Monday, September 22, 2008


It's already the final week of Ramadhan and I think the atmosphere is not as cheerful as that of the previous years. The only indication that Syawal is approaching is the Pasar Ramadhan during the day and the prayers at the mosque. I have been getting a little bit nostalgic lately, recalling how we used to celebrate Ramadhan and prepare for Syawal. Those were definitely the days. Nowadays, a different scenario has taken over and most of the time, we no longer hold on to certain traditions. Working mothers no longer hurry home to prepare dishes for the family. Now, everything can easily be bought and I have to say that the choices can be quite confusing. Daughters no longer labour in the kitchen preparing cookies and other traditional delicacies. Sons no longer help to give the house a new coat of paint or even clean it. We no longer send Hari Raya cards to our relatives and friends. They have been replaced by text and multimedia messages. In fact, only a few houses in my area have been putting up the lights to welcome Syawal. It is sad but true. We have definitely become a modern society. A modern society which thinks time is so precious that we don't have time for time-consuming activities such as choosing appropriate greeting cards for different people, slaving away in the kitchen preparing food and dishes for our beloved families or even exchanging kuehs with our neighbours. A modern society whose joy comes from shopping for new clothes and enjoying Ramadhan buffets. A society so robotic, automatic and plastic. Ramadhan and Syawal, sad to say, have become so commercialised nowadays. Everything is about reaping profits from the spirit of Ramadhan and Syawal. But this has not dampened my spirit. I will try to do my part to ensure that certain traditions live on. I guess this is the only way I can still hold on to the happy memories of yesteryears.