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May 2018

Ramadan: Things to note about the Islamic holy month

Ramadan is here again! It's that time of the year when festive decors line the streets of Geylang Serai and festive music is played on repeat. Treat yourself to festive delicacies, keep your eyes peeled on the latest designs of traditional costumes and look forward to an array of street food at the Ramadan Bazaars sprawling across the island. But, Ramadan is much more than that.

Ramadan is an opportunity to give back to the community, spend time with our family and loved ones and deepen our sense of spiritual awareness. Here are five important things about Ramadan. 


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        1. It’s not just ‘No Eating & Drinking’

Ramadan is not just – No Food and Drinks. From dawn to dusk, Muslims abstain from vices such as smoking, gossiping, telling lies and uttering vulgarities. Fasting keeps our behavior in check from how we speak, to how we feel, think and treat others. Fasting, by itself, presents a real challenge. Instead of being peevish whenever we feel hungry or thirsty, we should instead empathize and feel the plight of the less fortunate who spend each day in this circumstance. Take this opportunity to truly embrace this month and deepen our sense of spiritual awareness.

                                                 

2. A period of introspectionPrayer.jpg

Mosques are the go-to place for the community. During this blessed month, Muslims flock to mosques to reflect and recharge their iman in preparation for the challenges that will be faced in the upcoming months. Muslims are encouraged to self-reflect and actively make improvements and changes in their lives.




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3. Charity: Giving back and contributing to charitable causes

Charity is an important aspect of Islam and is even more pronounced during Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to be empathetic and lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Mosques and religious organizations offer free meals to the community during Iftar and Sahur. MENDAKI’s Project JOY is one of such initiatives where we rally various members of the community to give back to those who are less fortunate through various means both in cash and kind.


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4. Spending time with our family and loved ones

Besides the well-loved Ramadan Bazaar and festive treats, Ramadan holds a deeper meaning for Muslims. Behind closed doors, Muslims spend quality time bonding with their family and loved ones during Sahur and Iftar. Families that may not otherwise have the opportunity of having a meal together value Ramadan for this reason.



5. Improving your metabolic function

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Every year, look forward to Ramadan! Have you noticed that during Ramadan our bodies feel more rested? Fasting gives your digestive system a break, and this energizes your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. Research has shown that fasting helps to clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs including the liver and kidneys. After a few days of fasting, your body gets accustomed to this new change. Naturally, Ramadan is an opportunity to regulate and moderate our eating habits. This essentially, brings about a wealth of health-related benefits. Plus points for looking good on Eid!


Ramadan is a personal experience and a spiritual journey that we get to share with our family, friends and the community. Do take this opportunity to strengthen our ties with our loved ones. Ramadan Kareem!

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Reference:

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2086309_2086333,00.html

https://www.boldsky.com/relationship/beyond-love/2013/family-bonding-during-ramzan-034645.html

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/the-facts-on-fasting-for-your-health.aspx

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/iftar-muslims-ramadan-2017-daily-fast-end-meal-sunset-holy-islam-what-is-it-a7764701.html

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/ramadan-is-a-time-for-piety-introspection

School's Out! What are your plans for the June holidays?

With the school holidays in full swing, you may have a million ideas running through your mind. Fret not! If you’re thinking of activities to keep yourself/your children/your family engaged and entertained, we’ve gathered a list of events and activities for you and your family/friends. Whether it’s a visit to Geylang Serai’s Ramadan Bazaar, the infamous ARTBOX at Marina Bay, free activities at public libraries or outdoor activities at Pulau Ubin, look forward to an exciting array of events and activities to engage yourself/your children/your family/your friends during the June holidays!


June 4.jpg1. Pesta Ubin - Experience the island in all its breathtaking glory

Outdoor lovers, rejoice! In collaboration with the Friends of Ubin Network (FUN), NParks presents “Pesta Ubin”, featuring a slew of exciting activities on Pulau Ubin over four weeks. Embrace Mother Nature from 26 May to 24 June and embark on a series of outdoor adventures that highlights various activities available in the island. This includes camping, experiencing the kampong life, kayaking at the mangroves, nature walks and night walks. Visit the Facebook page for updates and other information!


2. Festival of Biodiversity - Learn more about conserving and enhancing Singapore's biodiversityJune 5.png

From 2 to 3 June, participate in NParks' ‘’Festival of Biodiversity’’, and find out how you can play your part in conserving Singapore’s biodiversity. To be held at the open space at Tampines MRT Station, you can look forward to games, crafts, interactive booths, exhibitions and fun workshops for all ages! Visit the NParks Facebook page for updates!


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3. Cartoon Network: Animate Your Life - Enter the world of cartoons and meet your favorite characters

For the young and young at heart, head over to Gardens by the Bay and visit Cartoon Network’s pop-up festival ‘Animate Your Life’ from the 26 May to 10 June! This is the perfect opportunity to get up close and capture photographs with characters such as Adventure Time, Ben10, The Powerpuff Girls and We Bare Bears. Click here to find out more!


June 7.jpg4.  Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers - Re-imagine the world through experiential art and play

Inspire your little ones to dream big with Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers. Presented by the National Gallery from 9 June to 9 September, the festival aims to inspire visitors, both young and old, to imagine and re-imagine the world around them through experiential art and active play. Immerse in installations by artists such as Lee Wen, We Make Carpets, teamLab, Mark Justiniani and many more! Put on your creative cap and dream big!


June 8.jpg5. Bazaar Ramadan @ Geylang Serai - Bask in the festivities and satisfy your street food cravings

Craving for street food and Hari Raya delicacies? Soak in the Ramadan atmosphere at Geylang Serai’s Ramadan Bazaar from 12 May to 14 June. This annual festive bazaar stretches from Paya Lebar to the Geylang Serai precinct. The Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar is one of Singapore’s largest and most anticipated night markets with more than 800 stalls. Bask in the festivities and dive into a vast array of Malay and Middle Eastern products – from festive costumes and dazzling accessories, to home furnishings and savoury delicacies. Brave the heat and crowd, and be rewarded with the festive atmosphere!


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6. Artbox Singapore 2018 - Bangkok's flea market makes a comeback

Artbox Singapore 2018 is back for its second and largest edition. From 1 to 3 June, shop your way through lifestyle and fashion stalls and satisfy your palates  from over 160 F&B booths. Artbox Singapore is held at the Bayfront Event Space beside the Marina Bay Sands. Showered with fairy lights, decorated shipping containers, vintage cars and quirky ornaments – Artbox is the perfect backdrop for your #OOTD shots! Bring along your portable USB fans, and dress comfortably!


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7.  National Library Board - The library is more than just a hub for bookworms

The library is more than just a quiet retreat to browse and borrow books. Throughout the June holidays, the National Library Board will host a variety of programmes from puppet shows to reading programmes and SkillsFuture workshops. Click here to check out the programmes!


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8. Drone Flying Workshop - Learn to fly a drone and compete in a mini drone-flying competition

Always wanted to fly a drone? Learn to construct, operate and fly a drone in the indoor aerospace hangar at ITE College Central on the 8 or 20 June. Parents, this is a great opportunity for your child (7-14yrs) to explore hands-on skills and spend a fun afternoon together with you! You won’t be walking home empty-handed! You can bring home your own constructed drone. Click here to find out more!



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9. Flower Jamming Workshop - Create floral art with fresh flowers

Ever wondered what flower jamming is? Let your creative juices flow and create floral art with fresh flowers! To be held at the 8 or 20 June at ITE College Central, work together with your child in the stunning floristry lab to create a memorable experience with beautiful flowers. Don’t worry if this is your first time, there will be experts to guide you and your child. Be surprised by what you and your child can achieve with the flowers together!   Click here to find out more!


However you decide to spend your June holidays, set aside time to plan an activity and spend quality time with your family. Make an effort to put aside your devices to truly connect with your family. Have a wonderful holiday!