Scattered Around The Globe, But One At Heart

By Dayang Sorfina
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WHILE many are lamenting over this year’s quiet Ramadan and the equally quiet impending Aidilfitri celebrations with the current pandemic situation, those celebrating abroad have somewhat been accustomed to quiet Ramadan celebrations. But their longingness over observing the Holy month never ceases.

For Fatihah, a must-have dish every Ramadan would be Bubur Pedas, a Sarawak delicacy. The liveliness of Ramadan bazaars, their familiar sights, sounds and smells are some of the things that Fatihah misses the most.

Having spent five years in France, Fatihah who is in her final year as an Energy Engineering student is currently undertaking her internship at one of the electrical distribution companies in France.

Her fellow Malaysian mates there decided to cook up a storm together during the holy month keeping as close as possible to their Malaysian roots. Bringing planning down to a pat, they even prepared an Excel sheet consisting of tasks delegations!

Sungke spread followed by Tarawih after.
Fatihah behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, another Malaysian, having to spend Ramadhan in Czech Republic’s capital city of Prague, Dayang can only dream of having another taste of Sarawak’s famous Midin Belacan and one of her favourite desserts, Kueh Bongkol.

Currently undergoing a Cadet Pilot Programme at the Czech Aviation Training Centre (CATC), Dayang can’t help but explore and discover the concealed jewels of Prague.

For her, Ramadan in Prague is practically non-existent compared to Malaysia. Luckily for Dayang, she too is surrounded by great people who feel like home. From experimenting different types of recipes to witnessing breathtaking views of the city itself, being away from home doesn’t seem so bad.

Dayang and friends during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, 2020.

Meanwhile, over in the land steep with history and culture, it is the total opposite for Fatin, a final year medicine student in Cairo, Egypt.

She finds Ramadan to be livelier over there than back at home. It is definitely Ramadan if you can spot the illuminating lights of the ‘fanoos’, a colourful lantern decking the Egyptian streets, homes and stores.

The Egyptian streets decked with decorations.

Here’s a fun fact, Egypt is the only place where they will bang a drum called ‘Darbuka’ along the streets indicating it’s time for suhoor. It starts as early as 1.00AM!

“When you delve into the true meaning of Ramadan, it does not matter which side of the globe you’re on.”

Fatin’s best moments of Ramadan abroad is being able to have iftar together with her friends while catching up with the other Sarawakian students. In addition, exploring some of the various mosques in Cairo with them is something that she’ll long for once she’s back in Malaysia for good.

Fatin having iftar together with friends.

These ladies are somewhat living proof that Ramadan is truly something held together in spirit and that no distance would come in the way of them observing the Muslim’s holy month, especially in the right circle of like-minded folk.

Ramadan will soon come to an end in less than ten days hence all the more reason for it to be embraced fully with more forgiveness, humility and compassion.

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