Ramadan during Quarantine

Today’s post is a guestpost by Steve d.P. about how he experienced the month of Ramadan during the lockdown.

As a converted Muslim, I will never forget my first Ramadan. It was in the middle of the summer, the days were super long and temperatures were consistently in the 30°C. The fasting could get very difficult and some days really tested my limits. However, all of that became easy when I thought about eating Iftar with my family and friends.

Getting an opportunity to connect with people in a way that I couldn’t be able to if it wasn’t for the fact that we all fasted together is a blessing which I look forward to every day of the fasting period.

That combined with getting the opportunity to eat an assortment of foods made Ramadan a celebratory month on its own. Fast forward to the 23rd of April, the Corona regulations were in full force and meeting with people aside from having a chat was prohibited.

Things were looking grim for this Ramadan. Not only did the regulations make it impossible to meet people, but my kitchen happens to be under construction which makes cooking rather tricky. It seemed like a Ramadan of frozen pizza and instant noodles was in store for me. This was the case for the first week of Ramadan, my days consisted of studying and balancing that with being totally unproductive. I would eat my takeaway meals and this consisted until the regulations softened. We could meet with 4 friends who lived in different places and stay at their houses. Ramadan suddenly became way more social for me.

My best friend’s mom took so much pity on me, insisting that I would come and eat with them, that I shared a lot of meals with their family. It was wonderful to have homemade meals to the point that I could feel tears welling up at some points.

Happiness is a soft word to describe it.

The second group of people I shared a meal with were some friends of mine who reside in Waterview. I didn’t really get to eat with them in the general sense, but I got the opportunity to taste their food. There was a huge assortment of food like biryani, Russian salad, bruschetta, minced meat and so on. Even though we couldn’t meet face to face, this definitely gave me a similar feeling to that homemade meal together with friends and family. The fasting month was over and Eid was declared on Sunday 24th May. This Eid would be different as the mosques were shut and so for each one of us the prayers would have to be done on their own, with a feeling of disconnection from the solitude. A fast-break was planned but because of life happening, I was unable to have the Eid break with my brothers and sisters. The group made dishes for each country we represented on that day. A knock on the door in the evening was a surprise – there stood two fellow friends holding a huge bag of food as it was Eid and you are never alone on Eid, even if you are apart. That’s when I the thought of ‘though apart, we are in this together‘, and it made me feel more a part of Eid. Even if the Ramadan was under questionable circumstances, humanity will make it as blessed as a normal Ramadan. Eid Mubarak!

Happy Bayram! And Eid Mubarak to you all

Published by thepangaeablog

We're the staff of Pangaea, the Intercultural Meeting Centre of the KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium! Welcome to our blog where we aim to inform you of all we are doing, have planned, and keep you connected with what has happened lately!

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