Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ramadan - The Feasting Month


The feasting month is almost here. Yes, you heard right; it's the feasting, not fasting, month. How could it not be feasting when the focus is so much on food? Ramadan bazaar, Ramadan buffet; food, food, and more food...

Ramadan bazaars will definitely make their presence felt next week, sprouting like mushrooms after the rains. Tens of thousands of 'lesen berniaga bazar Ramadan' have already been issued throughout the country.

And a quick scan through the papers revealed numerous buffet ads offered by hotels and restaurants, in town and elsewhere. As usual, the mind boggles at the spreads that await.

The fares are sinfully lavish, between 80 to 100 dishes on each menu, covering a wide range of local and international cuisines.

In some five-star hotels, it costs no less than RM100 per person to enjoy this undoubtedly scrumptious spread. Any which way one looks at it, that's a lot of money for just one meal.

In most outlets, prices are upwards of RM60; The Mines, Legend and Corus each at RM85++, JW Marriot and Impiana at RM78++, Grand Seasons at RM75++.... the list goes on....

Istana offers only RM99++ for earlybird vouchers, otherwise it's RM110++/pax. Dorsett shaves 50% off the quoted price of RM69.90++ for children 4-12 years and wargamas (the elderly) upwards of 55.

Other promotional stunts include opening/closing 'specials' in which a 50% discount is offered to patrons in the first 5 days and last 3 days of Ramadan.

Understandably, this is the time for hotels and restaurants to make a killing. And we have not even taken into account the endless chain of 'buka puasa' dos organised by companies and corporations.

Despite such steep prices, there is no dearth of patrons out there willing to be slaughtered, pursewise, in the name of gluttony. Such is the attraction of this Ramadan buffet phenomenon.

Let's take a step back and consider this; you break your fast by paying RM100 to eat one single meal, the spread of which comprises 100 dishes. How much more can you eat beyond your normal consumption?

Is it not a sin to overeat, for overeating means sheer waste of good food that could be fed to the poor and the needy? This is not what fasting is all about.

Fasting is about restrain, moderation, empathy; it's not about stuffing oneself silly come berbuka time, until one is too full to move even an inch. Someone bloated with food is not likely to do his/her tarawikh, that's for sure.

We are encouraged to break fast with something sweet and light. According to Tradition, our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) broke fast with only one or two dates before doing his solat Maghrib.

Yet Some of us do by devouring platefuls of food like a hungry wolf, and return for more, and more. Gluttony rules in Ramadan. This is all so wrong, so very wrong...

PS: Although written in good faith and with the best of intentions, someone's bound to be riled by this posting that can be misconstrued as a bit of pontificating. To such person/s, I offer my apologies.

30 comments:

Pi Bani said...

Sungguh K.Puteri... Ramadhan dah jadi macam Food Fest month. Beats the original purpose. Orang lain I tak tau lah, tapi kalau I makan punya banyak for berbuka, alamat time terawikh dah terbungkang...

NanaDJ said...

Puteri,
It is actually so sinful to spend that much for buffet spread at Hotels and restaurants. As you say, how much can one eat especially after day long fasting. I have seen some piling their plates with food only to end up eating a quarter of it, the rest gone to waste.
It is better to sedekah that money to the poor or to the mosques.

luahfikiran said...

Salam,
Hotel2 ini ajak kita berbuka puasa (dengan bayaran lah)! Tapi makanan yang dihidangkan itu halal atau tidak? LF pernah buat posting tentang isu ini tahun lalu. Sekarang ini berbangkit semula isu ini. Lepas ni tenggelam semula (macam kapal selam). Tahun depan bila nak puasa timbul balik !

D said...

Oh, sinful alright! I once broke my fast with a donut and was sniggered by an english friend because it was so ironic an item! :( maluuuuuu... (and that was only donut, mind you!!)

Nur Razali said...

Saya sangat2 setuju dgn puan.

Selamat Menghayati Ramadhan

Anonymous said...

Not only the muslims look forward to Ramadan, we Cina pung look forward to Ramadan. Boleh makang banyok bende yang kadang-kadang dokleh jupa kat KL ni masa hari-hari biasa. Masa bulang puasalah dapat merasa. We await bulang puasa more than some Muslims. Heehee.

Selamat Berpuasa to all Muslims.

Al-Manar said...

Hjjh,
Where I am we talk about going into the abandoned padi fields picking pucuk paku merah to prepare bubur lambuk. That way we save one whole riggit per bundle from the market and we need more than a bundle. Whereas you people in KL spend one hundred riggits just for a person's dinner? Hendak bayar zakat lima ringgit pun ada yang tak mampu. Such is life.

Wan Sharif said...

Alhamdulillah for your timely reminder.
Being in Oil & gas fraternity, there are many out there who would want to splash money on us Muslims in the name of entertainment. Lavish berbuka fare at the hotel has been able to lure some of us away from enjoying home prepared food and performing the much awaited tarawikh..
Courses are also organised in Ramadhan and since Muslims do not take lunch, they will be issued coupons for berbuka Puasa at the hotels where the courses are held.
The comment from AlManar above should put all in better prospective on the reality of life.
Maybe we should heed to the call to bring back the old tradition.. bring our food to the place of worship and share them at the berbuaka puasa & hopefully stay there till the solat witir..

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Pi - Ini pun nafsu, kan pi, uncontrollable nafsu makan. hilang ajaran supaya bendung nafsu. pak abu and i usually buka puasa with kurma dan kuih sekeping dua. makan malam is after tarawikh, around 10. lebih selesa macam ni.

Nana - yup, that's the worst scenario possible - piling food sampai spilling over, lepas tu makan tak habis. berdosa betul membazir makanan.

LF - ni pun satu lagi isssue LF. some food outlets yg kehalalannya diragui pun buat ramadan buffet. and puak2 melayu kita berduyun pi buka puasa kat sana...

D - breaking fast with a donut is perfectly acceptable. it's akin to buka puasa dengan sekeping kuih.

Nur - Selamat berpuasa to you too.

Anon - It's indeed true that come Ramadan all those kuih2 tradisional yg jarang nampak dan susah nak dapat will be available kat ramadan bazaars. reflective of our multi-ethnic existence, non-muslims pun sama naik mengunjungi these foodstalls.

Al-Manar - indeed pakcik, such is the unfairness of it all. kita hanya mampu melihat dan kadangkala bersuara tapi sapa yg nak dengar nasihat kita? at best kita dikatakan menyebok, even when our intentions are good.

Wan - you spot on there. if only everyone tanam kesedaran on how wasteful these ramadan buffet culture is...

Zabs said...

Selamat menyambut Ramadhan Al-Mubarak. Semga kita tidak terpengaruh dengan lambaian "Buffet Ramadhan yang beranika jenis dan ragam ituy. InsyaAllah..

─╣aptop™ said...

Bagi saya 3 ekoq udang hat lagu dalam gambaq tu... dah syukur alhamdulillah!

DrSam said...

Salam Kak Puteri. I couldn't agree more with you. This is one thing (eating lavishly expansive food in hotels) that really deviated the ummah from the main purpose of Ramadhan. In fact, that alone bring out the devils in ourselves.

Selamat menyambut Ramadhan al-mubarak. Semoga Ramadhan kali ini memberi lebih keberkatan dan kerahmatan kepada Kak Puteri sekeluarga.

Shahieda said...

What a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, Sis Puteri. Over the years Ramadhaan has surely been losing it's sense of value, in a manner of speaking.

Beside the hotels and restaurants offering buffets and all kinds of food that we can hardly eat, meals at home have also become quite lavish. Women spend hours in the kitchen preparing so many dishes and these don't get eaten but get chucked into the rubbish bin, Astaghfirullah!

May we strive to garner the best rewards this auspicious month has to offer, Insha-Allah!

Ramadhaan kareem to all!

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Zabs - Ameeen to that..

DrSam - Insyaallah, semoga amalan kita diberkatiNya.

Lap - 3 ekoq udang tu lekat celah gigi ajala lap..lol..

Sha - indeed. some people like to see a table laden with food.. but there's so much one can eat.. at the end of the day, it's the garbage bin that benefits.. what a waste..

pakmat said...

Selamat berpuasa, lady..and you dont have to add that disclaimer apology..for the have-not's in Bachok puasa bring a welcome relief..cheers

D.N.A.S said...

I agree with you K. Puteri. Dugaan paling besar sepanjang Ramadhan is the bazaar. Rambang mata masa beli, lepas tu bila dah berbuka, tak mampu nak habiskan. Membazir lagi.... tsk tsk tsk.
Selamat menyambut Ramadhan Al Mubarak.

Mior Azhar said...

sangat true Kak Puteri... tengok invite yang dtg ke office ni pun dah rasa naik 10kg. And pulak tu manusia punyalah ramai bersesak2 kat buffet2 ini... sungguh tak larat.
Apapun Selamat Menyambut Ramadan to you and famili.

Pp said...

"Selamat menyambut Ramadhan puteri Kama, pak Abu dan famili, serta pembaca2 blog puteri Kama.
Maaf di pohon kerana tidak kesempatan bertemu sewaktu di Malaysia tempuh hari!"

ninotaziz said...

Dear Kak Kama,

These last two years, I try to go vegetarian bila buka puasa. It helps to stem the urge to eat indiscriminately.

Anyway, Ramadhan is the time I get to have dinner with the girls regularly - better than normal days - so we berbuka at home.

But you are so right about this waste and incorrigible pricing. At least at clubs, the buka puasa pricing are still reasonable - if I remember correctly.

Selamat berpuasa to you and your family.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Selamat berpuasa to you and family Kak Puteri. Pasal buffet tu, i nak jugak pergi at least once sb kat sini takde and since for us yg earning in usd ni, kalau convert pun masih cheap compared to sitting down lunch/dinner at regular restaurants here. :)

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Pakmat - simpati dan insaf bila terkenangkan mereka yang sentiasa kurang serba serbi.

Dnas - betul tu D.. that's lapar mata namanya..

Mior - kak puteri ingat zaman jadi reporter dulu, mior. jemputan buka puasa di hotel hari2, dan kalau raya time pulak, ofis penuh dengan kek dan hampers from hotels and corporations..

Pp - kami tunggu kepulangan Pak Payne the next time. Nasi minyakdan ayam kuzi tetap menanti mu.. :-)

Ninot - turning vegetarian is an idea worth considering. healthier too..

Farina - yours is a different scenario altogether, thus I do agree with you. you live so far away, kalau dapat peluang makan our traditional food back home, apa salahnya. it's true too bila dah convert from USD, murah pulak jadinya.. hehehe

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
Ramadan has come and gone in our lives. We get to eat just tuna and kibbles. Anyway, Selamat Menjalani Ibadah Puasa di Ramadan al-Mubarak. roar! roar! roar!

3yearshousewife said...

Kak,
Very true indeed. Thank you for the reminder.
Selamat Berpuasa to you and your family.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

cat - lucky you!

3YH - it's good to ingat mengingati. selamat berpuasa to you too, dear..

AuntieYan said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

Betul. Sana sini cakap jangan membazir, jangan membazir....realitinya tidak juga.
Tahun ni I berazam tak nak makan lebih-lebih. Dah 3 hari puasa, alhamdulillah kami dapat menahan nafsu makan ynag berlebihan. Berbuka dengan kurma, sedikit kueh, sedikit buah. Bersahur baru makan nasi...ala kadar saja.

Selamat beribadah, selamat berpuasa. :-)

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Yan - kami sekeluarga pun sama.berbuka dengan buah kurma dan kuih sikit. lepas tarawikh baru makan nasi. zaman mengadap meja laden with food dan ber'buffet' dah berakhir. syukurlah dapat berubah..

peah @ peps said...

Salam K.Putri,

Its true..Ramadhan is also being considered as Reunion session with my uni-frenz...BUT..i don't really like it..when some of us..buat2 tak reti nak solat maghrib pun...

p/s: I'm your new visitor..the way you crafted your words really inspiring..can i link your blog to mine? tq..

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Peps dear, plse do... thanks for dropping by and selamat berpuasa to you and family..

zaitgha said...

Kak Puteri,

You echoed what i was thinking abt this buffet thingy....similarly the bazaar ramadhan.

Dear hubby nak kasi i rehat from cooking, so yesterday he went and buy some food, tak banyak pun 2 packets kuey teow for 2 older the boys, 1 packet fried mee for himself, lauk rebung, daging kawah, 1 ketul ikan tenggiri asam pedas and 3 ketul ayam goreng berlada......only the ayam habis dimakan, ikan ended up on the cats plate, astagfirullah....the rest all in the dustbin, bkn tak mau makan, cuma rasanyer tak dapat di telan dek anak2....they told the father tak payah lah beli lagi, telur mata kerbau pun cukup....thats the lesson for him...i dont mind cooking, coz to me one vege and one meat are a daily affair even if not Ramadhan.....semoga we have a bless Ramadhan Kak....panjang la pulak citer kat sini ....

"K" said...

I recently listened to a lecture and had a long discussion about this very topic with my husband. He insists that Ramadan is about feasting. I say not. BBecause of the absolute inability to eat all of the food we end up wasting quite a bit of it and this is a bad thing. Ramadan is about self-control and returning to our creator in spirit, and also about learning to sympathize with those in need. How could we possibly do that when we are so full we can barely walk?