'Get to know Bobby'

'Get to know Bobby'
Singapore-based US actor-deejay Bobby Tonelli.

This past Ramadan saw American actor-host-radio DJ Bobby Tonelli try something for the first time.

The Fly Entertainment artist and Class 95FM radio jock joined Muslims all across the globe in fasting from dawn to dusk.

The popular personality, who has been based in Singapore for seven years, has also been actively learning the ways of Islam.

All this, so he can better understand the culture and religion of his Indonesian Muslim girlfriend of over a year.

But he made it clear - she never pressured him into it. He did it willingly.

Tonelli, 38,, who managed to fast for a few days, told The New Paper yesterday: "The hardest part is definitely the thirst. But it's a spiritual thing, it's about purification and appreciating what you have. You realise that in some parts of the world, some people don't even have a meal a day."

Tonelli met his girlfriend in May last year, following his well-publicised split from local actress Joanne Peh after four years.

Ironically, it was his girlfriend's aunt who had read reports of their split and told her to "get to know and meet" Tonelli, who "seemed like a nice guy".

In a twist of fate, the pair would meet soon after through a mutual friend.

Tonelli would not reveal his girlfriend's name. He would only say that she is not a public figure and works in the jewellery distribution line and has been based in Singapore for the most part of her life.

Last week, he spent five days in Jakarta celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri with her family.

It is not his first time meeting her family - he had also celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri with them last year.

"They are such warm, inviting and wonderful people. I remember I greeted them in Bahasa Indonesia but, funnily, they replied in English.

"My girlfriend was quite shocked that her parents seemed to like me because when she was younger, her father used to be strict with the people she dated," he recalled.

Tonelli has also been picking up Bahasa Indonesia.

"She can speak multiple languages (including Spanish, French and Mandarin). I'm learning languages. I think it's key in learning about someone's culture," he said.

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