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Ramadan Bazaar (Part 2): Let's go west!

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  • For the second edition of my Ramadan Bazaar project, I travelled to the western part of Singapore, to capture the scenes from a bazaar that is uniquely held at the ground floor (locally known as the void deck) of a public housing apartment building.
     
    This phenomenon is not really a recent one, since it took root almost about a decade or two ago. The impetus however, to organize such a bazaar at such a unique location (at the void deck), only gained momentum due to the perceived over-exposure and crowded nature of the centrally-located hub of celebrations in Geylang Serai (which is, not surprisingly, in my third and final installment of this Ramadan Bazaar project).
     
    The increased purchasing power of the local Malays/Muslims in the various heartlands also lend credence to the belief that there is an economically viable proposal to decentralize these bazaars. Add to that the unique once-in-a-year opportunity for seasonal/serial entrepreneurs to hone their skills in a smaller set up, and away from the more aggressive traditional business hubs of Geylang and Arab Street, and what we have here is a mushrooming of small-scale Ramadan-centric start-ups.
     
    For this second installment, I've made my way to the very popular location of Block 425 in Jurong West, Western Singapore, to capture the sights and sounds of the various stalls and their wares. I guess because of the unique demographics and pattern of consumer behaviour in the neighbourhood, a greater proportion of the stalls are engaged in the selling of prepared and packed food items, versus the other non-consumables like clothing and Eid-related decorations.
     
    Nonetheless, it is this very unique mix of stalls, and consumer behaviour that makes this bazaar a rather different one that others.
     
    And I do hope you would enjoy the photos, as much as I have taking them.
     
    Cheers,
    Irfan Darian
  • The queue to one of the more popular stalls selling mainly fried Malay- and Indian-based food. They are more well-known for their wadehs. I joined the queue, and honestly, they didn't dissapoint me either in the taste department.
  • The famous wadeh, in all its delicious glory!
  • The other popular food item during the month of Ramadan is the Air Katira, or Katira drink. I'm not exactly sure of the exact ingredients that made up the drink, since there exists various iterations, but suffice to say that it is a cooling drink for all to enjoy, very much like how one would relish a bubbled iced-tea in this heat and humidity!
  • Comparing the top 2 immediate pictures, and more below, one can see the difference in terms of the consumer patronage of the stalls selling food, and non-food items, as I've mentioned previously. Perhaps the concept of actually shopping for Eid-related clothes and other non-consumables in a small-scale bazaar is relatively a new idea, hence the cold response. It could also be due to the limited choices made available, and the lack of a larger-scale vibrant atmosphere, more prevalent in the larger bazaars, that could be the reasons for this lacklustre response.