KUALA LUMPUR: It is only during the holy month of Ramadan that you can see city folk and tourists breaking fast together, next to the historical backdrop of Sultan Abdul Samad building, Royal Selangor Club and Dataran Merdeka.
The [email protected] programme, held for the fifth consecutive year, has become a major attraction not just for Muslims but also Non-Muslims and foreigners alike.
Sitting side-by-side on a mat, everyone was served with popular 'buka puasa' dishes such as 'bubur lambuk' (spiced rice porridge), dates and cakes distributed by Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry.
For Mohd Rossi Yusof and his family, [email protected] has become somewhat of an annual event.
The 45-year-old father of one said he would make it a point to be at Dataran Merdeka at least once during Ramadan to break fast.
"I will come with my wife, Nor Meme Ahmat, 44 and son Adam Haikal, 15. I will also invite my siblings who are from different parts of Klang Valley to join us. It's like an annual family gathering for us.
"This year, I am here only with my wife and son as my other siblings are busy. I look forward to this mass breaking of fast event organised by the Ministry," he said when met here, today.
Rossi, from Puchong, said he started the tradition because he wanted to create something unique for the family.
"Every year, rain or shine I will make sure I will be at Dataran Merdeka.
"This year, the bazaar was relocated to Jalan Raja, which I think is good. People can do their Raya shopping at the bazaar after the mass buka puasa event," he said.
Noor Shamimi Iskandar, 24, from Ampang said she was excited to be able to break fast in the huge crowd, with the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad building in the background.
Like Rossi, she too has made it into an annual event with her friends from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).
"It's just our way of catching up with one another, especially since some of them are working in the city centre.
"Besides, this is more strategic (in terms of location) and cost effective rather meeting up at a high-end eateries," she said while waiting for the arrival of her three friends.
Fauzieha Wan Kamaruddin, 38, said this was her first time breaking fast at Dataran Merdeka since she started working in KL more than 10 years.
"I went to the bazaar searching for Raya clothes for my 3-year-old daughter.
"Since I am already here, I thought why not experience the mass buka ouasa event with other people here," she said.
Meanwhile, Kanae Mizuno, 31, from Japan, said this was her second time taking part in [email protected].
"My friend invited me to join them last year, so I came.
"I learnt about different culture and how to break fast from this event, I like so much and here I am again this year." she said.