Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the biggest festivals for the Muslims around the world. Like other parts of the world Muslims of Bangladesh also observe the occasion with merriment and grandeur. People here meet with their friends and relatives wearing new dresses on the Eid day. Thus buying new dresses has turned into one of the key pre-requisites for Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. People from all walks of life purchase new clothes for their family members on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. Thus shopping malls become an important part of Eid-ul-Fitr preparations. Strands of colourful lights are placed on the outer edges of shopping malls and the long queue of vehicles parked in front of the posh mega plazas remind us that Eid is here again! Shops and streets turn abuzz and people get involved in a kind of wrestling to make space for them in the crowded alleys of the narrow Gawsiya and Chandni Chowk market. In the mid of trumpeted voices of street vendors presence of countless shoppers in the New Market area reflect mass people’s enthusiasm for Eid shopping.
This shopping spree mandatorily continues till the ‘Chand Raat’. The well-off shoppers visit major shopping centres including Bashundhara City, Jamuna Future Park, Gulshan Pink City Shopping Mall, Shoppers World, Eastern Plaza, Metro Shopping Mall and Rapa Plaza while the people of lower-middle income group prefer New Market, Gawsiya, Chandni Chowk and Banga Bazar, and people belonging to low-income group purchase their desired products from the road-side makeshift shops.
During Ramadan, people of all economic classes go for shopping. It is the time of the year when they buy new clothes for their family members, relatives, friends, colleagues and maids. Apart from the salary, job holders also get Eid bonus. They spend a significant portion of that bonus for shopping. Wealthy Muslims also pay Jakat (giving a certain amount of cash or other forms of goods following the instructions of Islam) among the needy people. Many people use the money allocated for Jakat to buy new dresses for the underprivileged people. Donating for the betterment of poor people is an important part of the holy occasion. It makes them happy in a different ways. From the beginning of Ramadan they start shopping and it brings in a feeling of festivity.
People from different parts of the country come to Dhaka to do their Eid shopping. Activities of Eid shoppers sometimes disrupt the normal lives of the city dwellers. Especially the traffic system of the city goes into a terrible state during Ramadan due to the excessive movement of the Eid shoppers. Traffic jam in the city’s busy market places and intersections becomes a common scene during shopping hours. Cars parked on the main road stretch from one end to other end of the shopping malls. Every one prioritizes their necessities and ignores the sufferings of others. They simply rush to the markets to buy their desired products, no matter how much time is wasted because of traffic.
But there are many shoppers who don’t feel comfortable to spend hours in the long traffic jam for completing their shopping in this hot and humid weather. They prefer online market places to do their Eid shopping. Online shopping has become very popular in our country especially after the introduction of easy payment (bkash, rocket, nexus pay, OK, first pay, sure cash) options. There are thousands of online shops on social media and many major brands have their websites and facebook pages where shoppers can place their orders to buy their necessary products to get home deliveries. The facebook home pages of online shops turn into virtual Gawsia and New Market ahead of Eid. Moreover, online shops mostly sell products at an affordable price. Women especially love to buy makeup and cosmetic items from their reliable online shops as these shops can provide original products to them. College student Sadia Mehjabin, a resident of capital’s Mohammadpur area, said, “Online shops has made shopping easier for us. I ordered for two earrings and a watch yesterday from the facebook page of an online shop and have received those today. After doing my classes and fasting all the day, it was quite difficult for me to go for shopping to buy small things avoiding busy traffic of the city.” In most cases online shopping gives people a hassle free and easy shopping experience. Afrin Akter, owner of an online shop named ‘Ranga’, shared, “Everyone wants to wear jewelries matching their dresses. I upload the pictures of my products online along with the price of the items. If anyone likes the products and places purchase order, we send those products to them through courier service. The biggest advantage that the shoppers get from online shopping is people from different corners of the country can place their orders and do shopping.” However there are allegations against some of the online shops that they sell fake or replica cosmetic products.
Well, like other years fashion houses have brought new designer dresses for this particular occasion. Most brand shops have considered the weather of the season before designing Eid dresses. As this year the Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated in the first week of June, shoppers will prefer cotton and silk as the fabric of their dresses. Our traders import huge amount of clothes from neighboring countries like India and Pakistan which are sold in large numbers. The great thing is that our local cloth and fashion industry is working relentlessly to bring diversity in designs and coming up with the best products. Deshi boutique houses are also making profit by promoting their products online.
When the shoppers of upper class and upper-middle class have already begun their shopping, the lower income group and salaried people are still waiting for their salary and Eid bonus. Sumon Rahman, a salesperson of a shop located in the New Market area, said, “The salaried class is our target consumers because they usually don’t purchase clothes on a regular basis like the aristocrats. They haven’t come to the market yet. We hope our business will see a boost after the 20th Ramadan.”
Well, Eid celebration is incomplete without proper shopping for the people living in Bangladesh. That’s why people start shopping even before the Ramadan. However while shopping for ourselves and our family members we should also try to share the happiness with the underprivileged people.