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Debbie’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 09 Dec 2008

Location: Singapore

MapYesterday was a public holiday in Singapore - Hari Raya Haji

My very limited knowledge and understanding of what this is all about may escape me at times but I believe it is;

Where a zillion muslim people make the pilgrimage to Mecca to ask the Prophet Mohammad for forgiveness of their sins and where animals - namely sheep and cows are executed in offerings - because they can?? Actually its because some important figure of ancient times gave up his son Ismail I believe to God as an offering and this was special?

Apparently, so the Straits Times told me today, +6000 sheep were bought in from Australia for the slaughtering - only to be slaughtered with the sharpest blades of course so the animal doesn't suffer (and moreso I say, to keep animal activists satisfied people actually care about the animals feelings!)- on this holy occassion. The meat apparently is then distributed to the muslim pilgrims and poor and needy etc. And, well, knowing the outrageous cost of meat in Singapore this is quite a treat I tell you!

But what really struck me about this holiday was how cold it was in Singapore!! You actually had thoughts of putting a jacket on!! Thoughts I say.......but it was very cool, breezy even. A refreshing change, but my curiousity got going of course, wondering, is this a sign from the Prophets? A message/s being transmitted from the universe? I mean, you can't slaughter animals in the usual mental heat and humidity of Singapore.....imagine the smell and mess and .............ewwwhhh.....was the sudden cold change a gift to the muslims from the Prophets? Gets the ole thinkin machine goin doesn't it?

Hari Raya Haji is I am told the biggest day of celebration in the muslim calendar. I am sure it is, to the devotees, and I would never undermine the importance of this occassion, but, it just seems a little morbid to me........if you know what I mean?

Think about it.......making a collossal effort asking for forgiveness for being naughty or bad? Slaughtering animals? Hmmmm..........