My 5 Major Ramadan Activities

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade burfi! It's a sweet milk cake.
Since I talked about fasting earlier, I thought I should talk about what I've actually been doing during this month - often, people assume that I'm not doing anything but feeling hungry/thirsty all the time! Instead, here are the most common things I'm doing each day.

1. Sleeping. Of course, this is because I have the privilege of being on vacation during Ramadan, but since we are getting up and eating pretty early in the morning, I take it as my cue to sleep in a little bit each day rather than staying awake from 3:30am onward.

2. Plunging into work. In some ways, I think I get the most done when I'm fasting - no necessary breaks for food/drink! But seriously, investing yourself in a project or reflection really does make the time positive and strengthening.

3. Reading Quran and learning more about religion. This one is a pretty obvious choice during the holy month, but since it is my first time being immersed in an Islamic culture outside of my own private learning, I thought I'd reiterate how big of a learning experience this is.

4. Cooking! Or, more accurately, watching and sometimes assisting people who are cooking. I mentioned before that I found it pretty interesting that we continue to cook and prepare a lot of foods when we ourselves cannot eat, but it is a regular part of the day to fry foods, make curries, and be in the presence of both food and water. Normal life doesn't stop when we are fasting, it just becomes markedly different.

5. Remarking at the complete normalcy of day-to-day life. Ok, not really an 'activity,' but coming from a Western country where only a few people are fasting to seeing everyone do it (regardless of what work they're performing or their living situation) is pretty astounding. It intrigues me to think of the unified group of people fasting and how their lives are affected in similar and different ways by observance of this ritual.