We were privileged to live in Little India for one week. At the time, Deepavali (the "Festival of Lights") was being celebrated. Small stalls sprung up on the street, special foods were available, and there was a parade (the first in Singapore for Deepavali, ever)! At one of these stalls, I met a man who comes from India every year for this celebration He has a brother in Calgary who married outside the culture, and has lost touch with the family. He obviously was hurting about the issue and did not wish to discuss it.
We were apprehensive about eating at some of the restaurants, but found the food spectacular, in some. Komala's is set up like McDonalds, but with 150 vegetarian items, all served within 3 minutes of ordering - they also have a delivery service. At many restaurants, the fish head curry is delicious and very filling. Food is often served on a banana leaf. Our average cost for meals is less than $20 SD for two. Siew and Evan took us to some wonderful restaurants in Little India.
The Malay culture is larger than the Indian culture. The annual celebration at the end of Ramadan called Hary Raya, reflects the size of the culture - it is very crowded in the area of the Malay Village, and I lost Darlene at least once -- and not on purpose.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast. - but then they eat like they eat at no other time of year. There are many wonderful food stalls. We went from stall to stall, and bought food, but nobody was eating, except some Chinese people. They all wandered around with their packages of food - until the prayer over the loudspeakers at dusk. Then everyone everywhere started to eat - on park benches, in cars, and sitting on the curb. It was like a giant food celebration in which everybody waits to share, and there is something very engaging with others when you share their table that may not even be a table. Somehow you feel closer.
On the last day, everyone dresses in their family finery - usually one color for the family. We saw many on the MRT traveling around. It was very colorful - we could feel the sense of community when we saw the grandparents, the parents, the children and the babies all dressed in the same colors with their head covers, and many different families together. The most wonderful part of this celebration includes the young asking their elders for forgiveness for their transgressions/mistakes over the past year.