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 Hani Khalit from Hong Kong, this interview has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team.
A Malaysian Muslim’s Ramadan Experience In Hong Kong
Hani and her husband
Every year when Ramadan rolls around, Muslims across the globe are blessed with another opportunity to experience the holy month. They mark this time with spiritual focus, self-reflection and celebrating it in their own unique ways. The same goes for Hani Khalit, a Malaysian Muslim who moved to Hong Kong 3 years ago with her husband and has now found a home in the heart of the city.
It’s a fairly straightforward routine for Hani as she wakes up for sahur to have a light meal before jetting off to the office. When lunch break hits, she takes the time to rest and pray. Thanks to the flexibility of her job, she’s able to finish work early and get a head start on cooking iftar for both her and her husband.
Hani keeps things simple by steaming vegetables and pairing it with baked salmon or chicken.Before diving into her meal, she would typically break fast with fruits and dates first. Then, it’s off to the mosque with her husband as they pray tarawih and sometimes attend talks featuring their favourite speakers like Yasmin Mogahed and Omar Suleiman.
Hani’s (second from left) Eid celebration in 2020 with her friends
When asked about what she missed most about Ramadan from before Covid-19, Hani reminisced about gatherings at the mosque where family and friends would break fast and pray together. Since Raya celebrations were also affected, Hani shared that Malaysians in Hong Kong would usually head over to Rumah Malaysia or the consulate general Malaysia building for a group celebration.
Gathering with friends for Eid celebration in 2020 (Hani; seated, second from the right)
To make up for these absent gatherings, a more intimate potluck takes place instead as Hani and her friends observe Eid together in a friend’s home. She confessed that while Hong Kong may be a Muslim-minority city, there have been no challenges when it comes to celebrating the festivities. Locals are open-minded and the multi-cultural scene allows for different backgrounds and faiths to practice their own beliefs peacefully.
Planning your future travels to Hong Kong
As the world continues to recoverfrom the pandemic, many people are starting to get excited about travelling again once borders reopen. If you’re planning to travel to Hong Kong for your future getaway, there’s no better person to ask than Hani for some handy traveller’s tips! Keep on reading to find out what are the must-see spots and must-try foods when taking a trip to Hong Kong.
Hani and her husband hiking at Ma on Shan
As a huge nature lover, it’s no surprise that Hani’s top recommendations are all the beautiful hiking trails in Hong Kong! Start with Ma on Shan, one of the most popular urban hikes in the city that offers breathtaking sceneries of the island and its shoreline - especially when you reach the top of the viewing point. Another place for a dose of nature is the MacLehose Trail. Hani’s personal favourite is the stage 2 hiking trail where you can enjoy a magnificent coastal scenery.
#HHWTTip: According to Hani, you won’t have any problems getting around places in Hong Kong as most attractions are within 30 to 40 minutes from each other. Efficient and effective as she puts it!
If it happens to be raining during your visitto Hong Kong, take the opportunity to drop byOmni Palace Noodle House and Grill that’s located between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. This eatery is one of Hani’s favourite go-to places as they serve amazing noodle soup - but truth be told, every foodie should hit up this spot even on a sunny day.
Disclaimer: Do note that Omni Palace Noodle House and Grill is not halal-certified. We recommend that you check with the staff beforehand and dine at your own discretion.
For those of you who have Hong Kong on your bucket list, make sure to take note of all these tips - and if you don’t, you should definitely include it! With plenty to explore and experience, a trip to Hong Kong will be nothing short of amazing.
Want more places to visit and yummy local food to try? Check out what Latifah - a born Chinese Muslim in Hong Kong has to share in this article!
This article was brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board.