[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

[A Bhora Wedding]
1. My wife and kids accompanied me for the wedding celebration of a Dawoodi Bhora couple at the Bhora Mosque at Hill Street. The bride is the daughter of Mrs Basrai, an RC member from Lengkong Tiga, Kampong Kembangan. My wife and I knew the bride since she was a little girl. For dinner, the men and women ate separately. For all of us, eating from a communal dish with our fingers while sitting with knees bent was a very interesting experience. The food was yummy. I and my sons put on the Bhora cap while my wife and daughter wore shawls.

2. The Bhoras are a particularly talented community. The great majority are engaged in business. The community in Singapore numbers less than a thousand but many of its members are very successful. They are Shiites but different from the twelfers of Iran and Lebanon. They are in fact twenty-firsters, meaning that there were 21 Imams, ending with the last one going into hiding. Their headquarters is in Surat in the state of Gujerat. They were originally from Yemen with links going back to the Fatimids who established Al Azhar University in Cairo a thousand years ago.

3. Not many Singaporeans are familiar with the Bhoras but they are one of a number of small communities in Singapore who contribute greatly to our country particularly in the economic field including the Jews, Parsees, Sindhis, Chettiars, Jains, Khojas and Marwaris. Because each of these communities has a thriving international diaspora, they source their brides and groom worldwide. In Mrs Bhasrai's case, the groom is from Sri Lanka where there is a sizeable Bhora community. They were the original worldwide web.

4. The Singapore fabric is strong and valuable precisely because there are many threads woven into it which are unique and special. The important thing is to ensure that they are well knotted here so that we stay together despite the occasional stresses pulling the fabric in different directions. Like a good Persian carpet, the more knots per inch, the better.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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