Last night I went to my first Buka Puasa, which is the breaking of the day’s fasting at sunset.
During Ramadan the routine seems to be:
4am: wake up and eat
6am-7am: maybe have a bit more sleep
7am-onwards: go to work for the day
4pm: Go home because you’re too hungry to concentrate
6.35pm: tuck in (finally)
At 6.35pm an almighty siren sounds out of every mosque. The first time I heard it I thought it was an air raid siren. Not good for the nerves at all.
Yesterday I went with two of my colleagues to the mosque at the Governor’s office to Buka Puasa with other gender-enlightened types and the kids from the local orphanage.
We listened to a couple of different people speak for about an hour and then at about 10 minutes before sunset people started setting out food in front of us. As the siren went we all dove in to the food, especially the water. You can imagine it is pretty nasty going without water for the whole day in this heat. Technically I didn’t fast yesterday, but I did skip lunch. I was so hungry!
By the way, I was in the mosque without a headscarf. This was quite acceptable at this time apparently, so while I wouldn’t recommend walking in to any mosque without a headscarf it was a nice reminder that in all things, including Islam, there are different strokes for different folks.