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Ramadan Around The World: Malaysian Muslims Embrace A Different Ramadan In Hong Kong

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Nia Sarah  •  May 06, 2021

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This article is a part of our "Ramadan Around the World" series. Based on the information sent by Hong Kong Tourism Board, this story has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team. While the world continues to trudge through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ramadan scene in the fragrant harbour has changed since last year. Although Ramadan looks different for all of us around the world, it doesn't stop the 300,000 Muslims in Hong Kong from embracing the spirit of this blessed month!
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board Muzzil Khairat, a Malaysian who has lived in Hong Kong since 2019, hops on video calls with his family in Malaysia throughout Ramadan and on the first day of Raya, pandemic or not. As a city that values diversity, there is a wide variety of halal eateries for Muslims in Hong Kong and Muslim travellers. Muzzil used to frequent halal food outlets across Hong Kong, enjoying well-known halal Chinese food at Islam Food in Kowloon City and the Islamic Centre Canteen in Wan Chai.
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board As an active and health-conscious person, he sources halal meat from a halal sundry shop in Cheung Sha Wan orSham Shui Po to cook his own meals. Another fan of the Islamic Centre Canteen in Wan Chai is Anisha, who is also a Malaysian living in Hong Kong. The food canteen is located in Masjid al Amar, which offers free meals to all Muslims to break fast in Ramadan. Now during the pandemic, she breaks fast at home with her husband and two children during Ramadan. "In the past 10 years, the availability of halal food and ingredients have increased tremendously. Now, we are able to get many Malaysian or Indonesian halal items, so we can easily cook everything at home.”
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board She usually goes to Kowloon Masjid for Raya prayers. "There used to be three prayer sessions because of the crowd. All Muslims in Hong Kong will be here, so you can imagine the crowd and everyone wearing new clothes and celebrating under one roof. I really enjoyed this.”
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board According to Chief Imam Muhammad Arshad in Hong Kong, collective gatherings for break fast have been halted and Tarawih prayers at mosques have been implemented with social distancing and safety measures. This is no different for the city's four large mosques: Kowloon Masjid, Masjid AlAmmar, Jamie Mosque and Chai Wan Mosque. He shared: "Before the pandemic hit, there would be nightly gatherings of about 1,500 to 2,000 people in Kowloon Mosque alone, but now, we're only praying with staff of the mosque."
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board Restaurants have also had to change their business strategies since the pandemic to continue to serve customers. For Mr Ma, the owner of Ma's Restaurant which sells popular halal Chinese food like Shanghai beef noodles and an array of dim sum choices in the district of Sham Shui Po, his business has built delivery-centric and self-pickup models so that customers can feel safer eating at home. Although certain practices have changed, Chief Imam Arshad shared that Ramadan is a month that calls for Muslims to be united beyond religion, but with humanity as a whole. “The challenges that came with the pandemic has brought us all together to defend ourselves irrespective of colour, creed and country. Ramadan teaches us discipline, self-accountability and caring for others, so there’s no better time to practice that than in this holy month.”
Happening from 7 April to 13 May 2021, join us at Hello Ramadan,HHWT's immersive virtual event that aims to bring the joyand celebration of Ramadhan and Hari Raya to wherever you are! Look forward to an exciting line-up of shows, daily challenges, our very own Virtual Bazaar and more.Sign up now to stand a chance to win our Grand Draw and Weekly Draws, plus you get to increase your chances of winning the Grand Draw when you collect points. Find out more here!