Family bonds over hearty sahur meals

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds


INDONESIAN Ayi Hermala, 42, says he is always looking for ways to motivate his family to spend quality time during sahur meals in Ramadhan.

The breadwinner and father of four said this is the fifth Ramadhan his family is spending here.

The Graphic Artist at The Brunei Times, said sahur meals with the family is a time for them to enjoy eating together and communicate before fasting begins every day.

He works in the afternoons until press time five days a week, and said sahur is the time the family should gather and enjoy the meal together before the day begins.

Ayi said he finds it sometimes challenging to wake up his two older daughters, six and eight, as they will on occasions, just wake up for a glass of water and return to sleep.

"My challenge is to make it lively during sahur time, because it is the time in the morning which we cannot eat together during the day, to enjoy the food and talk together."

He said his wife and him would cook a few dishes to motivate their children to wake up and eat and appreciate sahur time.

Both good cooks, Ayi was seen to be preparing a stir-fry vegetable dish when The Brunei Times arrived at his house at 3.45am on Thursday.

He said having vegetables during sahur meals was a must for his family, and was a tradition his parents had practiced as well.

He added: "It has been a family tradition not to over eat during sahur meals. My wife and I usually cook vegetables (which is a must), soup and non-spicy food."

While placing the food on the dining table, Ayi's wife had already woken up their two elder daughters. Their sons, four and one, were still sound asleep.

The family began with a prayer and began eating and talking to one another.

Ayi said Ramadhan was also a time of the year which made both him and his wife feel home sick.

"It is different in Jakarta because they make the sahur time lively, where youth go around the community with their musical instruments from 2am onwards to wake people up and motivate families to get up and be happy."

He said the environment was different in Brunei where Ramadhan seemed quieter.

Ayi conveyed his thanks to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for allowing daily activities such as restaurant businesses to carry on during sahur time.

He explained back home, it was different because all the shops and restaurants were closed during sahur.

"You can see here in Brunei, all the restaurants are opened for people to enjoy their sahur outside of home," he said.

The Brunei Times