Burning of incense paper - just live and let live

I HAVE lived in places where the practice of burning incense paper is rife, although I do not practise this ("Restrict incense burning to places of worship" by Madam Wa Yan Chan and "Adapt anti-smoking rules for incense burning" by Mr Tan Beng Hau; both published on Forum Online, June 15).

I take it as part and parcel of living in a multiracial and multi-religious society. As our city state becomes more crowded, with people living in closer quarters than ever before, there has to be more empathy, consideration and understanding for other people's way of life.

The burning of incense paper is not a new occurrence; it has been a religious practice here for many decades. The way it is carried out here today is more civilised than the way it was practised years ago when I was a child.

It does not take much effort to close the windows and doors during the short period when incense paper is being burned. We do the same thing when there are foul smells outside or during the months when it is hazy outside.

I am not belittling the problems faced by people who experience incense burning at close quarters, but I do hope that a little more effort, tolerance and understanding on everyone's part will help create a more amicable situation.

If we continue to harp on these matters, the complaints will be never-ending.

Thio Sin Loo