Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hari Raya Puasa

Let the celebrations begin! Hari Raya Puasa (Fasting Day of Celebration) marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In Singapore it also marks the beginning of a slew of holidays. This year, the Hindu celebration of Deepavali is in early November; then there’s Christmas and New Year’s, and finally Chinese New Year in early February 2008. Needless to say, the retailers are having a field day with sales events (or “promotions” as they say here).

Which makes us especially grateful for local Singaporeans who have welcomed us--or, more often, Jenn--into their circle. From bowling on Fridays to East Coast dinner parties, from cat sitting while we’re traveling to the occasional help from a maid, we’ve been very fortunate. Many of these are women Jenn has become friends with--and I freely admit that Jenn’s cell phone rings more frequently than mine!

Through these acquaintances, we’ve been introduced to wonderful cultures. Our introduction to Hari Raya Puasa came courtesy of the lovely Monica, who took us out to the Malay Village and Geylang area last week after sundown (and after the breaking of the daily fast) to enjoy the festivities. She simply loves all the different celebrations in Singapore (anything that involves putting up decorations is a big hit), but it was great to spend this one with her. Of Malay heritage herself, she could explain the details of all the sights and sounds.

As usual with these festivals of sensory overload, it was hard to capture the true sense of the festival on film. A few photos, anyway:

These ladies certainly know how to wear a hijab...

...but for those who aren't quite as sure, you can always look to the mannequins for inspiration.

Apparently, one simply must buy new curtains at Hari Raya, and the selection is overwhelming. This shop was one of the few I could frame in the camera.

After some “Halal makan” (must celebrate with food, lor!), we took a stroll through the bustling booths stuffed with carpets and stunning embroidered clothing (and yes, the sign says $55 Singapore dollars, or about $35 US).

Finally, we climbed a footbridge for one last look at the lights down the main thoroughfare of Geylang.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful and interesting! I must drop a few pounds and go clothes shopping!

sivaluk_htn said...
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