Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bonne Ramadan is the first day of Ramadan and I feel a little let down by the whole thing. I mean for the past 6 months all things have revolved around the impending holiday season of Ramadan. Things in my life as well, for as soon as Ramadan is over, we are so almost there with the babies. But on to the disappointment stuff...

All talk of vacations, visits, the summer, the really good stuff that my life generally revolves around has, itself, revolved around Ramadan this year. So any good Muslim would never show disappointment or anger or the, you know, "why the hell does my summer vacation have to be interrupted by Ramadan" attitude. So everyone has been all positive and accepting and totally zen about Ramadan coming, for the past 6 months.

In the recent weeks leading up to Ramadan there has been a general excitement over the food that will be eaten every night and the dinners that we will all attend and that kind of thing. I think it is an example of psychologically psyching yourself up for something on a national level. It is good, it makes sense, I mean who wants to listen to whining and resentment and agony over something that will be happening regardless.

So in all of this getting 'pumped' for Ramadan, I have gotten a little swept away in the excitement as well. I also managed to get myself right slab in the middle of a river of nervous anticipation about when Ramadan actually begins. Everyday for the past two weeks I have been asking everyone that mentions Ramadan, if we know yet, if the moon has been spotted yet, how will we know, who will announce it, how will the people that don't have TVs know it is, in fact, Ramadan, and Aren't you worried about it, how can you just sit there calmly and not FREAK OUT about EXACTLY when the first day of your month of fasting begins?!?!?!

In my questioning, I was told the following things:
there will be loud speakers that announce Ramadan all over the country
it will be announced from all the mosques
the king will announce it
there will be a procession of men that come through my neighborhood with trumpets and horns (people generallly do the obligatory gesturing and bemmp bemmmp bemmmp sound mimicking a horn for me at this point)
these same men will come back to wake everyone up at 4:00am and remind everyone to eat before sunrise

So, Ramadan began today and do you know how much of that happened???? NONE OF IT! That's right, the only reason we even knew Ramadan was beginning, was because Youssef got a phone call from one of sisters. I was all, noooo, that can't be it, how does SHE know? Where are the guys with HORNS? Where are the LOUD speakers? I don't believe it's Ramadan tomorrow, I don't think YOU really know what is going on with this whole Ramadan thing YOUSSEF...

So we turn on the telly, search for a Moroccan news channel and sure enough, it's Ramadan...just like that. I think the highlight of the moment was a visiting uncle from the states blurting out, "yep it's Ramadan, manyana no comida".

Totally anti-climatic!!! I am still upset about it and I am not even fasting, I would be PISSED if I were actually fasting.

In fact I even ran to the windows a couple of times thinking it was the horn guys or singing from the mosques. Youssef was all "It's just a motorbike going by, they aren't coming, accept it, move on", but...but...maybe they will come later, "yeah I don't think so, but maybe you'll hear the 4:00am wake up thingy".
And I didn't.


Anonymous said...

I actually kind of know what you mean. I went to visit a Muslim client in jail last Tuesday and got there around 11:30. I asked him if I was interrupting lunch and he said no, but it didn't matter because he was fasting because of the holiday anyhow. Now, I like to think of myself as culturally savvy and wondered how I missed the start of Ramadan. I'm thinking he was just a few days early (maybe they don't have accurate calendars in jail?).

A Brilliant Life said...

wow, yeah, Tuesday was way early. Even the countries that were going by a calendar and not the moon were starting on Saturday. Maybe he missed some days last year that he had to make up for by starting early this this year? I have heard of that since I have been here.