Friday, August 21, 2009

Much of Less

Last night's sighting of the new moon has marked the beginning of the most holy month in the Muslim calendar – the Ramadan. And as the season begins, life will change for most of Dubai residents, not just for Muslims. People of other faith, including Filipinos, will see their usual routines altered, whether they like it or not. Beyond the fasting of our Muslim brothers, everyone else is goaled in finding more good with the "less" during the observance.

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to come back home, to get closer to God as individuals, as family and as community. Fasting or less focus on food and earthly things teaches them self control and discipline while purifying the body, mind and soul. Abstaining from food seems to be the way God teaches how to gain control over other aspects of our lives, which in turn helps us focus on spiritual matters. During this month, Muslims must control their passions and desires, and perform extra prayers and good deeds with complete devotion to God.

It is a tough call for Muslims, but for us people of other beliefs, living in a country where the brand of faith is different from ours, we could only slow down on the way we usually do things as a sign of courtesy and respect. After all, not obliging with the guidelines is punishable and that leaves us not a single choice to act on our own less one wants to spend some time in jail or worst get deported. Since it's a time of piety and religious consciousness, one must dress up moderately and avoid animated behavior that could cause offense. I must say that discipline and accord is at their highest adherence at this times regardless of our identity and preferences.

The annoyances during Ramadan are aimed not to punish or discourage people at any level. Truth is, treasures could be found in the elected bareness and simplicity. During Ramadan, shpping malls and restaurants veil their windows and open only after sunset. So you'll get to learn how to cook. Eating, drinking and smoking during the day is strictly prohibited and it's a great way to diet and stay healthy. Nightclubs and discos are in hiatus for a month and that means less spending. Road is less congested during the usual rush hours and your patience while traveling home is somehow momentarily laid to rest.

Working environment during Ramadan is more relaxed while people find more reasons to postpone work or go home early. Working hours is reduced and in theory could be bad for the economy. Professional commitment is not maximized and office works tend to pile up unfinished in one's desk. But for the good part, having to go home early means more time to sleep, to blog, to read your favorite books, to movie marathon, to chat with family back home, to meet up with friends and just simply rest and plan ahead for your family's future. Bet no one's gonna argue with that.

Despite the many things reduced, curtailed and minimized during this Holy month, Ramadan works in a way far important than just losing some pounds due to eating prohibitions or saving money due to closed bars and entertainment options. It gives us the opportunity to learn a lot from other people's tradition especially the essence of fasting, to share more time with our beloved back homes even through that small webcam, to show respect for our Muslim friends and be one living proof that people, despite differences in color, race or religion can unite and live harmoniously as one big happy family.


  1. that's one cool about ramadan, bawas ang oras pag stay sa opis..magaan ang feeling parang wala lang, lahat busy ata sa pag darasal.

    urs is a cool blog dude!

  2. More of like "offsetting" to me. They may be fasting in the day but it's then when they work late, work less and sometimes tend to be useless co-workers giving excuses like they are fasting and they don't have much energy and things of that nature. And by sunset till dawn, they'd be like, eating more than what they could have consumed normally during the day. I mean abstaining for half of the day only to indulge on the other half just doesn't make sense to me.

  3. @ mikey: tama ka jan, parang naglolokohan lang sila! gugutumin ang sarili tapos kakain ng sandamakmak! hahaha

    ganun na nga, nagging unproductive ang mga tao kapag ramadan kasi bawas oras sa ofis, uwian agad kahit di pa tapos ang work!

    actually, ramadan is more of fiesta.

  4. Fiesta is more appropriate term indeed! One good thing about it (as far us we are concerned) is ito yung panahon na sila ay nagbabait-baitan! Hehehe...