Thursday, September 9, 2010

One More Day of Ramadan

In the U.S., Christmas falls on December 25, every single year. Thanksgiving - the last Thursday in November. Always. Our holidays are set and printed on calendars before the year even starts.

Not so with Ramadan. It was unclear until yesterday whether Ramadan would end today or tomorrow. The month-long holiday is timed around the cycles of the moon, and the imams apparently have to go look at the moon to determine whether it's over.

Last night they looked, and announced: it ain't over. Which means one more day of fasting for the mostly-Muslim population.

I'm no Ramadan expert, so I'll simply refer you to the wikipedia entry if you're curious to learn more. I am amazed, however, at the fact that people manage to fast from sunup to sundown for an entire month. No food or water, during one of the hottest months of the year.

When the movers were here, they hauled boxes in and out all day, without once stopping to swig a drink. Their supervisor kindly offered to leave in the middle of the day for 30 minutes so we could eat. So what did they do while we ate? They went outside, found a shady spot, made prayer mats out of moving boxes and prayed for half an hour.


I'll tell you this. I'm trying NOT to follow the news about people protesting the planned WTC Islamic Center, or churches that are planning Quran burnings. Because it really, really ticks me off. Why is it YOUR business to decide how and where and whether other people should worship? Tolerance, people. It's sorta why America exists. Michael Kinsley said it better than I could ever hope to.


But enough! Don't get me started! I have boxes to unpack and things to put away. My husband was supposed to be here to help on this, the first day of a 4-day weekend to mark Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan. But of course, if it's a holiday, there has to be a work emergency, so it looks like I'm on my own for the day.

7 comments:

Noble Glomads said... [Reply]

Hi Donna,
Thanks for the kind welcome. I am enjoying our first post so far, except for my hideous furniture. I've now spent my 14 year old's college fund fixing up the joint. How old are your children? How are you enjoying Jordan? It was high on our bid list but obviously we got NZ instead. No worries. It's a bit different coming into this gig in middle age (40) when I was so set in my ways :) Looking forward to learning about different cultures. We had dinner with a memeber of the Pakistani High Commission last night which was interesting - except for teh unusual tv show they had on during dinner (full frontal male nudity, I;m not kidding) I guess you just have to laugh when you get home!
All the best,
Amy
Wellington

Julie said... [Reply]

Going through the same thing here in Nouakchott. Waited up late last night....will we have work and school on Thursday, or not?! Would someone please just go look at the moon and tell us?? LOL I too was looking forward to the long weekend but now it seems the celebration will be over Friday/Saturday, the normal weekend. Oh well. Good luck with the unpacking and sorting. Our vehicle and consumables should be here....any...day...now....

Becca said... [Reply]

Ah, been there with the federal gov't employee and holiday emergencies! My husband used to work for the Bureau of Prisons and something would always happen on a holiday. My fave was when Pres. Clinton pardoned three of his inmates on the day George bush was inaugurated. he was at work for 17 hours doing the paperwork.

And I am totally with you on letting everyone just be.

Becca said... [Reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie said... [Reply]

I hate it when my husband has to go in on weekends or holidays. Yes, it happens, but I don't like it anyway.

Kate said... [Reply]

Do the children partake in the fasting as well? I completely agree with you about tolerance.

Donna said... [Reply]

@Kate - Some children do fast. I'm not sure when it becomes a requirement. There were at least 2 girls in my son's 5th grade class who were fasting. I really don't think I could do it.

Please. Write your own stuff.