Monday, June 30, 2014

::Ramadan Reflections::Day 2: Bazaar Ramadan

Bazaar Ramadan in Malaysia
(Credit: The Malaysian Times)

When I was a kid and saw Bazaar Ramadan (Pasar Ramadan). "Hooray!!! The annual Pasar Malam FIESTA (Night Market) is held up again for weeks!! "

Later on 8pm I rode bicycle to there... "Where’s everyone?”

The whole Bazaar Ramadan was cleaned up at 8pm, only left a few hawkers selling foods. That’s my first memory about Bazaar Ramadan, only Malay hawkers and mostly Malay’s cuisine. Unlike Pasar Malam (Night Market), the bazaar is selling all sorts of goods like foods, clothes, fruits etc. I was a top fan of VCD and fried chicken back in 90’s time. Normally those hawkers selling goods until 10.30pm, so it’s kind of unusual for me whenever I failed to buy something at Bazaar Ramadan around 8pm.

The Bazaar Ramadan starts from first day of Ramadan till the last day of fasting. I seldom went to Bazaar Ramadan until Emma (my wife) brought me to there when I was 18. Also the moment that I had my first experience of fasting, perhaps I should say it’s just “experimental fasting”. I just had my breakfast and skipped my lunch, then look for my dinner at Bazaar Ramadan. Most of the foods are spicy and I can’t take it. Even just one bite of Nasi Lemak may burn my tongue. So we were looking for the non spicy foods like fried chicken, chicken rice and drinks.

I also tried Nasi Tomato but it’s doesn’t really taste like “Tomato”, I was sweating a lot to enjoy the spicy chicken rice. Also Murtabak and Roti John was my best alternatives.


Food is not the only item on which the devout Muslims spend their money when they go to the Ramadan bazaars and other outlets.

This festive season, like in the previous years, food bazaars will be selling various types of foods, including dishes that are only served during Ramadan. Menus will cover food from various regions—northern, southern, east coast, and the Middle East.

When one visits these bazaars, one is sure to return home loaded with packets of food and a number of beverages such as sugarcane and coconut water.

Sadly, people end up buying so much food that not all of it is consumed; some will be refrigerated and the rest will be discarded.

A report published last month claimed that Malaysians discard 15,000 tonnes of food everyday! In Kuala Lumpur alone, leftover food thrown away everyday amounts to about 3,000 tonnes, while in Georgetown, it amounts to 355 tonnes.

Meanwhile, it is not only waste that Muslim consumers have to think about during Ramadan but also the implications of overeating. In fact, many people are diagnosed with diabetes and other diseases, and such bouts of over-indulgence may be detrimental to their health.

Today I am capable to eat any spicy foods, whether it’s Nasi Briyani, Nasi Lemak, Sambal Petai… Bring it on!

Actually it’s also part of my struggle to be a Muslim, when there’s no choice at all but only spicy halal foods available… I have to accept the fact that I’m among 3% Chinese Muslim in Malaysia that seeks for halal foods.


  1. Assalam, where do you live ikhwan? Is it that hard to find non spicy halal food where you live? Here in KL is very easy. There are even lots of chinese muslim restaurant. May your imaan increase with every hardship you go through. Ameen.

    1. Walaikumsalam, currently I'm living at Taiping, Perak. Yup it's quite hard for me to find non spicy halal food, so just get used to the tom yam and belacan foods at here ..


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