglembu, Perak and the worker had uttered the word ‘pariah’ when speaking to the netizen’s mother.
In the video, the netizen claimed that the worker used the P-word against his mother, who is said to be sick, when she asked him to help look for some products in the outlet. The netizen then demanded the worker apologise to his mother for using that insensitive word.
As the worker apologises, the mother continued scolding him and later told him to learn how to respect the customers and provide better services.
At the same time, the man also berated other employees at the mini market for not correcting their colleague.
In Tamil, the P-word is often used as a derogatory and insulting term that casteist prejudice. The term indicates an outcast, one that is despised or rejected for some offence they have committed.
The term was initially used to refer to the Paraiyan, a Tamil caste group of labourers and village servants of low status but it was later extended to embrace many groups outside the so-called clean caste groups, with varying degrees of status.
In the comment section, netizens condemned the mini-mart worker and said he should not have uttered words for which he did not understand the meaning.
Meanwhile, some netizens said the netizen and his mother could have corrected the mini market worker more gently without making a scene. However, some supported the them as the P-word is insulting and deeply distressing.
In a multiracial society like Malaysia, we need to understand each other’s culture, as well as the sensitive matters of their culture, so we do not create distress among other people.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!