Tunisians across the country are preparing to celebrate the coming of Ramadan, but recent price increases are raising concerns about the expenses ahead during the holy month.
Adult Muslims fast from dawn until sunset during the month of Ramadan, which begins on July 9 or July 10 this year, depending on the position of the moon. Family members gather to break the fast at night, a tradition many Tunisians embrace.
Tunisia Live went to the streets of downtown Tunis to ask Tunisians about their preparations for this month.
Mhadhbi, a middle-aged housewife, told Tunisia Live that she prepares spices and dishes such as couscous in her home in preparation for Ramadan.
For Aicha, another young Tunisian mother, “nothing changes” during Ramadan, however. Her everyday routine remains the same.
Aicha voiced her concerns about the expensive cost of goods this year, referring to the two dinar price raise of the turkey that she just bought.
“We are only buying the necessities. We cannot be wasting money,” she said.
Rached, a middle-aged man, reiterated Aicha’s concern.
“We do our grocery shopping on a daily basis. No one these days is capable of shopping in bulk.”
According to Rachid, a vendor at the Central Market downtown, “all year-round is Ramadan for wealthy people because they can fulfill all their desires.”
People who cannot afford to buy whatever they want, however, suffer from “shock” during the month of Ramadan, he claimed. As a result, he asserted that they become more eager to purchase goods and spend more money.
But Rachid also expressed the beauty of Ramadan.
“Ramadan has a special air and flavor that we can smell and taste,” he said.
“Movement in the street becomes slow, as if we are in a different universe, as if people are walking on the moon,” he continued.
When approached about her preparations for Ramadan, the first word that Souad uttered was “money.”
What she likes about Ramadan, however, is that it gathers all the members of her family together.
Kamel, who also works at the Central Market, had a different view from the other interviewees.
“People who are talking about the expensiveness of goods are lying. Go and see in Carrefour [a supermarket], and you will find them buying groceries for 150 dinars,” he asserted.