Since the holy month is nearing us, ever wondered what other people think about Ramadan and fasting? What goes on in the heads of our fellow non-Muslim friends?
Sarah Ng, 27, Malaysia.
I enjoy Ramadan! I love how everyone gathers for a meal and socialize.
However, I think society expects for the minority to be considerate but sometimes forgets to return the favor, for example, those who aren’t fasting are expected to not eat in front of those who are during fasting month because it is rude. On the other hand, meetings are sometimes held throughout lunch time without consideration towards those who are not fasting.
That aside, buka puasa (iftar) time becomes a great reason to meet up with friends and family for a meal regardless of whether you’re fasting or not. As a non-Muslim, it is a great experience. It makes you a more considerate person as you ponder on whether what you are doing is considerate rude or not. You become conscious and at the same time, it grows the considerate side of you. I believe it makes you a better person.
Vera, 26, Germany.
Ramadan will somewhat remind me of my childhood. My Mum would ask us to fast for candy rewards for 40 days before Easter. I still remember how hard it was but at the end of it, I felt proud. I would enjoy my candies after I successfully fasted.
During the month of Ramadan, I can tell that some people are calmer, more friendly and they are grateful for fasting while others may struggle more and feel more stressed during this time.
I think any kind of fasting is a good opportunity to show your strength and your will power and to learn to appreciate the things you give up and even more. This will help you in your job, family, health and so many other things.
Seb, 27, France.
As a French born and raised in Latin America where Islam is very rare, my first encounter with Ramadan and its fasting tradition was when I got back to France at the age of 11, near the southern city of Montpellier, a region that hosts an important Muslim minority.
At that time, the month of Ramadan was mostly associated with the concepts of effort and determination. I remember playing in a football club with two Muslim teammates that were observing the fast. Thy would play official games on weekends without even drinking one drop of water! In southern France, the daily temperatures during summer can reach up to 35 degrees, and the sun will set after 9pm.
Later on, I discovered another aspect, a more familial one, where Ramadan is also associated with the values of sharing through the breaking of fast at dusk. I have also noticed that my friends who are not very religious will embrace and practise this specific pillar of Islam which is very near to their hearts.