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 Saleema Nazeel from Perth, Australia, this interview has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team.
Known as the capital city of Western Australia, Perth is brimming with bustling cityscape as well as laidback and scenic nature. Here is also where Saleema Nazeel, an Indian Muslim who has been residing in Perth for 2 years, will be spending her Ramadan.
The first thing that comes to mind when Saleema thinks of Ramadan is her childhood memories of fasting and the chance to enjoy food to the fullest. "My favourite food for sahur is chappathi, vegetable curry and tea whereas for iftar, I enjoy eating pathiri (a traditional rice bread from Kerala, India) and non-vegetarian curry," Saleema shared.
Ramadan is also a month where she dives deep into her daily routine of prayers and Quran recitations. "I start by eating food for suhur, which is usually something that's easy to eat and drinking plenty of warm water. Then, I sleep again after Fajr salah and Quran recitation. At
Dhuhr salah, I recite Quran again or listen to speeches before preparing for iftar once I'm done with Asr salah. After breaking fast, I will have light food and pray Maghreb salah. Then, my family will gather to eat and lastly, we pray for Isha salah and Tharaveeh."
Ramadan is celebrated differently this year and the situation is the same in Perth. "It's quite similar to the previous years except sometimes, we are made to pray Tharaveeh at home. Alhamdulillah, Covid-19 impact is minimal in Perth currently."
Saleema also shares how Eid is celebrated in Perth. "After Eid prayer, there will be groups of families and friends who come together to cook in large quantities for everyone. Occasionally, we organise games for children and insist that we take a leave from work to showcase the importance of Eid to our children."
If you have Perth on your travel bucket list, Saleema recommends that you visit Kings Park where the Western Australian Botanic Garden is located, to admire the beautiful native flora. "For hidden gems in Perth, check out the Gloucester Tree climbing in Pemberton, which is also the world's second tallest fire-lookout tree, that's just four hours' drive from the city!"
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