Ramadhan is a fast in the Islamic culture that lasts a month and is held once a year in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar to commemorate Muhammad’s revelation to write the Qur’an, or at least that’s what Google says, because my colleagues from work didn’t give me a straight answer about it.
I thought the Orthodox fast is hard because you are not allowed to eat meat, milk or eggs, but this one is way more strict. They are not allowed to eat or drink, as long as the sun is in the sky. We have something like this, called black fast, but I guess we are allowed to drink at least water, right? Who knows?
The beautiful part of Ramadhan?
It’s breaking the fast in the night market. I was at one that is open 24h throughout the Ramadhan period. After sunset here, everyone breaks the fast, it is also called “iftar”.
I like the vibe this place has. Everyone is very cheerful and kind. It’s pretty unusual to find foreigners here because tourists do not know about these night markets.
After the fasting, they celebrate Raya
And when the fast is over, they celebrate Raya for a month. It is of great importance, like Easter and Christmas for us.
I managed to go to an “open house” and see how they celebrate it. Everybody organises … hmm, how to call it? … kind of a big dinner? All relatives and friends are invited to eat traditional dishes.
Food is super good. But I think for some dishes you have to be used to the Asian flavours first. If you would have been given me to try, when I just came to Malaysia, some of this dishes, I would not have like them. But now I love them!
Satay with peanut sauce. These are my favourites.
Laksa JB – a sort of soup with some cucumber strips. I do not know what’s in that soup, but it’s brilliantly good. This soup is different from region to region. Until now, Johor Bahru (JB) is my favourite, maybe because it does not have a cilantro, which I detest.
And many sticky rice cakes. I know it sounds crazy but you have to try these cakes. Are too delicious to survive another day.
I’m really grateful to be able to learn about these traditions and most important to take part in them.
*Thank you to my friends for allowing me to see how they celebrate.