Being Mosquefied

Muslims all over the world began their fasting this month. Here in Fiji, I see my moslem friends and neighbors don long skirts and the traditional salwar kameez as they prepare for their annual fasting, to mark Ramadan.

I guess Fiji muslims have their own version of following their religion.

A muslim colleague told me an interesting feature about their religion.

Two weeks before they begin the month long fasting, the men head to the graves of their loved ones at 12 mid night to pray.

I was fascinated. In all my 25 years, growing up in a neighborhood (I’m a Fijian btw) where kids from other cultures interacted and and know something about each others culture, I realised that I didn’t  know anything about the muslim faith. I was brought up a Christian, had moslem and Indian childhood friends.

I admit, I kinda knew more about the Indian customs and religious gatherings than the Moslem faith. So chatting with my moslem colleague, Natasha Begum gave me a lot of insight.

Me on the left with my  two dopey workmates - Natasha (middle) and Adi

Me on the left with my two dopey workmates – Natasha (middle) and Adi

She strikes you as a very intelligent, funny a really out there kind of person. Rushing into our office one  Friday morning, during their first week of fasting Natasha was donned in a skimpy jeans and top, she declared that she didn’t fast. I asked her why, she replied: “I didn’t wake up.”

“Huh?” I asked. Apparently she forgot to set an alarm for 4am in the morning, the time when believers wake up to prepare for prayers and to eat their days meal before the fasting starts.

“I’ll do it next week,” Natasha tells me without batting an eye lid. “Back then when I used to be churchified, I mean Mosquefied, I followed it dilligently,” she says with a smile.

Being Mosquefied, that is one term I’ll never forget. 🙂

Tracy Chapman

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I’m listening to Tracy Chapman on my laptop. ‘Fast Car’ is playing. I find her songs catchy, well defined and reaches across all borders.  It’s timeless.  Some of her songs date from the early eighties and nineties yet its so relevant in this time. it also brings awareness to the struggles of poverty, with lyrics such as:

I know things will get better / you’ll find work and I’ll get promoted / we’ll move out of the shelter / buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs –from her single ‘Fast Car.’

I can’t seem to understand the type of music that we’re being fed nowadays.   In Fiji, normal music is Lady Gaga, Whiz Khalifa, Avril Lavigne etc. Maybe its me but I can’t for the life of me imagine myself rocking my head senseless to noise from the likes of Gaga and the rapsters that pollute our radio airwaves.

No disrespect to their craft. I guess people have their own different tastes. But I just find Tracy Chapman’s music soothing. Some of her songs have that sad element to it and its meaningful. The lyrics makes sense, it tells a story.

A work colleague once played her song ‘Revolution’ during the time when revolution swept through some of the Middle Eastern countries namely Egypt.

Changes came after forty years of brutal rule and no say, the people of Egypt stood up for what they believed- Freedom.Tracy Chapman’s revolution song was so relevant, even though it was produced decades earlier.

In my opinion, she is the world’s most underrated singer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO9Qa7MpAvw