SINGAPORE – The popular and iconic Ramadan bazaar in Geylang Serai will make a comeback this year, having been cancelled the previous two years due to Covid-19.
In tender documents seen by The Straits Times, the People’s Association (PA) said it is calling for tenders for a “Geylang Serai Hari Raya Shopping Experience 2022” that will run from April 2 to May 2 – the length of the fasting month of Ramadan this year.
The bazaar, which will be open from 1pm to 11pm, will be smaller in scope compared with those in previous years. It will comprise two zones near the Wisma Geylang Serai building, with a maximum of 20 stalls in each zone.
PA said it is looking for service providers that can provide a “semblance of the bazaar (as it was) during the pre-Covid-19 days” for both shoppers and retailers, while maintaining safe management measures and providing a clean environment.
“Vaccination-differentiated safe management measures will be implemented for entry to the Geylang Serai Hari Raya Shopping Experience,” said the association.
It added that it wants the bazaar to provide “a safe, measured and pleasant” experience for visitors through the curation of “thematic stalls and a trade mix” closely associated with Ramadan and Hari Raya, which falls on May 3.
According to the document, the organisers must ensure the following regarding the stalls at the bazaar: at least three out of five food stalls should be selling Hari Raya/Ramadan traditional food, with the remaining food stalls selling contemporary food; there should not be more than eight food stalls; and at least four out of five non-food stalls must cater for items associated with the festivities, such as clothes and accessories, with the remaining allowed to sell other kinds of products.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to cancel the bazaar, some community members and netizens had commented that it was losing its cultural identity, opting to sell fewer traditional items in favour of more contemporary ones.
“It is aimed to preserve the celebration of Hari Raya during Ramadan and be inclusive and vibrant to attract other ethnic communities to appreciate the Malay culture,” said PA, referring to this year’s shopping experience.
Other details about the event include how all walkways in the two zones have to be 3m wide, and how only a maximum of two stall operators are allowed per stall at any given time.
Stalls should have a pre-designated serving point to allow for a maximum of four customers at any given time, said PA.
All cleaners, supporting staff and stall owners will also have to conduct temperature self-checks twice a day.