Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ramadan Ritual

NYT reported Ramadan Ritual: Fast Daily, Pray, Head to the Mall - The decorations are hanging, the cash registers are clanging, and the air of holiday cheer is everywhere. For a holy month, Ramadan is not what it used to be. Once an ascetic month of fasting, prayer and reflection on God, Ramadan has gradually taken on the commercial trappings of Christmas and Hanukkah, from the hanging lights that festoon windows to the Ramadan greeting cards and Ramadan sales and advertising campaigns that have become the backbone of commerce for the month.

Even Islam is not imune to businesses taking advtage of the season, where secular commercialization takes over the religious aspect of the season.
Marketers and businesses have caught on to the potential of 1.3 billion people at home fasting or breaking their daily fasts and getting back to normal life, a captive audience eager for entertainment and celebration, and more than willing to feast when the sun goes down.
I hope they don't have an ACLU trying to beat down any religious aspect of the season.
Here in Dubai, the region's supermall, commercialism has taken on a life of its own as almost everything has been dressed in the cloak of Ramadan, from consumer goods to cars. Malls are open till the early morning, and the nights rock away at dinner parties in desert tents.

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