Hari Raya Puasa is fast approaching, and though it might be marred by pandemic-induced inconveniences, it’s still very much a joyous occasion for all Muslims as it marks the end of Ramadan, which entailed an entire month of fasting.
But here’s the thing; it seems that the occasion might have gotten a little too joyous as crowds at Geylang Serai Market seem to have been proving a tad bit lenient on local-implemented social distancing measures. And to prove my point?
Crowds & Long Queues Formed at Geylang Serai Market ahead of Hari Raya Puasa
You’ll be forgiven for thinking that the aforementioned photo was taken last year when the situation was a lot less… murky. But the reality’s that…
The picture was taken just two days ago on Wednesday (20 May), as the nation fights to control the local pandemic outbreak.
On Wednesday, Facebook page Borong Pasar Geylang posted an update of the crowd situation over at Geylang Serai Market, just four days before the festive break.
In spite of proper social distancing being observed, it was still a worrying sight to witness so many individuals huddled in the same common area.
At the end of its accompanying caption, the Facebook page expressed its apologies for not being able to attend to everyone (the page runs a delivery service from the market), and implored patrons to visit their nearby markets instead of converging in one single area.
You can view the full video clip down below:
Safe Distancing Ambassadors
According to TODAYonline, safe distancing ambassadors were present to control the crowd. Should there be too many people, they’ll proceed to direct patrons to other markets nearby.
But with rows and rows of people waiting to enter the market, the situation’s not positive in the slightest. It should be noted that the crowd’s present even with the implementation of the recently-introduced ‘last digit of identity card’ system.
In fact, according to one ambassador, crowds have actually doubled in the two weeks leading up to Hari Raya.
Well, as my mentor The Wise Old Man would probably put it… it’s a real cluster f*ck.
And yet, the reason behind it might not be entirely non-understandable. According to shoppers, there’s a nostalgic value to visiting the market every year before Hari Raya, with a specific atmosphere and familiar faces of sellers retailing and clearing stocks before the festive period.
And with the exclusion of bazaars this year, it makes sense for shoppers to persist for the still-opened Geylang Serai Market.
Just imagine the pandemic happening before Chinese New Year; you’d still see the same crowd at Chinatown.
For a more thorough guide on the adjusted Hari Raya festivity protocols, you may peruse this link.
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