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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hari Raya Puasa

Hari Raya PuasaYesterday, we have finally moved in to our new house. Thanks by the way to my roommate’s lorry driver, which was very helpful to us. Since the lorry can only occupy one person on the front seat, my other roommate and I were seated on the back seat with our things. The only consolation that I had was that I was seated on the carton with our pillows and quilt. I even covered my head with my bath towel since it was hot and very windy. I was having problems with my hair and I don’t want that to contribute to my hair trouble.

Anyway, yesterday was also a holiday here in Singapore and in the Philippines. Muslims celebrated their version of Christmas, which is called “Hari Raya Puasa.” They celebrate it after the end of Ramadan. On the eve of Hari Raya Puasa, I even heard them singing on the ground floor of our HDB in Punggol. They even have this superstition that they should replace old things with new ones. My former housemates were fortunate to pick some furniture since the Muslim people leave their old stuffs at the ground floor of the HDB.

According to the National Library Board Singapore, “Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. Prayers followed by a thanks-giving feasts are held in mosques on the morning of the occasion. It is a time of forgiveness within the Muslim community and a time for strengthening of bonds amongst relatives and friends. New clothes, decorated houses and exchange of invitations between friends and relatives commemorate Hari Raya Puasa. Children salam (greet) their parents on the morning of Hari Raya Puasa and ask for forgiveness and blessings.”

Hari Raya Puasa is also known in Arabic as Edil Fitri. Puasa is Malay for "fasting.”

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