As part of our Ramadan Around The World series, we will be sharing heartwarming stories on how Ramadan is celebrated around the world. Based on the story submitted by Latifah Sat from Hong Kong, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Celebrating Ramadan As A Born Chinese Muslim In Hong Kong
The beauty of Islam lies in its diversity and during Ramadan, Muslims from across the globe mark this period by focusing on acts of ibadah and self-reflection. For Latifah Sat, a born Chinese Muslim in Hong Kong, the art of mindfulness is one of the first things that comes to her mind when the holy month arrives.
This can be seen in Latifah’s everyday schedule while fasting. During her lunch break at work, she takes the time to pray, meditate as well as listen to Islamic lectures to increase her knowledge. As her day continues and iftar arrives, you’ll likely find Latifah enjoying traditional egg tarts - ones with a crispy biscuit crust - as they’re a recent favourite to break fast with.
Once done with her meal, she makes her way to the mosque for isha and tarawih.
It isn’t lost on anyone that the pandemic has affected Ramadan celebrations last year - particularly gatherings of any kind. Latifah confessed that having collective iftar at the masjid was what she missed most from before the coronavirus outbreak. The main joy behind it was having the chance to catch up with her friends and pray together. “It was a nice place to go to conclude the day.”
Besides the absence of gatherings, everyone faces their own challenges during Ramadan including Latifah. For her, it happens to be the lack of sleep. “I’m fine without food and water but I cannot function without sleep,” she shared. Her tip to overcome this? Sleep early!
In a Muslim minority city like Hong Kong, Eid is not widely observed. Latifah said carving out time to celebrate it yourself is the way to go. This year, she’ll be taking a day off and going for Eid prayers in the morning before having a nice meal out with her family.
One of their favourite spots to go to is ‘Islam Food’ where they serve Shanghainese cuisine. From beef goulash and dan dan spicy noodles in peanut sauce to dumplings and cold meats, it’s a true family feast for Latifah and her loved ones as they celebrate Eid together.
Disclaimer: Do note that Islam Food is not halal-certified. We recommend that you check with the staff beforehand and dine at your own discretion.
Planning your future travels to Hong Kong
While we wait for international borders to reopen for leisure travel, it’s never too early to get a head start on your bucket list for future getaways. If you’re wondering what are some of the must-see spots and must-try food in Hong Kong, keep on reading for Latifah’s recommendations along with other tips that’ll come in handy for travellers visiting Hong Kong!
According to Latifah, anyone visiting Hong Kong should drop by Victoria Peak for a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit Victoria Harbour - more specifically from the Tsim Sha Tsui side which gives you a classic view of the harbour. Other places that’ll give you more scenic views can be found in the outlying islands of Hong Kong like Lantau Peak.
Looking to immerse yourself in the local culture? Make your way to the Central and Western District! Here, the streets are filled with temples, churches and colonial architecture with a modern touch.
As someone who prefers solo traveling, Latifah shared with us two of her personal favourite spots: Stanley, a beautiful destination with stretches of mountains and Sai Kung - more specifically Big Wave Bay where you’ll find a broad sandy beach cocooned by green hills.
Of course, there’s no forgetting about food when you’re travelling to Hong Kong! After a day’s worth of adventure, fuel your stomach with the best Xinjiang food in town at Ba Yi Restaurant.
Disclaimer: Do note that Ba Yi Restaurant is not halal-certified. We recommend that you check with the staff beforehand and dine at your own discretion.
Hong Kong is a great place to visit all-year round but if you ask Latifah, her favourite time is winter between November to February because of its comfortable weather.
This article was brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board.