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Ramadan – Learning each other’s traditions

By 04-07-2016Blog

Mohamed is from Syria and one of the new residents of Startblok from July. At the moment he is doing the Ramadan over which he wrote a small blog.

“Ramadan is an important month for Muslims where we are fasting for 30 days. From the sunrise until the sunset we are not allowed to drink, eat and smoke. Also, we are not allowed to have sex or to have sexual thoughts. Lastly, we are not allowed to curse or to say bad words. If you break one of those things, you will break your fast.

We can have two meals during Ramadan. One is ‘Iftar’ (which means breakfast in Arabic) and it is the evening meal when Muslims end the daily Ramadan fast at sunset. The second one doesn’t really matter what time you eat, but we usually have it around 2 or 2:30 am. We eat different kind of food and we drink special drinks, like sos and tamar hindi.

I did Ramadan since I was 10 and I’m still doing it. It is important for my religion and it also teaches me how to be patient. I think Ramadan is good because as you know there are people who cannot find anything to eat or drink. During Ramadan we feel a bit how the hungry people feel.

It’s hard to explain why Ramadan is special, unless you tried it. So I think you will know what is special about it when you try! Good to know is that it is also the month of mercy and forgiveness, which are important things for Muslims.

In the end of the Ramadan, we celebrate ‘Suikerfeest’. This first celebration is immediately after Ramadan and the second one is after two months. We visit our family, we eat tasty food and we give gifts to each other. It feels like Christmas!

I think it can be important for the Dutch young people to know our traditions, because we want good relationships with them. I am not saying they have to participate, they don’t have to. It’s the same for us with Dutch traditions. I want to know them all, because I am going to live in this country. I already know King’s Day!

I am really excited to live in Startblok, because I have never lived before in a student’s project. So it will be my first time. It’s really interesting also, because it will be a mix of different nationalities and I believe that it will be so much fun over there.”