Ramadan is here and funny enough I am writing this entry at work – it’s Friday and Iraqi politicians are surprisingly not giving any press conferences or press releases. The reason? – It’s either “no agreement has been reached on the formation of the new government” or they’re fasting! – I think both!
Which brings me to the fasting,
Ramadan (asides from Newroz) is one of the best times of year to be in Kurdistan. Don’t get me wrong, the weather is S.S.S. – Sizzling Sweaty Sticky – but the fasting is amazing.
If you live in the neighborhoods, before the sun begins to set neighbors run around knocking doors exchanging plates of food or small bowls of soup.
I have taken an evening shift of being ‘door opener’ – between 6:30 and 7 p.m. Mums send their little kids with a plate of this and a plate of that. I can’t explain how beautiful the feeling is when I open the door and see a little child holding up a plate of something.
It is not about the food. But about the tradition, thinking of others and the feeling of giving that I love the most. Let us be frank – a good portion of the people do not fast for no apparent reason, but the respect, and the general atmosphere of the holy month really does bring people together.
Having been back home for four years now I have come to realize Kurds are generally moderate Muslims. We function on the basis of: “You have your religion and I have mine, you are free and so am I” no one asks you why you are not fasting or why you chose to wear a scarf during the holy month. But somehow we seem to come together in a surreal way during this time of year in particular.
The feeling of shopping, the cars on the road, the mosques, the evening calls for prayers, the family gathering and of course the best food of the best Kurdish mother are all things I seem to notice and appreciate more whilst living in Kurdistan.
In the years I lived abroad – if I chose to fast – I dreaded it!
Here, I take the time to enjoy every second of the Holy month. There is something in the Kurdish culture that is apparent in the region that – despite the S.S.S. weather – makes me want to be here right now than any other corner of the world.
If you think the atmosphere in Ramadan is beautiful, just wait for my blog for Jezhn (Eid) as we begin preparing to celebrate days that mark the end of the Holy month!
My dear reader (or readers if I am lucky enough!) Happy Ramadan! Enjoy the family time and the uniqueness of this holy month no matter in which corner of the world you are in.
As for me I can’t wait to get home right now and follow my nose to the smell of mum’s food and the noise of my little cousins and relatives!
Please note: This blog was written on Friday at work but only just managed to put it on my blog. Please accept the apology! 🙂