SINGAPORE - In celebration of Ramadan, a Muslim holy month that devotees commemorate by fasting, the annual Hari Raya Light Up at Geylang Serai will start next Friday.
Get the full story from The Straits Times.
Here is the full statement from the Kembangan-Chai Chee constituency office:
Geylang Serai to turn into a street of tradition and religion for Hari Raya Light Up 2014
Singapore - Hari Raya Puasa, and the month of Ramadan that precedes this day of rejoicing, is deeply rooted in tradition and religion. From 27 June 2014, the Geylang Serai area will be decked in bright, colourful lights to mark the iconic month-long annual light up in celebration of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa.
Introducing a deeper understanding of the significance of Hari Raya Puasa
This year, the Hari Raya Light Up 2014 committee - made up of representatives from cultural and religious organisations, grassroots and community leaders as well as stakeholders from Geylang Serai and Kembangan-Chai Chee area - aims to deepen the understanding of the significance of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa and provide an enriching experience of the rich tapestry of Malay culture and traditions, to inculcate awareness in Singaporeans and tourists alike.
At a media conference held earlier today, the committee shared upcoming event details to engage members of the public on a learning journey towards four themes which encapsulate the significance of Hari Raya - 1) The Dynamic Spirit of Gotong Royong (A Malay expression to describe cohesiveness towards the betterment of a community) 2) The Rich History of Geylang Serai 3) A Vibrant Culture and Community 4) The Religious Significance of the Hari Raya Celebrations.
Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, Adviser to Marine Parade GROs (Geylang Serai Division) said, "Unlike a melting pot, Singapore is closer to a salad bowl with different flavours (cultures) all co-existing in harmony - we do not want to lose the different flavours, instead we want to celebrate them and pass on to our next generation. The Hari Raya Light Up 2014 is a platform to further educate the public on the meaning behind the Hari Raya Puasa celebrations."
Spreading the Dynamic Spirit of Gotong Royong
As the building block of society, family is probably the most important institution in the Malay community. The Hari Raya Light Up 2014 designs reflect the closeness of the Malay community in Geylang Serai by incorporating elements from the lifestyles of people who lived in Malay Kampungs or traditional Malay houses such as gable roofs, floral and plant motifs and basketry weaves.
Every year, the Malay community in Singapore spreads the gotong-royong spirit by giving out food hampers and porridge to underprivileged families during the Ramadan month. This year's Hari Raya Light Up will include the Geylang Serai Habuan and Iftar for Needy Residents, happening on 5 July 2014 that targets to reach out to about 200 residents from low income families.
The Rich History of Geylang Serai
The rich history of Geylang Serai is as much in its architecture as it is expressed by its people and its community. With Geylang Serai celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the place reflects the pulse of the community. Hari Raya Light Up 2014 aims to further interest the public through a screening of well-loved nostalgic films from the 60s.
A Vibrant Tapestry of Malay Culture and Community
Other than these activities, the Hari Raya Light Up 2014 Committee will be inviting members of the public on a journey where they can immerse themselves in the vibrant Malay culture through traditional Malay activities such as Dikir Barat and Cultural Dance Showcase.
The Religious Significance of Hari Raya Celebrations
Members of the public will be able to learn more about the religious significance behind the celebrations through Qasidah (Arabic poetry readings) happening on 4 July 2014. The Light-Up design also features the symbol of Islam which is synonymous to the celebration, and is inspired by the architectural style of mosques such as the multi-tiered pyramids and Turkish style minarets.