PETALING JAYA: Nature lovers are feeling relieved that many youths are using dating apps instead of throwing mandarin oranges into rivers to find their partners.
Traditionally, during Chap Goh Meh, single women would write their contact details on mandarin oranges and throw them into rivers in the hope of finding love.
Unfortunately, this practice has led to a lot of waste being thrown into rivers, requiring resources to clean them up later.
Andrew Sebastian, CEO of the Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy), understood that the practice was a cultural one, but he would rather people celebrate the day in more nature-friendly ways.
“Out of respect for the people who practise this, I do feel that the planting of trees or giving the gift of plants would be more meaningful. In this day and age, the wastage of food and the polluting of rivers are an issue,” said Andrew.
Forum Air Malaysia’s communication and policy manager Jesslyn Pek said that for those who wished to join in the practice should only do so at designated events.
“If the public want to participate they can go to specific events like the ones held at Taman Jaya since the event management team would take care of the clean-up,” she said.
Finding love via more conventional methods has caused this once commonplace tradition to fade over the years.
Nature lover and student Eve Lim, 21, said that she had never thrown oranges on Chap Goh Meh.
“I am concerned that it would pollute the environment and dirty the surrounding areas,” she said.
Lee Serena, 18, said that she didn’t even know about the practice until she read about it in a textbook a few years ago.
“I feel that it’s somewhat old-fashioned and most girls who do it might be a bit too desperate!” said the student.