Preparing for Ramadhan

6 Sep, '07

It’s only a few more days before the holy month of Ramadhan is once again upon us. I wish you all a fulfilling and spiritual time for the advent of this month.

Ramadhan cycle

Generally though, as far as my observation of the traditions we have in Bahrain are concerned, it will once again become the month of gluttony, wasted enterprise, lethargy and living like bats: sleeping all day and essentially partying all night. Generally.

Some, however, take this opportunity by the horns and use it to cleanse themselves physically and spiritually. Others get caught up in hording foodstuffs and traders use the opportunity to once again cash in.

The government, on the other hand, recurrently finds itself surprised that it can’t provide enough meat to a hording public, giving the impression that mis-planning is quite endemic and that having an exclusive importer of meat is not really a good idea but simply trudges on year upon year with no change in the offing to offer a solution to this problem.

A friend remarked the other day that he finds Bahrainis quite strange; he said that “The Bahraini trait must be PANIC!” I asked why? He said: “Well, they always get caught out and get surprised that schools are about to start so they panic buy at the last minute all the supplies their children need forgetting that they had the whole summer to do so; they get surprised that Ramadhan is so close and they go out and sweep all foodstuffs from markets regardless of their actual need and never plan for it, doing so once again at the last minute resulting in unnecessary acute supply shortages; and lastly, the Ministry of Electricity always gets surprised that summer has actually started and people’s demand for electricity has increased!”

I must say that I tend to agree with his assessments.

Why people can’t just treat Ramadhan as just another month physically but invest it in spiritually is beyond me. It has become nothing more than a trade event commercialised to fleece people who happily throw their limited amount of cash away and then grumble that they don’t have enough while their uneaten and thrown out food could quite easily feed every hungry person in the world.

Ramadhan Kareem everyone!

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Comments (17)

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  1. Ahmed says:

    Ramadhan Kareem Mahmood 🙂

  2. victoria says:

    Mahmood

    I know exactly what you mean..Christmas has also been turned into an equivalent GLUTfest.
    What is it with us humans that we are so obsessed with the shiny things in life and seriously neglect our spiritual needs?
    Every year I make the same promise… keep it simple , focus on the real ´reason for the season´but it is so easy to get swept away with the flood of materialism that rides the wave of religious festivals..!!

  3. Shaima says:

    Ramadan Kareem Everyone!

  4. Redbelt says:

    This post was brought to you today by the letter “G”.
    G….Gluttony…G!

    And speaking of that, and the PANICing bit, Bahrain is a seriously reactive country. Full stop. They will change a roundabout AFTER it has caused several deaths and they will speak about reform AFTER economy collapses. This goes on to the minor minute things like preparing a new thobe for Ramadhan. Why doesn’t anyone just order one made now is beyond me.

    I was in Belgium once, and I found police cars surrounding a spot on the road, with lights and police lines and everything. I asked my friend what was going on and he said there was a depression in the ground WHICH COULD TURN INTO A POT HOLE. Being Bahraini I asked, SO? And he told me this is serious. It could damage power lines, gas lines, sewage systems, affect the underground, not to mention cause accidents and be costlier to repair later. So they are doing it NOW.
    I cried.

  5. Loki says:

    Sad but true. Ramadan Kareem.

  6. Abu Arron says:

    An additional saving grace about Ramadan is that the population are too lethargic to organise mass demonstrations because the food shortage is rife (because their neighbours have filled up a ‘spare’ room with tins and sacks of rice).

    I hope that everyone surfaces feeling suitably cleansed.

    Ramadan Kareem Everyone

  7. Yousif says:

    I don’t think this case is specific to the Bahraini culture. It is more like a human condition. Similar “panic” reactions can be observed when the festive season is closing by in western nations. It is more to do with businesses having limited and steady supply of goods and an increased demand which can only be corrected by a temporal increase in supply. This increase in supply rarely happens because that “may” create extra expenses on businesses and the goods’ producers (which can also explain price increases during shopping seasons). You can never guarantee a supply increase so the natural reaction by the consumer is to stock-up on goods. You can always buy before time but unless you want fresh food this is not an option 😉

  8. Aliandra says:

    gluttony, wasted enterprise, lethargy and living like bats: sleeping all day and essentially partying all night

    Sounds like Mardi Gras week in New Orleans, the period before Lent, which is also supposed to be a time of spiritual focus.

    People are the same everywhere.

  9. lorena says:

    Mahmood Ramadan kareem to you and your family and too all your readers and friends 🙂

  10. Happy Ramadhan

    I guess is the right way to say it.

    Siama magboolan

    Never mind I hardly know what to say in such occasions so I guess you understand what I’m about to say.

  11. Salman says:

    I am just wondering, what is the reason for the shortage of meat in Bahrain?

  12. naddooi says:

    Ramadan Kareem to everyone! 😛

    But yes… frustrating… this pigging out!

    Forget the fact that I thought ramadan is, in part, to remind us that we should be grateful, for our food, our jobs, our life in general etc. To think of how the poor suffer, working all day, only eating and drinking by sunset…

    What do we get? Shorter working days!! Woohooo

    “because the govt knows how hard it is for us while we fast”

    Oh DAMN, why is it I didn’t think of that! It must be that the poor must have shorter working days all year round! And there I was thinking their poor life was HARD!

    Oh, and god forbid you should come and eat or drink infront of me! 😯 shock horror! No respect for my religion!

    Seriously, over the years, ramadan has become SOOO easy to fast in this part of the world, people still COMPLAIN!

  13. ammaro.com says:

    so when is ramadhan? wed? thu? are we still depending on older people with tired eyes for moon sightings in a reasonably cloudy sky? We do have internet access to NASA sights that can give you the exact sighting of the moon, ya know… might help lessen the day divide between sinna and shiia… lol…

  14. ash says:

    Victoria,

    Christmas was always a glut-fest. It derives from ancient midwinter feasting festivals – Saturnalia and Winter Solstice – where the whole idea was to cope with the darkest, coldest time of the year by feasting, drinking, and partying. Christianity came along and appropriated the pre-existing tradition, giving it a veneer of Christian belief, but obviously enough the core pagan character of Christmas never went away. Thus do we decorate our homes with holly and ivy, burn the Yule Log, kiss under the mistletoe, etc etc.

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