Singing in the streets?Holy Month comes like a friendly visitor [Archives:2004/785/Culture]

October 28 2004

Blessed Ramadhan month has approached with its spiritual advancement. What distinguishes Ramadhan in Yemen are the welcoming religious songs, whereby the children with their beautiful voices are walking in the streets welcoming Ramadhan as if it is a dear guest coming to them.
This welcoming looks apparently in the Yemeni rural areas.
But, this welcoming differs in the Yemeni towns which are full of inhabitants who are occupied by the worries of collecting the light food stuff and food materials from the markets and places which some of it have become semi-seasonal which is not noticeable but only from Ramadhan to Ramadhan.
And when this month finishes, all such commodities return again to the warehouses.
Purchasing the food commodities, spices, sweets, drinks, dates, frankincense, and lighting devices, particularly, are the necessities for the nightly entertainment, and the major worries of the citizens in the rural areas.
The rural natives welcome Ramadhan months with popular chants expressing the spiritual ethics and the fasting people's joyfulness by the holly Ramadhan month due to its meaning within themselves represented by more sympathy to the needy persons and helping the poor people as well as the pity amongst the Muslims, and the souls cleanliness and its surrendering to the Almighty God.
Ramadhan in Yemen may take several rituals and different customs from a town to another. Several things may get changed in this month whereas are not supposed to .
Then, how do the people live in this holly month ? How do the details of their daily life progress?!
This detailed report, hopefully, clarifies the Yemenis life in Ramadhan whether in the towns or in the villages.
In the morning, the students carry their bags heading to the schools, and the least of the workers who go towards their works.
After the students having gone to their schools and the least of the workers to the places of their works, the streets become semi-evacuated from the pedestrians, except from those whose journeys pass through the village route.
Therefore, the morning times in the villages become evacuated from the citizens movements; the doors become locked from inside. And the children may play in wider areas as they wish, as long as they are far away from the natives hearings.
In the villages, the natives movements to the markets start from the noon time. Their movements to the markets become increasingly in the final third portion of the day, during which time most of the female and male natives fetch their requirements from there and return with their purchases to their homes where the women prepare their dishes and provide the breakfast for the fasting family members as well as the children and everybody in the home, in due time.
The breakfast dishes are formed of popular food besides the dates, the coffee, water and some juices and dishes of hot soups.
In the villages, there are no breakfasting guns (cannon), and the people of the village depend on the village mosque calling “Adhan”. After the prayer and the returning of all to their homes from the mosques and after taking their supper, every body goes in different direction – the students go for revising their lessons; the others go for meeting each other in places called “divan”, a big place (room) in the home where a big number of the village people meet and chew qat inside it, as the qat is chewed by the majors and in big quantity during entertaining the nights and in Ramadhan groupings. Such Ramadhan seats continue until 2 or 3 O'clock after midnight, and during which time, the television watching goes on by whom are chewing the qat and by those who have televisions in homes, especially the female members. After the returning of the natives to their homes, some of them takes some relaxation or reading the Qura'an until al-sahoor appointment comes. Thus, a complete day finishes in the Yemeni villages.
In the Town: A large population gathers in the towns as all services facilities are available in it. Most of the people from the villages go to the town for purchasing their requirements. Some of them go to there looking for work, some for studying or being compelled to go to it because of their jobs. And as the case is such, many of the people go back to their villages during Ramadhan month. But, some of those who are working in places selling clothes, food stuff, cosmetics, and home appliances keep on working in their occupations in addition to some restaurants in Ramadhan.
Every week passes, the decrease of crowding in the town is noticed in addition to the closing of many commercial places doors take place because the people start leaving the town and go back to their villages to spend the rest of Ramadhan with their families. The town becomes semi evacuated by the end of Ramadhan month, because the people go back to the villages for spending Eid holidays with their families and relatives.
Because of the living costs state and the raise of unemployment in the latest years, the number of the travelers to the village has decreased. Those who remain in towns are the ones compelled to stay as they don't possess a sufficient money.
Contradictory to the village, the breakfasting gun sound is the only means acceptable by most of the people for break fasting. By the breakfasting time approaching, many accidents occur, especially, in the traffic roundabouts because the people moving in all the directions with speed steps towards mosques and homes, and so all such accidents take place.
The jobs in the governmental sector remain semi idle during Ramadhan month, as most of the people don't work but don't perform their tasks sincerely. And also we find the judiciary takes leave during this month !!
And by our incorrect behaviors during Ramadhan, we cause crisis out of it..