#Article (Archive)

Need to be vigilant

Aug 23, 2011, 12:24 PM

The Muslim feast of Koriteh is just a week away; an air of festivity is being felt all over at the Serrekunda and Albert Markets, especially in tailoring shops and in the public car parks, as people prepare for the feast.

Tailors and similar service providers are under great pressure to satisfy their customers, who seem to want more and more of everything, despite the fact that we still have some days to go before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The countless money transfer services such as Western Union points are bustling with activity, as people streaming in and out with cash.

This is a time when so much money is in circulation, what with all the remittances from relatives and friends in Europe, America and other parts of the world.

Yet, at a time when persons who toiled all these past months to earn some money for the feast, now feel they can go about spending it, there are others on the prowl, especially in places where people gather, ready to seize every opportunity to deprive you of your hard-earned income.

There are also the various kinds of swindlers. Some capitalize on your kindness and goodwill, others on your innocence, while others still are ever ready to fleece you through so-called bargaining, by asking for the sky for things that are worth only a few pennies.

So be warned; beware!

Picking your pocket and being victimized by swindlers is quite common during such occasions.

This period is also the time when unscrupulous business people dealing in consumables tend to engage in profiteering. This is the time when they hoard things to create artificial scarcity, and temporarily send prices soaring well beyond the reach of the ordinary man and woman.

This is all contrary to the spirit of the Koriteh feast, which follows the holy month of Ramadan.

The spoilers are ubiquitous, and are to be found predominantly in the markets, car parks, ferry terminals and busy intersections such as West Field Junction.

So, as you go shopping for the feast, be on your guard. The friendly, chatty ready-to-help companion strolling with you down Albert Market, or sitting next to you on the bus or in the taxi, could be a pickpocket.

When you are out and about at this time of the year, be always mindful of your pocket, wallet or hand bag or briefcase.

The times are hard; so there are many people out there who are desperate to get by through any means possible.

“It is not the quantity of the meat, but the cheerfulness of the guests, which makes the feast”

Edward Hyde