Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breaking fast

The bell keeper keeping track of the time to ring the big bell - 1971, Konica C35, Tri-X ASA 400. Developed in Microdol-x

In my hometown, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, during the month of Ramadan, signal for breaking fast used to be by ringing of a big bell and firing of a cannon. The hundred years old tradition of ringing the bell was discontinued in around the year 2000. The firing of the cannon is now replaced by firing of a single firework that gives a loud boom.

The sound of the bell can be heard in a very wide area of the town because it is located on a hill (Puteri Hill). It is the sound everyboby will be very keen to hear at sunset because they can break their fast. The bell will thereafter be struck on every hour until midnight.  At midnight, ringing of the bell is long. It begin slowly, then it gets faster in rapid succession, a pause, ending with a single ring. It is called Goncang.

The person responsible to ring the bell is said to be from one family. It is passed from one generation to another.

The bell house at Puteri Hill - 1971, Konica C35, Tri-X ASA 400. Developed in Microdol

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