Tuesday, March 28, 2023

It's Ramadan here...

 Ovidia--every other Tuesday

I was all hyped up to write about TikTok's Singaporean CEO Chew Shou Zi getting grilled in Washington--but I realise there's no point writing when my only source of information is the media. I don't know enough to say anything that could make a difference.

Besides, it's Ramadan here now, from 23 March till (probably) 21 April, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

What is Ramadan? During the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, it's a time when healthy adult Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

I'm not Muslim but in a society like ours, it's a time of mindfulness and awareness for everyone. Consciously not planning working breakfasts, lunch meetings or dinner get togethers if possible during this month.

But though what's most obvious to non-Muslims like me might be the abstaining from drinking and eating, it's also a time to abstain from immoral thoughts and anger (see why I'm trying not to write about America moving to control/ cancel TikTok after mocking China for banning Facebook? I'm not taking sides--I'm just upset seeing a Singaporean being harangued and harassed for hours then getting called evasive because he wasn't allowed to give more than yes/ no answers to multiform questions that took multiple minutes to iterate...)

Sorry, I'll go back to abstaining from anger and try to apply mindfulness and compassion. 

The Holy Month of Ramadan is about remembering to uphold justice with love and compassion and break from being ruled by our physical desires and ego--we don't have to be Muslim to see the value in that! 

Where we focus our attention is important too, so here are some flower photos taken on this rainy day...

 A sunflower, so named because it follows the sun through the day. 

And it's not just a pretty face--Singapore and South Korean university researchers have created an environmentally friendly sponge from sunflower pollen to tackle water pollution such as marine oil spills.

This flower's safe from being put to work on oil spills, though. It's growing in one of the rewilding areas. 

But the plants here are working too. This Chinese pagoda flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum L.) is very popular with butterflies and asian honey bees. 

As are these little flowers we used to call 'angel hands'-- 

Xiphidium caeruleum Aubl.

and has berries that go from green to orange to black and are very popular with birds!

And because I love birds I'll end with this one that I met. It was making a lot of noise but seemed unhurt so I let it be (will check on it tomorrow)

Writing this calmed me down some--changing focus does help! I hope it makes your day a little better too. 

Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan) to you all!


  1. You helped bring me back to a calm place on our besieged planet Earth. Thank you for that, Ovidia.

  2. How lovely,Ovidia. I have a sunflowers on my dining-room table. From now on, they will remind of you and this advice of calm and peace.