Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ramadan and Food

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fast for 30 days and observe various forms of penance.

For me, this is the month where food reigns supreme.

Ramadan is the time when I will make it a point to visit, during lunch, all the eateries which would otherwise be crowded. No jostling and waiting in long queues. And during buka puasa time I refrain from visiting these eateries to make way for those who had been fasting the whole day.

Visiting the Pasar Ramadan for buka puasa delicacies is also a must to satisfy tea time hunger pangs. When I'm back in my hometown during the weekends, my mum would buy lots of kuih muih for tea and even some lauk pauk for dinner.

During the first few days of Ramadan, my colleague was rushing home to buy his buka puasa juadah at the Pasar Ramadan. I asked him why the rush since it was only 5.30pm. He said the food finishes fast because the non-Muslims clear the spread fast.

Yesterday I blew my diet by having nasi briyani for lunch. The seller gave me a larger-than-usual portion because half of his customers are fasting and he needs to clear the food. Another good Ramadan experience ...

My female Muslim friends who are pregnant, sick or having their menses would also seek my help to buy food during lunch. I once bought food for a pregnant colleague and another friend jokingly commented, "Ah ha ... bersubahat ..." (Translation: "Ah ha ... accomplice")

The buka puasa buffet at hotels and even fast food joints are getting more expensive by the year. My favourite is the buka puasa buffet at McDonalds which was a damn good bargain. I don't know if it's on this year because they have it alternate years previously.

There was one year my colleagues and I were invited to a buka puasa buffet at The Marriot Kuala Lumpur. We sat around the table waiting for Azan Maghrib. And when the beduk started, I watched my Muslim friends say their prayer and sipped the sirap water - their first drop of liquid after an entire day of fasting.

After we have tucked into the spread, one of them commented, "What is beautiful about this experience is that all of you non-Muslims waited for Azan Maghrib like the rest of us instead of starting to eat first. And I am touched by it." That was my favourite Ramadan memory.


Sree said...

And my experience was quite
opposite.Went and sat at the table with others who were fasting.Bottoms up a sirap (was thirsty, dehydrated?) and the rest looked at me in awe. Felt gulity.

Salt N Turmeric said...

reminds me of our dept buka puasa, the 1st yr i was w that co. my chinese and indian colleagues would actually 'fast'. I was really surprised then i found out that they do that every year. ;)

Julie Lim said...

Yes, I've heard of non-Muslims fasting during Ramadan. Maybe I should try and blog about it.

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