Ramadan Buzz Bazaar
Text by Sheere Ng, Images by KF Seetoh @ Makansutra
The noise reached to a peak when the sun was about to set. More people joined in the queues, the food vendors touted even more aggressively, and the radios were turned on and blasted from several loud speakers. Then the energetic vibe diminishes when a very calm and monotonous voice boomed through the speakers. A few minutes later the call to prayer or, Azaan begins – it was time to break fast. Every Muslim there – stallholders, customers and passers-by momentarily paused and lifted up their drinks, in bottles, plastic bags and cups, to take that grateful sip since sunrise. Then the feeding frenzy starts.
We were at the Ramadan bazaar at Geylang Serai, where the same scene repeats day after day as our Muslim friends observe their daily fasting ritual in the holy month of Ramadan. While the frying, grilling, stewing and brewing happens all day, no one drinks or eats, except for the exempted (sick, very young, or infirmed with medical conditions). You can find the usual fare such as nasi briyani, “Ramly” burgers, and all sorts of fried snacks. The crowd throngs the place and buy foodstuff ahead, sometimes, way ahead of the break fast hour. Some of these foods are only available during this festive season. And every year, the old and new items sit together to please demanding palates…
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