As a religious event, Eid is supposed to symbolize and portray sharing, simplicity and happiness; however the Muslim people, in a variety of ways, have transformed and altered this event into a fiesta of consumerism. For the market places in the Muslim countries, Ramadan and Eid is the main season for maximum sale and profit. As soon as the second week of Ramadan approaches you can already see the change in motion, prices going higher, huge crowds in the markets and traffic on the roads. Once this begins, just the idea of going to the nearest malls starts to seem like an adventure in the wilderness
In some way, a shopping hysteria has made its way into our culture and our conscience. The roots of this have been in the religious messages OF Eid; which are to celebrate a new beginning and to celebrate all the good deeds that were done by you during Ramadan and to also help those who are less fortunate than us. Sometime around 3 decades ago, Eid shopping consisted of just one or two outfits for each family member. Albeit the shopping season existed back then too, however it existed with far less hysteria and lesser price hikes. As time passed by, by using several marketing techniques and special offers by merchants, the Season flourished and finally boomed, after which the hysteria kicked in.
These days only one or two outfits are not enough, today they have become 5 to 10, depending on the wealth of the family. Additionally the fascination with brand names and high street retailers has increased significantly, the extremely overpriced and signature pieces by specific designers have made them statement pieces for displaying wealth. On top of all of this there are the gifts for the whole family and expensive chocolates and treats for the guests who visit you on Eid Day.
In a mere few days, the basic fundamentals of economics kick in, the demand is suddenly exceeding the supply which inadvertently throws off the whole balance of the market away, which in turn is what causes the prices to rise to such unreasonable levels. According to several merchants in retail, the sale volume during this season is three to four times more than the average sale of the rest of the year. They also added that the prices also increased a hundred or two hundred percent in the season. Interestingly, it is not only these retailers who witness this sudden imbalance of the supply and demand. The beauty salons, decorations services, taxi service and barbershops all increase in demand and thus also causing a sudden increase in price.
Simply, this has to stop, there is a desperate need to alter our behavior and check what we have made out Eid to become. We should aim to follow the true spirit of Eid and to follow simplicity and humbleness instead of extravagance in personal shopping. Eid is supposed to be enjoyed with the family.
Source: Arab News
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