The Edition


Two Thousand Isles: Ramadan Ready

31 May 2017, MVT 13:30
A man prays in a mosque in G.A. Kanduhulhudhoo. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ
31 May 2017, MVT 13:30

By Daniel Bosley

The month of ramadan has arrived, bringing reduced working hours, increased mosque attendances, mild to severe caffeine withdrawal, and an end to weeks of feverish preparations.

Floating fihaara, G.A. Nilandhoo. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

Across the islands, the approach of roadha mas puts the community on high alert, triggering furious bouts of sand-collecting, spice-cooking, watermelon-growing, kitchenware-shopping and rihaakuru-boiling.

Pre-Ramadan beach trip in G.A. Villingili. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

Life slows down during the enervating days of fasting, and the house-proud ladies of the islands in particular have earned it. Shortages hit the shops early in the month, meaning that only the well-prepared can relax as others scratch around for the essentials.

Making spices in time for Ramadan in G.A. Villingili. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

Pots of curry paste will help break many a fast - a combination of coconut, onions, and assorted leaves & spices cooked over hours in the days before the holy month began. Watermelon juice completes the sunset sit-down, lovingly reared on every spare patch of land in readiness for these moments.

Spraying the watermelon patch, G.A. Gemanafushi. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

Ramadan also prompts campaigns of home improvement - spring-cleaning no matter what time of year the festival falls. As well as odd jobs around the house and wholesale broom-buying, the collection of fresh sand is a crucial part of the preparation for many islanders.

Scraping coconuts for spice making, G.A. Kondey. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

With permission from the council, sand can be collected from designated areas around the island to replenish gardens and roads before the big day.

Old sand and new sand in GA Villingili. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ
Making rihaakuru in G.A. Kanduhuluhdhoo. PHOTO/AISHATH NAJ

With the cupboards stocked and the house sparkling, all that’s left to do is join the rest of the island at the beach for a final good picnic for maahefun.

Now, it’s time to fast, pray, to be on your best behaviour, and to watch ‘Mohammed Rasool Allah’ on TVM each night.



Editor’s Note: “Two Thousand Isles” is a collaboration between Maldivian photographer Aishath Naj and her husband, British writer Daniel Bosley in partnership with Mihaaru to document the untold stories of the Maldive islands. Exclusive articles will be published biweekly on Mihaaru every Wednesday and Saturday.

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