Another day, another year as Muslims all around the world celebrate the start of a brand new month Syawal, with the end of the month-long fast during Ramadhan. Like the previous years, we would always be back in Singapore to celebrate this occasion with family and friends. Not this year.
This year, we are far, far away from my family. The farthest I have ever been on such festive family occasion. It’s also the 2nd time in the 11 years that I have been away with the first being when Squirt was still a newborn back in 2012 and we didn’t make it back home. This year, we just couldn’t make it back for it would cost us way too much to afford a flight back to Asia.
The Muslim community here who have observed Ramadhan fasted for about 18-20 hours from when the sunrise to when the sunset for the entire month. That’s a very long time as compared to in Asia where it would only be about 12-13 hours without food or water. Still, it has been a pretty ordinary day here in the Netherlands.
While I know there’s a small population of Muslims in my neighourhood, I haven’t seen Eid being celebrated as we would have back home.Or perhaps I’m just not as clued in.
More than anything, I’m missing the aroma of my mom’s home-cooked that would fill the corridor from the doorstep right to the elevator 50 meters away and stuffing my face with her Rendang, Ayam Masak Merah, Roti Jala and her melt-in-your-mouth pineapple tarts. I was thinking of doing my own cook-out with some simple kuehs, but decided that I did not have the energy to do so given the current state of our home.
Syawal is also a month of get-together, to remember the departed and to once again bury the hatchet, undo the wrongdoings yet again and to start on a clean slate once more after a full month of cleansing. In the spirit of festivities, let’s also remember to do our part for the less fortunate and refrain -from all wastefulness and extravagance. Most of all, let’s all exercise kindness for human-kind and let go of all hatred regardless of race or religion not only today but every single day.
From us here in the Netherlands, here’s us in spirit wishing everyone a Happy Eid Mubarak or Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri as commonly known in Singapore and wishing you a blessed Syawal.