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Celebrating Ramadan: A month of togetherness

Celebrating Ramadan: A month of togetherness

Noeline and her son smiling at the camera

On the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from eating during the daylight hours and feast together at night to celebrate Ramadan.

“Ramadan is a restart to everything that’s been done in the past year,” said Noeline Saldanha, a Procurement Officer at TransLink.

“In the month of Ramadan, people are competing to give to charity and competing to do good deeds. It’s just a competition and in a healthy way. Everybody gets together for the fun.”

If you know a Muslim, then you must be one of many who are impressed by their dedication to fasting. Noeline fasts for up to 16 hours a day for one month. While it may seem very difficult to an outsider, to her it’s a chance to connect with her spirituality and community.

“The month of Ramadan is just different; the air around you feels different. You don’t feel much hungry or thirsty.” She said she’s fueled by “a feeling of togetherness; of community.”

Due to the pandemic, the past two years of Ramadan has been less about big gatherings and more about reflection and prayer. But with the reopening this year, Noeline is excited to celebrate amongst family and friends once again.

 

How can you support partaking in Ramadan?

It’s best not to comment or ask why someone may not be fasting during Ramadan as it could be for a series of personal reasons.

Noeline encourages anyone who has a Muslim friend, to ask to join in on the Eid al-Fitr, the big feast that marks the end of Ramadan. After a year of social isolation, a guarantee of good food and intentional time together seems like a great idea.