Monday, September 25, 2006

ramadan kareem

ramadan is upon us in the muslim world. it is a spiritual time in the life of muslims, a time of forgoing earthly pleasures and focusing on supporting one's spirit and reflecting on one's life, faith, God's blessings and all things religious.

not in our countries.

ramadan for us is a time to eat and make money. it starts with the unexplained rush to supermarkets, bakeries and any other places that sell anything edible. people start buying like crazy. it's like everyone is preparing for an oncoming famine. last i checked the places that we visited before ramadan were still there after ramadan. and we can still buy food from them. really. and shop owners, in the generous spirit of the month (you know, ramadan kareem translates literally to ramadan is generous), raise their prices in preparation for the mad rush of people.

but one can look at that as economics, the balance of supply and demand. what one can't explain with any economic or social theory is the ramadan tents phenomenon. i don't think anything can explain that. you see in ramadan every place that used to sell food converts itself into a traditional-styled place with ramadan lanterns, traditional food and drinks, traditional settings and some places go as far as actually constructing a tent inside the place. not the triangular one that is inspired by cartoons, but a square arabian one with all the red colors worthy of a wedding. then very weirdly the place changes its menu, starts charging money just to sit there (why the fuck should i pay to enter a place where i used to come for free?), and up their prices. you would think that drives people away? no, the reason the prices go up is the people (remember, supply and demand). people flock to these places like they're giving away food for free. which they aren't.

of course these places usually have music, some have dancing, some have liquor, and some have fortune tellers, all the markings of a celebration of a holy islamic month. i mean, fortune tellers? if i didn't consult with fortune tellers during the normal days, what would posses me into consulting with one in the holiest times of the year? (btw, muslims consider fortune tellers the worse liars, they're down there below lawyers and politicians. in fact, they're liars even if their fortunes come true).

here's to the hypocritical, contradicting idiosyncrasies of our society. ramadan kareem everyone.

1 comment:

and life goes on... said...

Ramadan Kareem...
Nice blog ;)