Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ramadan Sunset Dinner

Break-fast dinner with the Muslim Student Union
Tonight we had the pleasure of sharing a meal with Muslim and non-Muslim coworkers and students at the school I work at. We were invited to share this meal during the month of Ramadan, where practicing Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for an entire month. It was a simple gathering, the first time I had attended such an event. In what was a cosmic coincidence, it was a beautiful clear sunset in the land of Daly City, where fog rules most of the time!
We were treated to a tasty meal, and all had a good time.
One woman spoke briefly about the event, and how it brings one closer to God, and also how it brings awareness of other people around the world who do not have enough to eat.
I share this event with you mainly to see if anyone else has attended such a meal before.

1 comment:

vizetelly said...

Yes. I attended a dinner on the last night of Ramadan when I was visiting Niger a few years ago. My brother-in-law had previously worked for an NGO there and so had friends there. We had just returned from a six-day trip to the Tenere and Aîr Mountains in the Sahara Desert.

I knew it was going to be good just by the way it started out. We went to what could be described as a local BBQ place which was a large clay oven in an otherwise empty lot in the capital, Niamey, and picked up a whole baby lamb that had been slow-roasting all day. Into the trunk of the car, and off we go.

We then went Salisou's house and shared the meal with his large extended family. When it came time to eat we all stood around a large metal bowl that had the lamb in it. With our left hands (the unclean hand) behind our back, we pulled the meat off the bone with our right to break the fast. It was a joyous occasion.

As an aside, Niger is a 80% Muslim nation and fairly observant. Everyone couldn't have been friendlier. I was there in 2001, 10 weeks after 9/11.

The whole time we were in the desert, it was during Ramadan and our guides were observant and fasted during the day, including NO WATER! We would get up before sunrise with them, and have figs and tea for breakfast, and then help them break their fast after dark with tea (always 3 small cups). We fasted with them one of the days and it was a great experience.

A wonderful country with beautiful people, most of whom end up having very hard lives as it is one of the poorest countries in the entire world.