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Monday, August 24, 2009

"The one about the first overseas sungkai..."

How fast time flies. Today's the 3rd of Ramadhan, and we had just only begun the week.

Ramadhan conveys different connotations to different people. Thus, it's debut day brings more or less great meaning especially if you've experienced many Ramadhans beforehand. For most of us, we look forward very much to the coming of our first break-fasting - eagerly stuffing the table with a selection of local favorites and decadent delicacies. The diversity of food we have goes unchallenged at any other point of the year, than on this blessed month itself. We'd give in to growling stomachs and parched lips; enjoying ourselves to a feast of foods we'd usually stray away as our daily meal. Menus which are only fit for specific occasions and celebrations, are also abundant during this time of the year. It's rather safe to say, whatever your taste-buds desire - can be found within a mere distance away.

Ramadhan, in this manner rekindles the notion of how lucky and blessed we are - as far as the selection of food goes, and a solemn reminder that we should always be thankful to God; for there are people all over the world who can't afford such luxuries in their lives.

But to others, this unification of break-fasting means that they can catch up on the lives of their counterparts and family - for some this would be the only time the whole family gathers together and provides means to make up for lost time. For these people, the lust for food comes secondary over their desire for social interaction. Meals which are usually consumed apart from the entertainment of company turns full scale merry, as everyone gathers together to break-fast as sunset beckons. In this sense, for these people - that moment of silence in the air as one formally recites the break of fast doa, is one of the most touching parts for performing Islam's third pillar.

Ramadhan, in this manner gives us the chance to reflect on the existence of people that matter the most to us, who loves us unconditionally and for who we are. In this sense, we are also reminded of how fortunate we are to still have them around; whereas there exists those who don't share the same fate.

If you were to ask me, as how my 1st of Ramadhan fared - the answer's quite simple, really. I spent my 1st Ramadhan break-fast overseas with the presence of wonderful, colorful people. With the abundance of local Malaysian-Singaporean menus. Over a nice, warm gathering where we enjoyed both the food and each other's presence. That, is something far better than what I'd expect as my first experience bersungkai in a foreign land.










Nothing would be able to equal the feeling of celebrating Ramadhan in Malaysia, amongst my family and dear friends - but if there's one thing I've learnt from the wisdom of experience, is that you always carry a piece of them wherever you are. You don't search for people to replace them with, but in your memories you share their spirits and the feelings they remind you of. Whatever it may be, Ramadhan is not only a month in which we offer our all in praises to God Almighty. It brings with it, many more deep meanings; and those meanings offer different perspectives as to how we come about welcoming this holiest of months wherever we are and however we may be.

In that respect - I'm not actually alone spending this Ramadhan, after all. I'm spending it with everyone else back home, just like old times. It is not the physical in things that leaves a mark, but within the spirit of it that affects us.

So - how did you guys spend your 1st of Ramadhan this year? :)

-JeP

P/S : I hope everyone back home and Chemoboy in Sheffield had as nice an opening Ramadhan as I did here, if not much much better. Doa's for chemoboy for his coming treatments.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum wbth,

Mama, Aiysha, Tiqah, Pak Tam, Mak Tam, Ainul, Mak Cik n Achik Shila spend our 1st Ramadhan break-fast in Bentong, with aki n wan cik. I'm glad we did. Imagine how lonely it would have been for the two of them, had we not joined them.Andi ada program so I drove.

I cooked in Seri Petaling n brought over kari daging, samba
l tumis udang n ayam goreng dengan tepung special dari Yafai. Pak Tam bought kuih2. It was not the food that made me feel great afterwards, but the opportunity to spend time with aki...n thinking, kalau aruah wan ada, lagi seronok.

Off course my mind was also thinking of you, Afzal n papa..all so far away, tak tau makan apa untuk sungkai.

I'm glad you have good friends over there to enjoy Ramadhan with. But then, you are very likeable, its difficult not to love you!

Jangan tinggal solat tarawikh..mama

p/s: Tixie will be around for the school holidays...tak la sunyi sangat mama. Friday ni papa will join us.

Nor Fadzlina Nawi said...

Well said, happy sungkai later today.