Sunday, September 24, 2006

My first Ramadan in Hong Kong starts...

I really would have liked to post something titled "Ramadan in Hong Kong", similar to the earlier posts about the holy month in UAE and Sweden, but to tell you the truth, I have no idea how Ramadan is generally like in Hong Kong. I have been here all of two-and-a-half-months and am hoping to learn and share with you as things pan out here.

So far, I have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that everyone seems to be starting the month on the same day. I really do not have much interaction with a lot of Muslims here yet, so I cannot be absolutely certain, but it does seem like we are all going to start on Sunday (which makes it a 30 day month of Sha'ban).

You see Hong Kong, as a whole, is a very organized place. Everything is registered with the government, and is regulated to the extent that you can find everything on government (sponsored) websites, from movie timings at your local theater to the prayer timings at any of the 5 main mosques in Hong Kong. Affairs related to Islam are handled by 'The Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong', as the only organization that is recognized by the government to handle such affairs. They are responsible for ALL mosques, masrassahs and any other Islamic establishments in the area, so you get the same information about the moon-sighting, no matter which place you call to confirm.

So my first Ramadan in Hong Kong seems to have started okay I think. I managed to shop around today for my first week of Sehris and Aftaris, and for some bizzarre reason, decided to stay up the night so that I can sleep during the day. So I'll mess up my sleep schedule today, only to have to fix it tomorrow, since I have to go to work on Monday.

4 am right now... and I'm hardly awake. Thought I'd listen to some Quran during the night but have managed to go through it without doing that. One more hour till the Fajar prayers now... better get cooking!

6 comments:

Destitute Rebel said...

Boo! great to hear about Ramadan in HK. continue posting and letting us know your experiences. Others from all over the world if youd like to contribute please send e-mail to destituterebel@gmail.com

kaya said...

hey Boo! That sounds really great. Its all so organised and at least not like back home where the term "HEADLESS CHICKEN" applies so well.
So what time is suhoor and what time is iftaar for you?
Do you get some special consideration for work timings? (ie being a muslim and fasting?)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

bechara, akela hong kong mein! lol

I'm so glad you're posting here and letting us know how things are there. There's a whole world out there to get to know better.

nzm said...

Hi Boo!

We were in HK last year, and on the Kowloon side, we were really amazed to find a very big mosque not far from our hotel.

At evening prayer time, the mosque was packed, so there must be a lot of Muslim people in HK.

Looking forward to your posts on Ramadan from an HK perspective!

cheers
nzm

Boo! said...

@ D Rebel - Thanks for the encouragement.

@ kaya - I like the headless chicken analogy (=

The daytime here is generally running from 5am to 6.20pm these days... so 13 hours!

@ SS - Its pretty rough being alone during Ramadan. Half the excitement is lost.

@nzm - Kowloon Mosque is the largest in Hong Kong I believe, and is very pretty too (=

There are a lot of Muslim immigrants around that area, and you can find things like halal food, prayer mats, indian and pakistani music and videos, cheap calling cards to pakistan/india/northern africa etc.

i guess that's just extra info for anyone who plans to visit in the future.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Boo, that is why we have this online iftaar family for you :)

Kowloon mosque? pretty? well I guess we will never know because someone is not taking pictures of it! lol