THE RAMADAN JOURNEY

Celebrating Ramadan Far Away from Home

By Anais / 4 April 2024

Ramadan Celebrating the arrival of Ramadan with joy alongside my fellow brothers and sisters at the mosque.

  • Three days into Ramadan: adapting, bonding, and discovering gratitude for this new experience.

During Ramadan, it’s hard to miss the colourful banners that seem to light up the streets with warmth and joy. As someone who isn’t Muslim, I’ve always been fascinated by this sacred time of fasting. 

From sunrise to sunset, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking, and even from getting too close with their partners. It’s a beautiful act of devotion and discipline, a way to seek forgiveness and purity in the eyes of Allah.

But beyond the rituals, Ramadan is about unity and compassion. It’s about standing in solidarity with those who are fasting, whether they’re near their families or far from home. It’s a time to remember those in need and to offer support wherever we can.

As I join my Muslim friends in observing Ramadan, I’m reminded of the power of love and community. Even though I may not share the same faith, I feel a deep connection to the spirit of Ramadan and the values it embodies. It’s a time of reflection, gratitude, and above all, a celebration of humanity’s capacity for kindness and understanding.

 

Welcome Sacred Month

Ramadan Pokok.AsiaBreaking fast with a date and a plate of spicy goodness from the mosque in my building. Pure delight!

I was filled with excitement as Ramadan approached, not just because it’s such a significant time for Muslims, but also because I felt a deep longing for connection in my life. Being in a Muslim country for the first time added to the anticipation.

When the official start date of Ramadan was announced, it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. It was as if something extraordinary was about to happen, something that would allow me to refocus on what truly matters: my faith.

I eagerly shared the news with my roommate, and together we made plans for our first Ramadan away from our families. We were relieved to learn that special markets and mosques provided meal trays for worshippers, offering some comfort in the absence of home-cooked meals.

The first day of fasting went smoothly overall, although the humidity made the thirst particularly challenging. Yet, my determination to observe the fast I had been waiting for outweighed the physical discomfort. It reminded me that Ramadan is about overcoming our desires to draw closer to what’s important, a journey of self-liberation.

After a day of work, we broke our fast with dates and a simple noodle dish. Then, we headed to the mosque in our building to pray with our sisters, ending the day on a peaceful note.

Overall, it was a promising start to Ramadan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how manageable it was to be away from my family.

 

The New Market 

Ramadan Pokok.AsiaThe newly opened Ramadan bazaar near my home – bustling with people and an array of mouthwatering foods. 

My roommate and I began our fasting journey with a 6 a.m. wake-up call for suhoor, our first meal of the day. The aroma of freshly made pancakes made those pre-dawn moments sweeter, a comforting start to our fasting day.

After a brief return to sleep, we faced the day’s challenges head-on. Despite hunger pangs, I found solace in the rhythm of my internship, punctuated by moments of reflection on my faith. It was a time of learning and connection, as I delved deeper into the spiritual aspects of Ramadan and reached out to loved ones afar.

As evening approached and the city resonated with the call to prayer, we eagerly set out to break our fast. Our choice of the nearby Ramadan market introduced us to a myriad of tantalising Malaysian flavours, each bites a journey of discovery and delight. It was a culinary adventure that left us eager for more, enriching our fasting experience with newfound flavours and shared moments of joy.

 

Reflections on Ramadan

Ramadan Pokok.AsiaThe milk cakes from the Ramadan market nearby work were a yummy surprise! So tasty! 

On the third day of fasting, I found myself adjusting more comfortably to the routine. Work passed by as usual, and I shared with my colleagues about my first fasting experience here in Malaysia. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely meaningful.

Before heading home, I made a quick stop at the Ramadan Bazaar just a couple of streets away. There, I couldn’t resist the tempting aroma of spicy chicken and rice from one of the aunties’ stalls. I also picked up some milk cakes to share with my friends.

Breaking my fast with a sweet date followed by the savoury delights from the bazaar felt like a little celebration. It was a treat, especially since my friends had brought their own dishes to share.

During our meal, my roommate, Camille, shared her thoughts on Ramadan away from our families. She expressed how challenging it is to fast without our loved ones around, missing the comfort of home-cooked meals and the playful banter with siblings.

Being away from our families during Ramadan here in Malaysia has allowed us to focus more on ourselves and appreciate the little things we often take for granted.

At this moment, I feel grateful for the supportive friends and colleagues who surround me, even though I’m far from my hometown. The unique flavours of the bazaar have sparked an interest in learning how to cook, and I can’t wait to share these experiences with my family back in France after my internship.

 

 

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SPENDING RAMADAN IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

 

SPENDING RAMADAN IN A DIFFERENT PLACE

 

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