Ramadan

Posted by Freya Duignan on

Ade and I landed ourselves in Morocco during Ramadan. We didn't know a lot about Ramadan before, but soon found out that the people fast all through the day every day for a month, no liquid or food consumed, which can be gruelling in the intense heat, especially in the souks doing business.

The people behave quite bizarrely, they jokingly taunt each other by throwing water at each other, small fights often break out amongst the men. We watch all of this in awe while haggling a hungry, thirsty man who's patience in the late afternoon is all but none. Sometimes we come out with a better deal because they have no energy left to haggle, sometimes we are waved away, with no deal at all.

Men and women sellers are often seen sleeping during the daylight in their small shops in the souk, barely surfacing when we wander in ready to do business.

Then in the early evening activity picks up and excitements grows as the sun goes down. Out comes the small plates of sweets - shortbreads, biscuits, porridge, fruit, juice, water, tea. The people come alive. The relief is all around as we are beckoned in to join small groups of people crouching around their long awaited small feasts.

The Muslim people during Ramadan can eat and drink after the sun goes down and before the sun rises. So grazing all night happens, with delicious tajine meals of Chicken, lamb, cous cous which come out all through the night, even at 3 am. We sit in restaurants with friends and share meals and a laugh, so happy and grateful for the food. At the end of dinner, if there are any left overs, our Moroccan friends ask the waitstaff to wrap the food up and we stroll out onto the street and hand it over to a person who's home is the street. They take the food with so much gratitude and we are touched by the generosity of our friends towards their homeless, realising this needs to happen more in our culture, it makes so much sense and means less waste. We are told that a lot of people donate a percentage of their earnings to the homeless at the end of Ramadan.

Ramadan is to experience what it's like to truly go without, to abstain from food and water, bad thoughts, sexual activity, unkind words to or about others, sinful activity. To basically just be a really good person and therefore be rewarded now and in the next life.

Spiritual rewards are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan, which makes sense really, if you are a good person, goodness will always come your way!


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