Ramdan starts today


Today starts the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims around the world. This is an incredibly spiritual month and the rituals are extensive and challenging. Fasting is the primary activity, refraining from eating, drinking and sexual activity during daylight hours is rigorously practiced. There are a few practical exceptions,pregnant women, elderly and those with health issues which fasting would causeharm. The fasting is done as a way of connecting with God, it is a way of connecting with the less fortunate also.Charity is the heart of Ramadan, the poor are fed, housed and cared for at a much higher level this month.

Ramadan is determined by the Lunar calendar as opposed to the western solar calendar hence its moving start date. There seems to be differences even within the Islamic community as to the start date. It is today in Malaysia.

We landed in Indonesia during Ramadan last year and I was taken by the dedication to the fasting and the joy it brought the faithful. I also learned a cultural lessen,do not do business in the late afternoon, they are real hungry. I also found that especially during Ramadan all business must end in everyone being friends, it is essential. Sadly it took me a bit to figure this out but it ended with great joy and new friends.

As the sunsets the fun starts, the evening and into the night the people room the streets, visit neighbors and bind together much socially much like westerners do at Christmas. It is a time of joy and love.

To all my wonderful Islamic friends, I say; Ramadan Kareem!