The celebration for Ramadan has started where Muslims across the world fast and offer prayers to their creator. I feel many of us, Non-Muslims, would be interested to get a perspective so that we get to better understand each other’s culture as well as share and learn.
I met Zeenath online through one of our common friend on Facebook. I updated my status, asking for kind souls who are ready to grace ‘Scripting the story of my life’ as a guest and Zeenath promptly replied. She asked, ‘Any specific theme?’ and to which I suggested, ‘Ramadan. Here you are and enjoy!
Now the question is, Who is Zeenath Anwar?
Zeenath Anwar is based in Australia and has vast experience in various fields. She has managed people, passionate about presenting and public speaking skills. A fitness freak and enjoys working out to lead a healthy lifestyle, a Motivational speaker and a Coach. She has written a book, ‘Look 30 at 40’ about her experience on how to look younger which showcase her credibility in the beauty industry. You can purchase it online from Amazon e-kindle. Zeenath has over six years of retail experience in the beauty industry as a salon manager and is a qualified trainer and a coach.
Fasting in Australia during Ramadan
By Zeenath Anwar
I don’t have much family here. It’s just me and my 2 boys. I do fast here but mostly during weekends due to my lifestyle. I am living in a multicultural society where we have people from all over the world such as Muslims from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghan, Fiji, India, and so on.
Here we have mosques run by a particular community, for eg, there could be a mosque built by Turkish community or Fiji Indian community, where majority of them who attend, hail from that country only. Now what I find funny is, there will be some people from certain countries who will sight the moon earlier and some will sight it a day later. Unlike Christmas which is celebrated just one specific day for the whole of Australia. Hence, we will have celebrations on different days.
I tend to follow India only because of my parents/family living there and I would like to celebrate at the same time when they do. It works for me mentally since it feels that we are celebrating it together though we are distant apart. Therefore, I like to pray at home just like the women in India do and my 2 boys go to the mosque for their prayers.
Here in Australia, women are encouraged to go to mosques to pray as they have a separate praying area solely for women, unlike in India, where women do not go to mosque for prayers.
Now this is something interesting I like to share. I believe that if I have to go to the mosque, I would like to pray and, may be, network with other women after prayers. What I found in the past is, women do network after prayers but they tend to do what most of the women are good at which is talking about one another.
Therefore, I decided not to go to mosques for prayers instead pray at home, if needed.
I find fasting during winter season much easier because it entails less hours, like for eg mornings, starting at 5.15am and breaking the fast in the evening at 5pm. In summer time, it can get to 16 hrs a day which is very tiring and makes the day very long,
What I also like about fasting in Australia is we have areas where people from Arab countries mainly live or have food businesses such as kebab shop or many such interesting food outlets. The atmosphere is very lively in such areas and one would get a feel of the Ramadan similar to Dubai or any other Muslim country.
This is what I love about Australia, Multiculturalism. Multi-cultural in character where I get to taste and experience a global culture under one single roof. During the celebration, families come together for the festive season and, especially Afghan and Arabs, who bond with families almost every single day to feast because they tend to have bigger families here since they settled long time back. It is something amazing to experience.
Having said all of the above, Australia is the land where I have lived most of my life than India, so it is an inherent part of me now and one of the best countries in the world to live, this purely not just based on my experiences but also people who have travelled all over the world have settled here in Australia for those reasons.