My dad used to work at the Land and Survey department for the government when I was a little girl. And every year, the guys at my dad's office will take a long drive down to an island to see if they can see the new moon (the month is determined by the Muslim calender). If they can see the new moon, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the paramount Royal ruler of Malaysia) will announce the next day to be the start of the Ramadan month.
It was very exciting for the children because we get to follow our dads to the beach and play in the sand while we wait for our fathers to do their thing.
The people, irregardless if they were Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or Hindus, in the office enjoyed going on the field trip as it was a fun outing for all.
I remembered, they would buy food from the villagers, and the mummies would put the spread on a table. You know, swimming and running can make a kid real hungry. All those clean air and salty water was heavenly. My mood was not dampen even when my mum forced my brothers and I to wash ourselves from the icy cold well water. *Brrrrr*
I remembered sitting cross legged on a beach mat, eating rice on a banana leaf, as a plate, with plain boiled shrimp, roasted fish from the barbeque pit and raw vegetables (called the ulam) with my hands .... all these food, a kid would normally thumb their nose at, at the dining table, just tasted exotic and absolutely delicious.
You know, when we try to eat healthier, sometimes we tend to focus on the yuck aspect of what we consume ... like less salt, less sugar, less of everything. We need to remove ourselves from this mindset and make meals fun. Go out and have picnics with your kids. Meet friends at a restaurant for a meal. The meal you consume may be simple, but your friends will distract you with fun conversations.
Break out and enjoy!
Jasmin "Who Thinks Ramadan Will Start on 1st Sept 2008" Choy
"Eat Raw Food Today" facebook group