When I stumbled upon this event on Facebook a few weeks ago, I decided to make myself available and check out what this event is all about.
As a “father” to three dogs at home, it’s always nice to participate any canine related event. “I Want to Touch a Dog” is a unique, one-of-a-kind and first ever event organised in Malaysia by a guy named Syed Azmi. On his Facebook event page he gave a clarification of the event:
Just for the curious with heart to touch a dog. Open to all race and religion and age. A free event. For the muslims, we will talk about sertu as well as practical on it.
The main reason is to overcome fear, just pat/touch and for the muslim, to clean it properly.
Reason why I am doing this is to find a tactful way if I ever need to savebone I would know how InsyaAllah.
Not to promote dog ownership as this small event is just for the curious. I doubt it should be about anything else.
But if it actually sensitized some individual, do clarify it first before it will be drawn to fitnah.
I arrived at the Central Park at Bandar Utama near Kuala Lumpur around 8.15am and the event has already started. Syed Azmi explained the objectives of the event to a group of crowd made up of Malaysians from all walks of life, mainly to help the general public overcome the negative perception of dogs and foster respect between dog owners and members of the public regardless of age, race and religion. It was followed by a short speech by an Ustaz (Muslim religious teacher) explaining about ‘dogs from the perspective of Islam’.
Then a simple demonstration of how ‘Sertu’ is done. Sertu is a way for Muslims to ‘cleanse’ themselves after touching a dog. The whole process is relatively easy and striaghtforward. Based on the demo, you’ll need clean yourself with water and dirt, mix them together and wash the affected part for seven times. Please note the steps I just explained have been overly simplified. Please find a reliable source if you need to do Sertu the correct and most accurate way for yourself.
Those who attended were encouraged to wear colour coded clothings. These were:
- Yellow – those who want to touch dogs
- Red – volunteers who bring dogs to the event
- Orange – for the curious who would like to go and witness the event
- Purple – general volunteers
- Green – Sertu coaches
I think there were at least 100 dogs there from various types of breeds including those which were strays and rescued. I also bumped into Dr Susanna of AsiaPaws who is Malaysia’s top acupuncturist for animals. She treated one of my dogs which had back problems but now fully healed.
Kudos to Syed Azmi et. al. for organising such a wonderful event. It really shows how Malaysia can and should be. People had the opportunity to mingle around, socialise and have absolute fun with animals. I hope this can be a regular event.
Click here for the Facebook page for more interesting photos and feedback from the folks who attended the event!