Skip to main content

Ramadan is not just about colourful bazaars

Ramadan bazaars sprout up like mushrooms during the fasting month. They seem to get bigger and busier with each passing year. It will be no different this year.

Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, is gearing itself to be the best state in Malaysia in terms of providing Ramadan bazaars to Muslims in the city. Apparently, the Ipoh City Council will provide "five-star services" to visitors and traders at some Ramadan bazaars in the city in a project known as the Ibu Bazar Ramadan or Mother of all Ramadan Bazaars.

Five areas -- Perak Stadium, Medan Gopeng, Taman Perpaduan, Taman Tasek Indera and Taman Desa Aman -- will launch the experiment today, the first day of fasting.

There will be a special marquee for donation seekers and tithe collectors, in addition to the colourful spread of local favourites in stalls dotting the premises of these bazaars. Prayer spaces for women and men complete with ablution facilities are also available. In other words, the Council wants to make these Ramadan food centres in Ipoh the most talked about in Malaysia.

I have no quarrel with the Council's plan. Indeed, Ramadan bazaars have become a major feature of the fasting month in all states throughout Malaysia that draw visitors to local events specially set up for the holy month and give us the opportunity to explain our culture.

However, Muslims need to remind each other that the month of Ramadan is more about renewing oneself spiritually to face the challenges of the future on Earth  and preparing for life after death than making plans to visit the various bazaars.

Many appear to focus on preparation to greet the month of Syawal including making cakes and cookies, cleaning the house, buying new curtains and furniture as well as shopping for new clothes for the whole family.

We tend to overlook the significance of Ramadan which offers us extraordinary possibilities to engage in activities -- fasting, paying zakat and night prayers, among others -- that will enhance our connection with Allah SWT. Are we prepared to make Ramadan this year better than last year's? We must try hard to achieve that goal,

Ramadan Kareem to Muslim readers of this blog!



Bazaars appear suddenly and in large numbers during Ramadan in Malaysia




Comments

Popular Posts

Koh Soo Ling: Letter perfect love

I will not be able to attend my friend's wedding because I will be in Kuching, Sarawak on the day of the reception. When duty calls, ...
That is so sad. I will make it up to you Koh Soo Ling, who is pictured here with husband Michael Howard.
Soo Ling has found happiness with a wonderful Irish man who loves her with an intensity that makes her heart flutter.
She will begin a new life in Ireland and the prospect of living in the countryside fills her with excitement.
She will love her man, take care of him, cook and bake for him, take part in community life and write, write and write. 
Yes, Soo Ling will continue to write for New Sunday Times and she promises to share her activities with readers in Malaysia.
Theirs is not a whirlwind romance. They started as pen pals, two teenagers who were eager to learn about foreign cultures.
Pen pal relationships are so mysterious. Some write to their friends abroad for only a short time; others continue to swap letters and gifts in their old age.
Yet o…

A spot of rural tranquillity in Ipoh

Your nerves are frayed and you need a dose of pleasingly rustic ambience without having to leave the city. There is such a spot for you, if you are in Ipoh. All you need to do is head for a block of flats called Kinta Heights in Pekan Lama, Ipoh, Perak, which is next to the Kinta River, one of the main branches of the Perak River.

Unbelievable, as it may seem, there are several nasi kandar outlets and sundry shops in the vicinity, set in the greenery, with a view and a walking path. I suggest that you have lunch at Ramli Nasi Kandar and after that, take a very short walk to the river bank for your rural retreat. You might be motivated to spend 10 minutes or more in total silence and tranquillity. This is the place I go to again and again.



You will feel irritated by people putting litter on the ground but I refuse to allow that to distract me. There is a 'Do not litter' notice here but some people don't seem to care. If you throw rubbish in your town, you are saying you do…

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 walking to a p…