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.
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.
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.
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.[audio:arabicsong.mp3]
It was lively!
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?
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!