Why you should know about Ramadan
As being an expat, you are might either travel to a Muslim country , or you may meet a Muslim person, whether for business or a social relation. You may find a Muslim person who refuses your invitation for a coffee or lunch, because s/he is fasting Ramadan. Understanding the behavior in Ramadan will make it much easier in communication. Understanding the difference in cultures is something we gain as expats , but also outshine our Personal Brand when showing a tiny knowledge about the other.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, that depends on the lunar cycle. Today is the 2nd day of Ramadan for many of the countries around the world- why many countries? Because as mentioned it depends upon the new moon appearance/ visibility to each country, and this differs from a place to another. The lunar month is either 29 or 30 days.
Ramadan fasting : is the 4th pillars of Islam . But fasting also is a type of worshipping in all religions but takes different forms. In Islam ,Muslims fast from dawn till sunset by stopping eating, drinking, smoking, avoiding bad behavior and other marriage activities. After sunset, normal life :eating , drinking, ..
For some people they are unable to fast during this month due to health issues , they can compensate those days after Ramadan, when they are in a health condition that allow them to; otherwise if they can’t they can feed poor person for each day s/he (the sick person) couldn’t fast in Ramadan.
Ramadan is not just about fasting from eating and drinking it is also a chance for ethical training i.e. to be polite, merciful, caring, this training should be not only for Ramadan but for the long run. The beauty about the month is that the charity activities are sky rocket, for example In all the Muslim countries you will find people inviting passerby strangers to have the Iftar ( The meal at the sunset time) for free with smile.
The relationships among friends and family members get stronger with the hectic modern life style, as you will find many feasts gathering family members and friends to one table, at one unified time.
Special ceremonies and traditions for Ramadan differs from a country to another, in Egypt for example we have a lively night life, in addition to the special Ramadan food , and the Lantern is a one typical Egyptian feature of Ramadan.