One year ago, prior to my departure to Sweden, I came across this video made by Adeeb, where he shared a bit of his experience fasting during Ramadan (the fasting month for Muslim) in Sweden. For me personally, it was really interesting, because I knew that if I made it to Sweden, I would probably have to fast under the same circumstances like he did, which might be quite different than what I had been doing in the previous years. ;)
In my home country, the fasting duration is usually 14 hours a day, starts with the dawn and end at around sunset. However, as you moved further from the equator, the fasting duration might change year by year, depending on the season when Ramadan starts. This year, in the northern hemisphere, Ramadan was begun in the middle of summertime, so… yes, as Adeeb mentioned in his video, it was 20 hours of fasting this time ;) Of course, there are always exceptions for people who are unable to do that, so no need to worry here. :)
So… how did fasting in Sweden feel like?
Well for one thing, the duration was really long :D I knew many of my friends were genuinely concerned about this long period of not eating and drinking, but thank God, I made it, happily and healthy. <3 I had been trying to live a normal life (as if my life was not normal enough XD ) throughout this period. I went to the Swedish summer class in SFI (with Radek! :P ), went to the concert (there’s a free concert in Konserthuset everyday through summer), and even made a day trip to Uppsala with my friend ;)
Honestly, since the weather here is not as hot as Jakarta, doing the 20-hour fasting is actually quite bearable. Of course there were days when the sun was striking hot, but after some time, you’ll get used to it. The main challenge was probably the sleeping time, because, you know, I could only eat at night, so I usually took a longer nap in the afternoon in order to compensate my sleeping time at night. Some of my (Indonesian) friends were even stronger than me and they usually spent their evening playing badminton while waiting for the time to break the fasting. Unfortunately I hadn’t found the courage to do so this year XD
And what happened after the fasting month ended?
We celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, of course! :D (or Lebaran, as we call it in Indonesia) We usually began the day by going to the mosque and later going to one of our family’s house for the family gathering :) Well since this year I didn’t travel back home, I went instead to Indonesian community gathering in Solna, where I could once again eat some traditional Indonesian foods ;)
Additionally, I also tried to make some typical Indonesian dishes myself, such as opor ayam (braised chicken in coconut milk), rendang (spicy meat dish), and lontong (compressed rice cakes in banana leaves). I have to say that if you want to learn the true meaning of patience, try cooking Indonesian dishes XD The rice cake had to be boiled for 2 hours and should be dried overnight before you can enjoy them, and that rendang dishes took me 4 hours to make, although I had been using instant seasonings XD , but of course they were all worth it ;)
So… that’s a glimpse of my experience fasting and celebrating Eid in Sweden. It might be quite late to say this, but since Eid ul-Fitr is, I believe, also a time of atonement, I would like to apologize if I have ever made any mistakes to you! :)
How was your own fasting/Eid experience? Anyone you know celebrating it, too? Tell me in the comments below! :)