Aidilfitri: Brisk business for flower traders at Muslim cemetery

GEORGE TOWN: After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, this year’s Aidilfitri celebration provides an opportunity for traders who sell fresh flowers at the Jalan Perak Muslim Cemetery to earn extra income, as streams of visitors are seen visiting the graves of their loved ones here.

It has been a tradition that the Jalan Perak Muslim Cemetry would be the focus of Muslims, especially those who ‘balik kampung’ to celebrate Aidilfitri by visiting the graves of their loved ones.

However, such activity has stopped for the past two years when the country was hit by the pandemic.

Fortunately, these flower traders can now heave a sigh of relief following the government’s announcement on the relaxation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs), as they are now able to resume their business.

One of the traders, Rosinah Md Hassan, 46, was relieved that her flower business at the cemetery was able to resume operations.

She said that the demand for fresh flowers is usually higher during the festive season, thus allowing part-time traders such as herself to make a small profit in celebrating Aidilfitri.

“This flower stall has been in my family for four generations, and every Ramadan, my family and I will do business here to earn a bit of money, apart from making it easier for visitors to find fresh flowers,” she told Bernama recently.

Rosinah said that Ramadan is considered the month of ‘rezeki’ (sustenance) for traders such as herself to earn extra income and she was grateful as it helped the family make preparations for Aidilfitri.

Assisted by her husband, sister, and children, Rosinah said her flower stall began operating a week before Aidilfitri until the third day of Syawal.

“Every year, I would take a week off from work at Penang Hospital to run my flower business, which starts from 7.30am to 7pm, and two days before Aidilfitri, we opened our stall for 24 hours,” she added.

Among the types of flowers sold and in high demand are roses, jasmine, potpourri (bunga rampai), fresh stalk flowers, and mixed dried flowers, with prices ranging from RM5 to RM10 per pack, while sandalwood and rose water are priced at RM5 per bottle.

“People usually visit the cemetery from the beginning of Ramadan until the third day of Aidilfitri,” she said.

A visitor, Datuk Syed Mohamad Aidid Syed Murtaza, 75, said the presence of flower traders at the cemetery made it easier for visitors to visit the graves of their loved ones.

“Visitors do not have to worry about looking for flowers, as they can be bought at a cheap price at the entrance of the cemetery,” he told Bernama.

A check by Bernama found that the visitors were busy cleaning the graves and repainting the grave headstones, besides sprinkling flower petals and reciting holy verses. – Bernama