Ramadan is here again!

Ramadan is here again! This is the month where Muslims abstain from consuming food and drink as well as bad thoughts, from dawn to dusk.

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I’ve been practising this since I was a child, starting to fast half a day and moving on to full day. It was a proud moment for me, seeing that I was able to do it, like the “Big People” did. Hence after that, its rather second nature for me. And personally for me, I like this month as it heightens my mental clarity, and I can focus better on doing more activities without the distractions of the need to feed.

And as much as I thought in the beginning that Cart would have a difficult time, I’m very proud to see that he’s able to adjust and make it though the entire day. In fact, without realising it, he’s been doing it for the past 4 years now. For him, his biggest motivator is to feel how the poor are experiencing. Quite noble of him.

In any case, fasting in Italy is a lot different compared to fasting in Singapore with my family. Firstly, its a little more challenging because being summer, the days are longer compared to in Singapore. For this year, in Italy we have to fast about 16 hours while in Singapore it is about 14 hours. And it will be longer the next year and the year after that because the Islamic calendar is 10 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

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Too sleepy to eat at 4am

The other difference is that since I’ve been living in Rome, my diet has changed. So I’m fasting with Italian food such as Pasta, Piadina, Farro and such instead of my regular rice or noodles. It took a while to adjust, but in the end, food is food.

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But the biggest difference is in the exuberance. Its a lot more livelier when I was in Singapore. I’d rush back back home from work to help out with my mum preparing food for breaking fast and all the while listening to the sermon on the radio warna 94.2 fm and then listening to the very famous and evergreen Arabic song, indicating that it was sunset and that we are able to break fast. By then my family members would already be seated and all six of us would enjoy our meal together, chattering to each other.

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It was lively!

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Its a lot more quiet and nondescript here. With it being only the two of us fasting, no radio station that I know of broadcasting breaking fast times, even going to the mosque in Rome for the final 10 days last year, I could count with one hand the amount of people doing tarawih. There doesn’t seem to be any vibrancy for me like it was back in Singapore. Oh well.

In any case, I would like to wish everyone a beautiful month of Ramadan. Isn’t it amusing by the way, that this month, where all the evil beings are chained up, coincides with the Hungry ghost festival?

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Sidenote : I was wondering, if there are anyone in Singapore would be kind enough to help me? I’d like a daily recording in mp3 format from 7pm – 7.30pm on Warna 94.2 Fm. You could send it to my email, makawaru[at]gmail.com and I’ll put it up on my blog for all to share and give credit to you for helping, of course

Updated : Hey, online streaming is back! I can try to use Audacity to record it!

21 thoughts on “Ramadan is here again!”

  1. Selamat Berpuasa Rome-style!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Wow, 16 hrs is long… and yes, there was one time I was in Europe, Maghrib was at 10pm! Imagine what it’d be like for those living in Norway. Maybe only 1 hour of nightfall each day during summer. I read somewhere that some people don’t do all 18-20 hours of fasting – some do 13 or 14 hours only but only during the long summers…? I dunno, but if you have any info, do let me know. Curious and also good to learn something new.

    1. Interesting. You know I was born in Alaska, and in Alaska there’s a period each year where the sun doesn’t set for months, and another period where the sun never rises. Wonder how they work it out there?

    2. I think it depends on each individual, some take the option of calculating individual earth day, some choose the timings on the next region, or some try to complete dawn to dusk itself.

      For me I think I’ll see what the Rome Islamic Institute will have to say, especially for the year 2015. Else, we just migrate to Australia :p

        1. Its calculated to be when Ramadan will coincide with the longest days of the year. With the fast hypothetically being from 3.30am all the way to 8.30pm. I don’t know if I have the physical strength of doing that.

  2. Could you tell me more about the evil beings that are chained up? Who are they and why are they only chained up at this particular time?

    I remember your blog post from last year about this. =)

    I think it’s pretty cool of Cart to support your decision and your faith by helping you through Ramadan by fasting with you, even if he’s doing it for another reason. It makes me wonder how well I’d have adjusted and how we would’ve worked things out if my wife had been Catholic, as most Filipinos are.

    1. Ramadan is a holy month where the evil beings, namely Djinns and Afrits are chained up so that they cannot influence people to do bad deeds. Its amusing that it coincides with the Taoist Hungry ghost festival :p

      Just out of curiosity, what faith are you?

      1. I’ve always associated myself with being Christian, though I haven’t actively practiced since I was a kid. My mom brought me up in a non-denominational Protestant church on an Air Force Base in Germany. I’ve never really sat down to think and study and get a firm grasp on what I believe myself.

  3. OMG!!!! HOW DO YOU GET THE MP3 FOR THAT SONG? My family and all love it and were frowny when one year they changed the song. Haha I think lots of complains to the radio channel too since they continued to the song again.

    Please email me the song if you can! Hahah I don’t even know the proper title and by who since it’s very old. We just call it THAT song for puasa.

    Ps. Selamat berpuasa to you! Especially since it’s summer if you say.
    Pps. I work on weekdays so won’t be able to set up equipment to record. I’ll try if I can on weekends when I’ll be at home if no one sends you before then.

  4. Selamat berpuasa Rinaz dan Cartcart!

    I remember that it was lively in Indonesia too. When it was time to break fast, people would look so happy. Hehe. All the broadcast in TVs and radios will temporarily stop to announce the “buka puasa” (along with sponsor message of course…). Then sometimes there’s free snacks and tidbits (kue-kue) at department stores for customers to break fast. I got offered once and I actually politely refused because I was not fasting – but they gave me a lot anyway. I couldn’t figure out why. Haha.

    So what do you usually eat for breaking the fast? Indonesians usually start by “kolak pisang” or simply a glass of sweet tea.

  5. Can’t you even have a glass of water? That’s harder to do during summer I think, and it is really a challenge.
    And so, how can you recognize the right time to break fast in Italy?
    Congratulation to your husband who joins you..I’m not sure I would be able to do the same!

    1. Its different from a Catholic fast because you cannot consume anything, not even water. And yeah, it sure will be much harder during the summer … Oh my, I dare not think about it even. Maybe we’ll migrate to Australia for a while since its Winter there :p

      To check the timings, we use this link here, its very useful to calculate the timings in different regions and countries.

      1. When I was in Kuwait in 2007 we were told we weren’t even allowed to smoke if we were off the military installation or we could be arrested and fined by Kuwaiti police for violating Ramadan. For Islam, Ramadan is serious business. Fasting for a month must be a really interesting experience. I think I’ll try it sometime in the future.

      2. The link is really useful, but I’m not sure to understand when you can break your fast..is it at the time of “Maghrib” or at “Isha”?

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