It has been awhile since I’ve contributed any content to this blog. This is mainly because my professional life has required an inordinate amount of time, and alas I have found myself contributing posts to the organization I now represent rather than my own site.
It’s time to break this pattern.
I will be traveling to Tunisia in under two weeks’ time, and will be arriving just in time for Eid al-Fitr, or the End of Ramadan. Anticipation for this sugar feast has brought back many memories of my travels two years ago, when I was a simple couch surfer in Malaysian Borneo, during Ramadan.
Now one thing that impacted the social dynamics of the locale during this time was the highly heterogeneous make-up of the region. Malaysia is a highly multicultural place, and my Malaysian associates were Chinese, Indian, Malay, and everything in between. So clearly, not all of them observed Ramadan. In fact, things seemed relatively normal considering such a large part of the population wasn’t eating before sundown.
There was an array of “Ramadan Markets,” the spread of which spanned a large side street in the tiny island where I happened to be traveling. For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, these boasted homemade foods and refreshments from all sorts of people around the island. Many Muslims would buy this fresh cuisine and take it home to enjoy when they broke their fast.
From the sounds of it, the month of Ramadan isn’t quite as inviting for non-observers in Tunisia. This is mainly due to the homogenous society, and comparatively small rate of people in this category.
As far as my journey goes, I will only see one day of Ramadan before it gives way to Eid al-Fitr. Only being able to observe the last day may not be the best sample size, but only time will tell.☼