Sunday, September 28, 2008

Iftar at Istana Plaza Shopping Mall Bandung


In about three days' time, Moslems all over the world are going to celebrate Iedul Fitri, one of the two major Moslem holidays. Prior to Iedul Fitri, Moslems have to observe a whole month of fasting, called Ramadan (after the name of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar in which this observance has to be performed).

During Ramadan, Moslems fast, i.e. refrain from eating and drinking anything from true dawn until sunset. Before performing the fast, Moslems are encouraged (some say obliged) to have a very early breakfast called suhur/sahur, and upon sunset (maghrib), they break the fast with a meal called iftar. Apart from refraining from eating and drinking, the Ramadan fasting is also a month of good deeds, benevolence, and patience.

For Moslems, the fasting month of Ramadan is considered as a spiritual training camp where they learn patience, sacrifice, and humility to purify their spiritual life. In relation to this, Iedul Fitri is considered as the day of victory against their own evils and impurity.

I took the above photo at iftar time today at Istana Plaza Shopping Mall's food court, Bandung. Iftar time is usually a busy time for restaurants and diners as many Moslems who are out and about go to these places to have their iftar. Note, however, that most Moslem families in Indonesia prefer to have their iftar at home where the homemakers usually prepare special foods for it.


Virginia said...

So when the fasting time is over , these at the malls just eat regular food they would normally eat or is it a special meal? I thing the ones prepared at home would lead to a more reverent time with family. It is interesting to learn of your religion.

JM said...

Very good shot, Eki!
I have visited Egypt during Ramadan and let me tell you it was a fantastic experience for me to witness and understand such a different tradition from mine.

Rambling Woods said...

Eki...if someone is ill and can't fast is there some provision for that?

Dina said...

Thanks for the good and clear explanation, Eki. And the photo--that's a lot of hungry people!
Ramadan kareem and soon, have a happy Id.
Tomorrow night we have Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the new year.

Laurie said...

Thanks for this enlightening post, Eki! I know very little about intricacies of these things. Do you find the fasting gives you a kind of mental clarity and spiritual awareness you would not otherwise experience? I have many Buddhist friends who incorporate fasting into their meditation and they all have said that it helps them to transcend the mundane.

babooshka said...

What I have always found to be interesting in the UK after Ramadan
coaches of young people head to the coastal resorts. Is there a craving candyfloss and sweet stuff.


Upon writing this, the Ramadan period for this year is over at Kuching, Sarawak ( Borneo).Tomorrow we'll be celebrating the Hari Raya Puasa which is similarly called Aidil Fitri as in Bandung. I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year . Selamat Hari Raya .Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Richard B said...

That takes me back. Happy days!