Skip to main content

Soaking up the Eid-ul-Fitr mood

Today is the last Sunday before Eid-ul-Fitr or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, as Malaysians call it, which is likely to fall on September 10, this year.

Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of Shawwal, which marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

This is the day Muslims celebrate the end of fasting and "thank Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control".

For some Muslims in Malaysia preparation for the day of rejoicing started early.

Many wives and mothers did their Raya shopping, as we name it in Malaysia, about a month before Ramadan began while others prefer to do it later.

Land Public Transport Commission chief operating officer Shahril Mokhtar window-shopped two days after the start of the fasting month to "check out the prices" and to observe the festive trends this year.

"Today is my actual day of shopping," said Shahril, who was trying skull caps for size at the Jalan Masjid India bazaar.

Sisters Siti Zulaika Mohd Sokri and Siti Marlina Mohd Sokri were also out shopping today. They go for ready-made clothes because they are cheaper than buying fabrics and getting them tailored.

Looking at the crowds out shopping, you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone has plenty of money.

Indeed, many went into the Jalan Melayu/Jalan Masjid India/Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman shopping belt to indulge in some serious shopping.

Bazaar retailers say they are not affected by the recession because they have a steady stream of regular customers.

Here are some photos I took this afternoon at the Jalan Melayu/Jalan Masjid India/Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman shopping area.

Urbanites strolling to their favourite outlets at the Jalan Masjid India bazaar. 

Siti Marlina (left) and her sister Siti Zulaika showing off their new headgear. Hari Raya will be a low-key affair for the siblings and their families.

This skull cap might fit me, says Shahril.

A smile suddenly animates Shahril's face because the skull cap fits well. He plans to browse the stores for Baju Melayu after this.

Young women flock to the henna painting stalls for an edgy Raya look. We want to look pretty for Hari Raya, they say.

Faizal Ahmad is looking for Baju Melayu and hopes he will find something suitable today.

Artificial flowers are always in season and this year's colours are white, pink and peach. People usually buy these flowers on the eve of Hari Raya.

A familiar scene at a zakat or alms giving counter set up at strategic places during Ramadan. The "compulsory giving of a set proportion of one's wealth to charity" is the Third Pillar of Islam.

Comments

Popular Posts

June weddings

June is the month for weddings and invitations in my letter box prove this. The popularity of June weddings is a global phenomenon. According to Lesley-Ann Graham, author of WeddingTrix.com, June weddings trace their roots to ancient Rome "when couples would marry in June in observance of Juno, the goddess of marriage". It was thought that the goddess would give her blessing to each married pair. But there are also "practical reasons for getting married in June" such as nice weather and school breaks. June weddings are also fashionable in Malaysia where schools take a short break in June and the half-term holiday allows Malaysian parents to plan for their older children's weddings with a lot less hassle than holding them during non-vacation time. Wedding invitations inundated my mail box this month but I could only attend one. Most painfully, I could not be present at Koh Soo Ling's wedding reception. Soo Ling, if you recall, writes for New Sunda

A perfect start to 2011

Words of wisdom. Why do some think that they are preserve of philosophers or wise old men? Everyone has an opinion worth listening to. I am reminded of this time and time again. I had an interesting conversation with a colleague early this week. It was on the morning of January 3, the first working day of the brand new year. I was in the office canteen and said hello to a colleague. We exchanged greetings and proceeded to select our food items at the breakfast buffet. As luck would have it, we ended up sharing a table. Our conversation turned to our personal and professional aspirations. I discovered that Kulwant is studying for a teaching degree on a part-time basis. Her enthusiasm drew me in. Her commitment to her studies is inspiring. She describes it as "journey" -- to a whole new world. She is excited about the prospect of discovering new things and improving herself. She talked about her love of the English language and her desire to master it. Words and mor

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned." I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative. In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer. I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically. I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way. The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walki