Posted this up for my foreign readers who may find this interesting. Well you know, maybe, because not many countries in the world practice this. 🙂
One of the greatest things about fasting during Ramadhan in Brunei is the fact that, for one whole month, we operate on different working hours than the other 11 months of the year. It’s one of the persk of fasting in a Muslim country although am not sure what it’s like in Indonesia, Malaysia and the other Muslim-majority countries in the region. 🙂
Anyway, since most of the people in Brunei work for the government, let’s start with them.
Working days: Monday to Thursday & Saturday
Usual hours: 7.30am to 12.00pm then 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Ramadhan hours: 8.00 to 2pm
They get shorter hours: 6 hours as opposed to the usual 7 hours and 30 minutes.
However what about us who does not work with the Government?
On usual working days, banks in Brunei have pretty straightforward working hours (note that I use “working hours”, not “banking hours”), which is from 8.30 to 5pm with a 90 minute break in between for lunch, depending on which department you’re from. Some departments, that deals with money, work on Saturdays from 8.30 to 12pm.
HSBC: 8.30am – 4.30pm
BIBD: Monday to Thursday, 8am-3pm, Friday & Saturday, 745am to 12pm
Baiduri Bank: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm. But for those who work on Saturdays (8.30-12pm), it’s until 3.30pm
Maybank: 8.30am to 4pm
DST: 8am to 3pm, Friday 8am-12pm
Telbru/B-Mobile: Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm
UBD: Monday to Thursday & Saturday, 8am-2pm
BSP: Monday to Thursday, 7am to 1pm and Friday 7am to 12pm.
Dave’s Car Agency: 8am-4pm
AiTi: Monday to Thursday, 8am-2.30pm and 8am-12pm on a Friday 🙂
For most private companies, and by “private” I mean, non government agencies, official working hours finish at 3 or 4pm and with some occasional awesome companies giving only half day on Fridays. I’m very jealous. Hee. Some actually get less working hours instead of the standard 7 hours and 30 minutes per day.
Why is this done?
Well, as you can imagine, not having any food from dawn to dusk can be rather tiring. Also, since everyone is fasting, its pretty idiotic to have a “lunch break”. Also, it gives everyone time to prepare for breaking fast during sunset, which is usually at 6pm, followed by the nightly prayer, which can last from 7.30pm to 9pm. Many muslims also practice the sunnat prayers before and after sahor (roughly from 3am to sunrise). This if you really come and think about means many people don’t get much rest during this month.
Different working environment
Working during Ramadhan is also a very different experience compared to normal working days. Everyone seems to be in a mellow mood and for some reason everyone comes to work late! Don’t be surprised when things get done a bit slower than usual. Hehe. I have to wait more during Ramadhan, which can be frustrating, especially when you want to get things done fast! Buut, it gives me time to blog! Hehe.
Over all, I like Ramadhan. It’s a quiet, mellow month I appreciate during other times of the year when I encounter puffs of cigarette smoke and bad fashion.