So I just had to share this because last Wednesday I felt special. The V.P. of our group at work is in town this week along with my boss and some other director level folks, and he wanted to take everyone out to dinner. Now you know how Americans eat dinner early, like 6 o’clock unlike us from the Middle East our Southeast Asia that eat dinner around 9. But its Ramadan, so when the sun goes down, its time to chow down. Anyway, our V.P. had originally set it up that we meet at the restaurant for happy hour time so people could get their drink on, and we would eat at 6pm. When he found out that I was fasting and I couldn’t eat till sunset (because I told him I couldn’t make it, to which he asked ‘why?’ to which I replied because I am fasting and I must abstain till sunset), he pushed back the invitation to the group and arranged it with the restaurant that we would all get our food right when the sunset, around 7:20ish. Of our group of 14, I was by far the youngest, and lowest in rank on the group’s totem pole. But it opened a door to be a great opportunity to talk about Ramadan and its significance with my fellow coworkers and superiors. And now I know how to say “Ramadan” in Mandarin Chinese. “Tchai jei uey”. I am sure that many Muslims partaking in the fasting shy away during this month from our non-Muslim friends and coworkers; not wanting to get into the whole explanation of fasting (that its not 30 days straight of no food or water, but 30 days of abstinence during the daylight hours only), or the pity comments, (What, no food or water all day?!??! man, I would DIE!!).
Ramadan in America, post college, is still a great educational opportunity.