Are you going to visit a Muslim country and your visit falls on Ramadan? Here are a few things that you should know when travelling during Ramadan.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is an Islamic celebration that lasts an entire month. During Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fast during the day (abstaining from food, drinks, tobacco, alcohol and sex) and will celebrate and eat, and drink, etc, when the sunsets and the Muezzin announces the end of the fasting.
How to behave during Ramadan?
The fact that you, as a non-Muslim, will not fast during Ramadan, does not mean you should totally ignore the fact that others will be doing it. If you are a visitor to a country that is mainly Muslim, this is how you should behave:
- Be considerate and abstain from eating, drinking and smoking in public during the day
- Instead, have snacks in your hotel room and have your own lunch there, away from everyone else who is fasting
- Even if restaurants are serving food, be considerate of the server and cooker who are probably fasting (what about tipping him better for the effort?)
- Dress modestly
- Be patient, not eating all day long may make people moody. Wouldn’t you be bad-tempered before drinking your morning coffe?
So, should you visit a Muslim country during Ramadan?
- Yes, you won’t have to fast yourself, and there are always ways of getting food!
- When travelling, not even Muslims have to fast, so people will be understanding that you, as a traveller, will need to eat
- There will always be restaurants that will be serving meals to tourists or to the Muslims who cannot or will not fast during Ramadan;
- Muslims consider guests as gifts from God. Therefore they want their guests to be happy and that includes well fed and satisfied.
- When the sun sets, celebrations start in the streets, so it is a unique moment to be in a Muslim country on this special occasion.
Did you know that also Muslims can abstain from fasting in Ramadan?
- If they are sick
- If they are travelling
- If they are pregnant or breastfeeding women
- If they are children or old people
- If they are menstruating