It’s that time of year again… Ramadan

food market stall kuala lumpur job savelsberg unsplash

Ramadan is here again.  If you hadn’t realised, you’d soon find out when you tried to get anywhere on the roads from 5 – 7 pm and found them all jammed solid, as people dash home to get ready to break their fast at the appointed time –

7.21 pm today in KL, after an early meal this morning which must have finished by 5.30 am – so that’s nearly 14 hours without food or, more importantly, water in this heat, which must be torture.  It’s apparently a contributing factor to the huge number of Malaysians with chronic kidney disease (9% of the population), which has led to  the country having the 7th highest number of dialysis patients in the world.

The Ramadan market takes place every afternoon and evening on the road by the school, and is absolutely rammed with people –

buying up all the delicious treats to take home and eat, just as soon as the clock strikes 7.21 pm.

These roti are delicious fried breads –

and here are yet more delicious fried things –

and some beautifully vibrant “Barbie Juice” …

Fried durian anyone …?

So it’s not exactly a health-fest once you do get to eat something in the evening … it’s no wonder that the Malays tend to be a tad on the rotund side.

There was an interesting article in the newspaper yesterday about Ramadan etiquette.

I learnt that it’s not acceptable to shout at someone on a station platform who’s eating a curry puff, just because you’re fasting and can’t have one.  I’m glad I found that out, so that I can shout back and tell them that I know my rights, if I happen to get the urge to scoff a curry puff in public this month.

You are also not allowed to whine, harangue, queue jump or lynch people –

which I’m definitely in favour of at all times of the year, not just Ramadan.

But I’m not so keen on the idea of the religious authorities arresting you, if you eat during the daytime –

and you’re “of a certain skin tone”.

Food-shaming is one thing, but a prison sentence takes it to a whole new level.