Taylor’s has released a new Hari Raya film called Sadaqah, which is centered around the topic of helping the underprivileged through ‘education that is conformed to the paradigm of charity’.
“As most Raya video encompasses the customary themes of family and forgiveness, we wanted to break expectations with this festive ad to deliver a story laden with lessons for people to ponder,” explained Ben Foo, Taylor’s Group Chief Marketing Officer.
In keeping with tradition of exploring bold and contentious topics for their festive films, he further explained that the video aims to explore the larger social question about society’s approach to charity.
“Sadaqah (sedekah), which translates to charity, is all about helping those in need. Often when people think of charity, they think about the usual good deeds – providing cash donations, free food and essential necessities, amongst other things. These are wonderful acts but equally powerful is the act of empowerment, so they have an opportunity to thrive in life,” said Ben.
Set in the holy month of Ramadan, the video tells the story of Amin, a young beggar looking for a free meal to break his fast and his encounter with ferocious restaurant owner, Kak Zaiton – whose unexpected act of charity inspired his new outlook in life.
In the video, Amin is expected to work for his free meals. Although taken aback, he decided to oblige to the demands of Kak Zaiton. While he was running his errand, Amin came across another restaurant owner who provided free food without requiring them to work. Enthralled, Amin decided to abandon his post and did not return to Kak Zaiton’s restaurant.
“People responds well to their wants and desires. For Amin, all he wanted was to be fed. So, when the ‘right’ opportunity came along that satisfied his expectations, it motivated his actions because he believed he didn’t need to be bossed around to get food,” explained Ben.
As the layers of the story starts to peel, viewers are able to understand Kak Zaiton’s intentions despite her stern approach.
When Amin unexpectedly ran into one of Kak Zaiton’s employee, Aini, he explained his reason for leaving. He further remarked to her, who he addressed as Kakak (sister), how hard it was for people like him to find a job. Aini’s response left him stunned.
She narrated to Amin how she – just like him – used to beg for food. However, Kak Zaiton’s way of giving charity is different. She does not just give them food or money or a place to stay, but also the opportunity to learn and earn a living so that they do not have to remain a beggar forever.
The video ends with Amin, one year later, working at Kak Zaiton’s restaurant. In the scene, he is seen approaching another beggar who just finished his meal. As the beggar stood up to leave, Amin asked him if he could wash the dishes first – indicating his act of charity through the transfer of knowledge, similar to that of Kak Zaiton’s approach.
“We believe that education does not just benefit oneself but also enables us to help others. Education is a tool that can make a lasting impact. The end of the film showcases this perpetual impact, as those who receive eventually grow to become givers,” concluded Ben.
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