Saturday, August 28, 2010
That Yearly Pilgrim
Last weekend saw me standing in the crowd as Wifey browsed through the Baju Kurung or Malay traditional dress at the Geylang Bazaar.
Getting well dressed-up for visiting during Hari Raya is a must to celebrate the occasion. Of course, well dressed does not necessarily mean expensive clothes, but just new affordable ones that one treats oneself for the successful triumph of fasting during the Ramadhan month.
Like every year, during Ramadhan, Geylang Serai Bazaar is the focal point for the Malays and nowadays, Muslims of all races too shop for all the essentials of Raya celebrations from clothes to home decorations like curtains, sofa covers, bedsheets... the list is endless.
Talking about the Raya list, we have ours too that we have so far done almost all to prepare for the celebrations in the month of Syawal to be 10th September 2010.
But before that, besides soaking in the chaotic and happy atmosphere at the bazaar, for the guys, it is definitely the endless choices of food, Malay kuih or savories and snacks that are not often sold at food stalls on a normal day. The food that always tastes so good during break fast at sunset after a day of abstaining from any food or drink from dawn.
This year, Wifey decided that only Sonny needed new Baju Kurung since she already has her dresses that we bought about the same time last year but never worn. She has been saving it for this year. Sonny and I have ours too which are colour-coordinated with hers but Sonny's had outgrown his when we tried our clothes on...
Sonny is still growing taller as we speak, so his Baju Kurung can only be worn once or twice within that year before he outgrows it. Still pristine and new, his clothes will normally be given away as hand-me-downs to his younger cousins.
Last week was shopping for Sonny's clothes, so this week, it is for our home.
We bought seven types of Malay cookies and two types of crackers for our Raya guests to snack on during their visits to our home. Together with the homemade cookies and Swiss roll cakes she ordered from my sister's friend complete the finger food section of our Raya preparations.
Wifey was able to convince me to purchase a set of curtains for the living room to match with the new sofa covers we bought a year ago for this Raya. Together with the spare curtains we bought last year for all study and all the bedrooms, the home decoration section for Raya is done. Checked!
What is left in the list is only the soda drinks that I will buy a carton or two of 1.5 litres bottles a few days before Hari Raya to check the list.
The mandatory list required by all able Muslims are the Zakat Fitrah and Harta. A form of tax for the Muslims community that is practiced all over the world, monies collected to be distributed out to the poor and unfortunate.
Dad had been given his and Mom's since they were married but since his demise, I have taken the responsibility to pay for Mom's Fitrah, along with the ones for Wifey, Sonny and myself of about S$6.50 per person. A small but important amount collectively amongst the poor and needy in the Muslim society.
Wifey and I will make a trip to the bank to withdraw from both of our savings accounts, 2.5% each from the total amount that was unused or untouched for the period of a year to be donated to the poor and unfortunate through any MUIS' or Islamic Council of Singapore collection centres, normally at all the mosques across the island.
These two Zakats are to be donated before the morning prayer of Aidilfitri or Hari Raya.
This year, I was thinking of giving a portion to the Jamiyah Old Folks Home, while the rest will be donated to the mosque and some poor and friends who are single mothers that Wifey and I know.
Our Hari Raya list is almost done as we advance nearer to Aidilfitri.