Last minute Hari Raya shopping in Kuala Lumpur.
For years and years, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman or Jalan TAR has been known as the primary place to do raya shopping – where one can find decorative household items to clothes.
During the month of Ramadhan, Jalan TAR comes roaring to life after iftar – more noticeably so in the dying days of Ramadhan.
Many people choose to wait to do their raya shopping on the very eve of Syawal, for that is when many things go for super cheap. It is well known that on that night, 50 to 80 per cent of the price gets knocked off almost all the items.
When I arrived at 11pm on the penultimate night of Ramadhan, the crowd that met me in Jalan TAR easily numbered in the tens of thousands.
The traditional and must have Baju Melayus and Baju Kurungs were going for a frenzied sale of RM50 a set.
Food was available in abundance as well. That too, was pretty cheap. The parking lots were the ones making a real killing that night, hiking car park fees to RM15 per car.
I walked further along Jalan TAR and Jalan Masjid India to get some pictures. Entire families with young babies and elderly parents were out that night in Jalan TAR. Tourists and window shoppers taking in the atmosphere dotted the crowd.
In the sardine can environment of Jalan TAR, I came across some familiar faces – just managing to get a quick raya greeting across.
The merchandise were noticeably getting cheaper by the hour. By 1am, the Baju Melayus were going for RM30.
I eventually left Jalan TAR at 2am. The crowd was still thick with shoppers and showed no sign of receding. The traffic did not appear to be abating either and the police and city council were still hard at work managing the traffic.
My take on the this ‘last minute raya shopping at Jalan TAR’ situation, is that this is less ‘last minute shopping’ and more ‘strategic shopping’ employed by many.
For those who have yet to buy their raya merchandise, tonight would be the last night before the big Eid celebrations on Monday. Just like the years before, the sales on the final night would be nothing short of maddening.
For more photos and the link to the article, click here